My summer associate experience was just about ideal. I knew I wanted to practice California water law, so I did my homework about firms that had good water practices. I interviewed with those firms (there was only one that really stood out) and got the summer position I wanted. I worked hard over the summer and, at the end of the program, received a job offer. I have been with the same firm, Nossaman, LLP, for over three years now. Because of my focused search, I am able to practice water law. Plus, I have been elected as the associate representative on the firm's Executive Committee. And, a mere four years after I sat in front of my first Nossaman attorney during my on-campus interview, I now find myself on the other side of the equation, interviewing bright and hopeful law students for our summer associate program.
With the slew of law firms closing one after another and the dubious Great Recovery in place of the Great Recession the definition of a “perfect summer associate job” has, of course, changed quite a bit. Depending upon your inclinations, even a non-paying summer job in the government sector may be great for you if it meets your career objectives. But, for the sake of this article, we would be assuming the ‘perfect summer associate’ job to be the job of a summer associate in a private law firm of middle-to-big stature, and one that would almost cement your chances of getting recruited after your J.D.
Looking for a second-year summer job is arguably the most important thing you will do during law school. The reason for this is that the type of second-year summer job you obtain and how well you do at it will significantly affect where you work upon graduation. Accordingly, looking for a second-year summer job is not something to be taken lightly.