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Summer Associate Program

Schnader typically employs second-year and some first-year students for the summer. The majority of our summer associates spend their summer in our Philadelphia office, although our Pittsburgh and Washington, DC offices have summer programs as well.

What will the work be like?

In our summer program we strive to expose associates to the wide range of people, challenges and practice areas that make Schnader a rewarding and interesting place to be a lawyer. Attorneys from all of our offices can submit assignments to the Summer Associates Committee.

We typically have each associate working on two or three assignments at all times. We also make sure that each associate has ample opportunity to work on pro bono matters. Our goals in distributing the assignments are to make sure that the assignments are fairly distributed, that each associate receives a substantial number of assignments in the practice area(s) he or she prefers, and to encourage associates to experiment with practice areas toward which they are not already inclined.

We also have what we call a "designated hitter" system, whereby each of our associates is assigned a week during which he or she will be the "go to" associate for emergency assignments. Our associates have reacted favorably to this system, since it gives them exposure to "real life" emergency work situations in a law firm.

The summer associate program is designed to simulate associate life. The summer associate assignments are tasks that otherwise would be performed by attorneys. We invest substantial time and resources in assisting our summer associates in fine-tuning their research, writing and advocacy skills. Each written project completed by a summer associate is reviewed by the assigning attorney and a member of our Summer Associates Committee, and direct feedback and constructive criticism are provided. We also provide a mid-summer evaluation by the Summer Associates Committee on each associate's progress.

Based on our past experience, our summer program is very successful in assisting our associates in developing the necessary research, advocacy and writing skills to become outstanding lawyers.

What opportunities will there be to develop professionally and learn about Schnader's practice areas?

Beyond their preparation of briefs and research memoranda and some factual development, our summer associates are encouraged to observe arguments and trials, discovery proceedings, real estate and corporate closings, labor negotiations, depositions, arbitrations and the like. We also provide several workshops and seminars that include Schnader attorneys; for example, we conduct an interactive deposition workshop where our summer associates depose and defend witnesses under the supervision of our attorneys. The associates participate in a workshop where they represent buyers and sellers in a hypothetical business transaction and ultimately negotiate a contract and reduce the terms to writing.

Additional highlights of our recent summer programs have included oral arguments observations in the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, lunch with a United States District Court Magistrate Judge, and visits with some of our clients in their places of business.

Will there be opportunities to attend social events?

Absolutely! The summer is marked with informal social programs aimed at building friendships and introducing associates to our lawyers and staff. At the start of the summer we assign an experienced associate "advisor" to each of our associates to assist with the building of these relationships and the transition from law school to the law firm environment. We take very seriously the idea that you can have fun even when you are working hard, and we encourage our summer associates to do just that.

A typical day in the life of a summer associate can begin with a meeting about a current assignment, include a lunch with lawyers at the Firm, and end with a tour of Philadelphia's historic sites, dinner at a trendy Center City restaurant, or even at a bowling alley for some friendly competition! Recent summer outings also have included dinner and a performance of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Music Center as well as a private tour of the famous Barnes Foundation collection. Every Friday morning we have a breakfast for our associates and members of the Summer Associates Committee where we frequently invite additional attorneys to meet with the summer associates and discuss and answer questions about their areas of practice.

What else should you know about Schnader's summer associate program?

At the end of the summer, we expect that our summer associates will have a very good idea not only of what it would be like, substantively, to work at Schnader, but also of "who we are" as people and of our approaches to the practice of law and to service in our communities.

We intentionally do not over hire for our summer program, because it is our hope and expectation to make offers of permanent employment to all of our summer associates. Historically, a very high percentage of our summer associates receive permanent offers and return as associates after a summer with us. Offers extended to former summer associates are typically held open to those who enter judicial clerkships or similar post-graduate service.

For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.