Summer Program for Law Students
James, McElroy & Diehl usually hires several rising third-year law students to work in all aspects of the firm’s practice. Several years ago, we determined that the typical “summer associate” process of bringing prospective lawyers in to be entertained with a busy social calendar and having them research legal issues in isolation from the interactions of the case was less preferable than simulating the actual work of a new lawyer at the firm, to the extent possible.
The experience isn’t about learning through osmosis. Working side-by-side with us, we expect you to roll up your sleeves and test the limits of your abilities. Our approach is to let the summer associate function as an active member of a team – taking on real legal challenges integral to pending matters. Our goal is to allow you to experience the styles of many different lawyers and staff on thought-provoking assignments that offer you the opportunity to demonstrate your writing, analytical and debating skills.
Summer associate assignments may include:
- Conducting legal research
- Drafting memos, opinion letters, contracts and briefs
- Helping trial teams prepare and develop strategies
- Assisting attorneys in preparing for depositions and hearings
- Observing negotiations
- Preparing for and participating in client meetings
In most respects, the person is treated similarly to a starting attorney. There are relatively few planned entertainment functions, but lunches and social engagement occur as if the person was a new colleague.
The contributions you make during your time with the firm don’t go unnoticed. The hands-on assignments you undertake will have high-visibility and real significance. The expectation is that program participants return to their third year of law school with an interest in joining James, McElroy & Diehl following graduation.
While James, McElroy & Diehl generally fills its entry level positions through the summer program, we do accept resumes from interested third-year law students. Generally, credentials, presentation and references must be unusually strong. The firm also has a history of hiring judicial clerks; many of our attorneys served as clerks in the federal courts and state appellate systems, and we strongly encourage and value such experience.
Although law school grades and academic accomplishments are important, we do not overweight them relative to a candidate’s other necessary qualities, including an ability to think broadly and solve problems “on their feet.” Our interviews are sometimes intellectually challenging. Because the firm is known throughout the region for the character and talent of our attorneys, we hire only the most qualified candidates.
For more information on our summer associates program, please contact Jonathan Feit.