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McDermott Will & Emery

Summer Program Stats

No. of Summer Associates (2023): 112 total (96 2Ls; _14 1Ls, 2 SEOs)

No. of 2L Offers (2022): 80 out of 80

Summer Associate Salary:

$ 4,134/Week

Summer Program Length:

10 weeks

Summer Program Contact

Erika Gardiner
Director of Associate Recruiting
(202) 756-8282

Our Survey Says

Training & Assignments

  • “The partners and associates I worked with looked for substantive assignments [for me], and took time to explain the assignment in context of the larger client picture. They also actively asked what I was interested in pursuing, and connected me to those colleagues.”
  • “I was immediately provided the opportunity to handle substantive work by being given immediate opportunities to draft ancillary documents and conduct diligence research. I was offered support from the junior associate, senior associate, and partner on my team, with tailored feedback to my assignments and general opportunities to ask questions throughout the program.”
  • “I received meaningful assignments as a summer associate. The projects I worked on as a summer associate are very similar to tasks I complete as a junior associate: preparing closing binders, drafting diligence memoranda, and creating checklists.”
  • “I was staffed on deals and was assigned tasks similar to that of a first-year associate. I received formal training through our firm's Professional Development Department and partners, and individual informal training from partners.”

Social Opportunities

  • “The firm hosts associate dinners, lunches, and happy hours. The summers are all flown into one city each year to meet and interact. All summers are invited to a variety of concerts, sporting events, etc., for their enjoyment.”
  • “The firm's culture and family atmosphere was the #1 factor in helping me decide to return. Speaking with our global firm chairman at a happy hour demystified the experience and helped me quickly realize this was somewhere I could belong, and not merely exist in.”
  • “I went out to lunch almost every day I was in the office with attorneys, our firm had a lot of fun social events (like attending an MLB game), and all of the summer associates from around the country came to Chicago, where there were a lot of social gatherings and opportunities to make meaningful connections.”

Associate Experience vs. Summer Expectations

  • “The biggest difference is taking ownership of a case and knowing it through and through.”
  • “Practicing is a lot different than being a summer. I think it is clearer to me now that litigation is a long process, and it is hard to appreciate how the different pieces fit together before experiencing most of the life cycle (meaning a year, or longer). As a summer, I didn't necessarily understand how all of my research and writing fit into the bigger picture, but I think that is true of virtually any summer associate, especially in litigation. I have not experienced any failure to stay true to ‘promises made or impressions given.’ [McDermott] is the real deal.”
  • “I would say that the only thing that has surprised me is the level of work my team has let me take on. I'm only six months into my first year, and I have handled hearings and drafted motions. I was under the impression that my first year would be mostly research and behind the scenes, but I have been pleasantly surprised!”
  • “It is less structured—you have to seek out work from partners. There are also more hours of work, but that is to be expected.”

Favorite Summer Events

  • “We conducted a wine tasting from the 56th floor of Salesforce tower looking over the entire San Francisco Bay Area.”
  • “The trip to Chicago to meet up with all of the other US summer associates.”
  • “Yankees game.”
  • “I enjoyed the variety of events that let us sample Chicago—baseball games, brewery tours, a magic show, a river cruise, etc.”

The Firm Says

Our summer program offers summer associates a realistic introduction to the practice of law and day-to-day life as a McDermott associate. The summer associate program provides meaningful responsibility and feedback that is consistent with a junior associate experience. Summer associates are given the opportunity to accept assignments with many of our practice groups during the summer. This allows summers to experience the type of work they are interested in firsthand and ultimately steer them toward the type of work they enjoy. Our conservative hiring approach allows students access to a number of substantive assignments and matters. Summer associates receive formal feedback during a midsummer evaluation and a final review, in addition to informal feedback over the course of the summer. Each summer associate is assigned an associate and partner-level mentor to provide guidance throughout the summer, explain firm policies, address any questions or concerns, and assist in the transition from law school to life in a law firm.