What Is a Law Firm Summer Associate?

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Summary: Learn about the importance of being a law firm summer associate in your legal career in this article.
Learn what a law firm summer associate is in this article.

For law students, being a summer associate at a law firm is an important first step to having a successful career as a lawyer. Summer associate positions expose law students to the actual practice of law in the real world environment of law firms.

While law school teaches law students about the intellectual aspects of the law, summer associate positions expose future attorneys to the practical aspects of working in the legal profession. What do real lawyers do in a given week? How does it feel to work with clients and on legal matters that make a difference to the bottom line of a big company? How does the work of a litigator differ from that of a corporate lawyer? How do law firms function?

Goal of Summer Associate Programs

The goal of summer associate programs is to give law students a taste of what it is like to work at various law firms, while also allowing the firms to evaluate the intellect, work ethic, and cultural fit of the students to determine if they want to hire them for permanent positions after they graduate from law school.

Summer associate programs are “test runs” for both the students and the firms—giving each the chance to get to know the other to see if they are good fits for a permanent work relationship after graduation.

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