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Summer Program Stats

No. of Summer Associates (2023): 217 total (193 2Ls; 24 1Ls)

No. of 2L Offers (2022): 181 out of 187

Summer Associate Salary:


Summer Program Length:

10 weeks

Summer Program Contact

John O‘Hara
Chief Recruiting Officer
(213) 229-7393

Our Survey Says

Training & Assignments

  • “Gibson's summer program generally aims to assign associates one substantive assignment per week across different practice areas in which the summer associate is interested. I did assignments in government contracts, administrative law, general commercial litigation, white collar defense, and pro bono (immigration), and I felt like I got great substantive experience from these assignments.”
  • “The summer coordinators were incredibly thoughtful about what type of assignments were being given to summer associates and catered to our practice group interests. I received a very well-balanced mix of assignments in terms of practice groups and assignment type.”
  • “The summer assignments are generally ‘real work’ in that they are tied to real cases, but the work product tends to be formal research memos rather than the work an associate would do (i.e., quick emails or drafting parts of filings). That said, the cases were generally interesting.”
  • “Corporate work is hard to come by for a summer associate, as it is difficult to break off pieces of an active M&A deal for a summer associate to work on. Despite that, I was able to join a deal team as a summer associate and even attend a negotiation with the partner and senior associate.”

Social Opportunities

  • “There were a ton of social events, both in person and virtual (keep in mind, this was 2021). We went to baseball games, various restaurants, wine and coffee tastings, virtual bonding experiences, and the end-of-summer party at a partner's house. The social aspect was definitely well thought out and well attended.”
  • “Honestly, the summer program was excellent. The other law students were amazing, and there was so much joy and excitement from the lawyers with regard to the summer events. There was a huge attendance whenever attorneys and/or staff had the opportunity to attend. They often brought their families. Gibson Dunn has an amazing culture—people are genuinely happy to be here and excited to participate in firm events. This culture was strongly reflected in the summer events.” 
  • “The social events were incredible—we saw John Legend at the Hollywood Bowl, Miss Saigon at the Pantages Theater, spent a day at the wineries in Temecula, and so much more. I was able to meet so many attorneys at the firm while I was a summer associate, and that helped ease my transition when I started working at the firm full time.”

Associate Experience vs. Summer Expectations

  • “The work is much more substantive and there is a lot more expected of you. The deadlines are tighter, but you still have the ability to choose whom you wish to work with because of the free market system. You also have the power to say no if a less than agreeable partner asks for your help, which is great for mental well-being and self-preservation.”
  • “In a funny way, the remote summer was really good preparation for day-to-day work at the firm. I had no false expectations about how much social fun I would be having as compared to working. Other things lined up as well—I was immediately given substantive work and trust on a big matter. I also had no trouble circling back with a variety of people I met or worked with to obtain work.”
  • “I have only been pleasantly surprised by my experience. I did not receive any promises that were not kept. I especially appreciate the firm's commitment to 1:1 time for pro bono matters. This was a big reason I chose Gibson Dunn, and that promise comports entirely with reality….” 
  • “We went kayaking with otters in Elkhorn Slough. It was incredible.”
  • “Wine tasting in Napa/Sonoma.”
  • “Flower arranging with Doug Champion.”

The Firm Says

Gibson Dunn’s ability to recruit and retain top talent from a diverse pool of talented individuals is crucial to our continued success. Our summer program is the primary method through which new lawyers become a part of our firm, and we continually attract the most intelligent, creative, and personable legal talent in the world to participate in our summer program. Designed to facilitate a smooth transition from law school to legal practice, the program provides substantive training in areas such as legal writing, depositions, and corporate negotiations/transactions. Our summer associates are actively involved in client representations, maximizing their exposure to a variety of practical aspects of lawyering. Summer associates also contribute materially to a wide range of pro bono matters. In addition, our program integrates summer associates into our offices and the cities in which they are located through unique events and programs that allow summer associates to make lasting connections with our attorneys at all levels. We provide practical training in the skills and techniques required to make top-notch lawyers, as well as the opportunity to get to know Gibson Dunn, its lawyers, and its staff.