Best Summer Associate Programs

Shield Image
Explore Related Ranking Categories
1 - 10
11 - 20
21 - 30
31 - 40
41 - 50
2023 Best Summer Associate Programs
#1

Clifford Chance US LLP

As a global force since its merger in 1987, it’s no surprise Clifford Chance seeks candidates with international aspirations and foreign language skills. This Magic Circle firm offers a welcoming culture and interesting work, and it genuinely supports pro bono and diversity. One might assume that it would be easy to get lost in such a massive enterprise, but employee relations and firm transparency are exceptional.

SCORE 9.829

2022 Ranking

#3

Clifford Chance US LLP
#2

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

A top firm for labor and employment work, Morgan Lewis has an expansive worldwide reach more than 30 offices. The firm attracts those who want to give back via pro bono work—20 hours are required for bonus eligibility—and who are seeking a non-hierarchical culture with ample transparency. Boasting an army of over 2,200 lawyers and legal professionals nationwide and worldwide, Morgan Lewis provides a wealth of opportunities to work on diverse and high-stakes matters among the firm’s core practice areas.

SCORE 9.699

2022 Ranking

#10

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#3

Williams & Connolly LLP

One of the most selective law firms, Williams & Connolly is a litigation standout, known for handling complex, high-stakes matters. The firm has a promote-from-within culture with an emphasis on organic mentorship. Associates have significant autonomy through the free-market assignment system and receive ample support for pro bono pursuits.

SCORE 9.589

2022 Ranking

#5

Williams & Connolly LLP
#4

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

A top law firm for quality of life year after year and a mainstay among the V30 firms—and the oldest firm in Los Angeles—O’Melveny is a highly sought after firm with hundreds of lawyers across 18 offices and seven countries. The firm prioritizes associate development and is a leader in diversity, pro bono, and attorney wellness. Its prominence in California has fostered exceptional opportunities in the area of entertainment law.

SCORE 9.539

2022 Ranking

#2

O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#5

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Shearman & Sterling offers high-level legal work coupled with supportive teammates and strong mentorship. For those seeking international experience, the firm’s global presence means exciting cross-border work and travel opportunities

SCORE 9.436

2022 Ranking

#26

Shearman & Sterling LLP
#6

Jackson Walker

Jackson Walker is the largest exclusively-Texan law firm, with over 450 attorneys working from seven offices across the state. Associates express high levels of satisfaction with nearly every aspect of firm life, from hours to culture to compensation to D&I. As a full-service firm, virtually all practice areas are represented, and associates enjoy a variety of sophisticated legal work.

SCORE 9.398

2022 Ranking

#36

Jackson Walker
#7

McDermott Will & Emery

Sitting comfortably among the V100 law firms, McDermott is best known for its work in health care and tax—though its practices extend far beyond. The firm is forward thinking when it comes to wellness, offering lawyers billable credit for 25 wellness hours, and will appeal to those seeking a collegial, supportive environment.

SCORE 9.393

2022 Ranking

#1

McDermott Will & Emery
#8

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Munger Tolles is incredibly selective, but if you’re hired, you’ve just joined a top-notch, tight-knit firm where associates participate in major firm decisions. With strong mentorship—especially given that the firm is committed to maintaining a low partner-to-associate ratio, and that there are only 200 attorneys across three U.S. offices—new associates tackle exciting work from day one. Munger Tolles associates can expect meaningful pro bono opportunities, for which the firm has been recognized.

SCORE 9.333

2022 Ranking

#9

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
#9

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Fried Frank associates work on complex legal matters in a top-to-bottom friendly and social environment across five global offices and over 650 attorneys. The firm prioritizes its people and communities, with associate perks like generous wellness offerings—including fitness stipends and an associates-only lounge in the New York office—and a strong dedication to pro bono work.

SCORE 9.332

2022 Ranking

#21

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
#10

Orrick

Innovation is the name of the game at Orrick—from the energy and tech clients the firm counsels, to its impactful wellbeing initiatives, to its modern technology tools. Associates who are down to earth, collaborative, and forward thinking will fit right in at this progressive firm. With offices in over 25 markets across the United States, Europe, and Asia, Orrick is a legal powerhouse with a dedication to pro bono, diversity, and competitive compensation.

SCORE 9.237

2022 Ranking

#6

Orrick
#11

Proskauer Rose LLP

Tops for labor and employment and the go-to firm for media, entertainment, and sports, Proskauer Rose is an all around legal powerhouse. Pro bono is part of the firm’s lifeblood, as is a strong commitment to diversity. Amiable go-getters will do well in the firm’s supportive, team environment.

SCORE 9.213

2022 Ranking

#7

Proskauer Rose LLP
#12

Fish & Richardson P.C.

IP is the name of the game at Fish & Richardson, so be prepared to show off your technical or science background during interviews. Associates here are busy, but they are treated to a great culture, top-notch IP work, and lots of flexibility. Fish & Richardson hires candidates with the expectation they will climb the ranks, leaving a clear path to partnership for anyone willing to put in the work.

SCORE 9.192

2022 Ranking

#19

Fish & Richardson P.C.
#13

Foley Hoag LLP

With headquarters in Boston, Foley Hoag is home to more than 300 lawyers who focus on more than a dozen practice areas. Low on hierarchy and big on transparency, the firm attracts lawyers who are collaborative and respectful. Small teams present the attorneys with a plethora of opportunities to spearhead their work, whether that be tackling public international law issues or committing their time to civic engagement.

SCORE 9.182

2022 Ranking

#17

Foley Hoag LLP
#14

Pillsbury

Pillsbury is comprised of genuinely caring people, and associates can take on interesting work from day one. “Super bonuses” are an extra perk for those who go beyond. The BOSS Lab is just one of the firm’s impressive commitments to diversity.

SCORE 9.161

2022 Ranking

#43

Pillsbury
#15

White & Case

Look up “global law firm” in the thesaurus, and you’ll find White & Case. A leader in cross-border work, the firm works across two dozen practice areas. The firm is home to a truly diverse team of lawyers and boasts a top-down commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace.

SCORE 9.114

2022 Ranking

#13

White & Case
#16

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

Baker Donelson has a strong footprint in the southeastern U.S., with 22 offices spanning 11 states and Washington, DC. Over 600 attorneys provide representation to clients in over 30 practice areas, including public policy advising through the firm’s affiliate, The Howard Baker Forum. Baker Donelson is business focused, with an emphasis on creating and implementing innovative solutions that reduce client cost, build on its Centers of Excellence practice areas, and promote business development opportunities for the firm and its attorneys.

SCORE 9.111

2022 Ranking

#41

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
#17

Kramer Levin

With 400 lawyers, Kramer Levin embraces a diversified practice model, with particular strength in bankruptcy, immigration, litigation, M&A, real estate, and white collar. Matters are staffed leanly, giving lawyers early and frequent opportunities for partner contact and sophisticated work.

SCORE 9.097

2022 Ranking

#22

Kramer Levin
#18

BakerHostetler

BakerHostetler’s culture reflects its Midwest roots—professional, yet warm and welcoming. Associates are also treated to strong mentorship and transparent leadership. The cutting-edge “IncuBaker” team is one sign of the firm’s commitment to innovation, especially in helping clients navigate the intersection of digital business, emerging technologies, and the law.

SCORE 9.093

2022 Ranking

#8

BakerHostetler
#19

Locke Lord LLP

Locke Lord offers top-tier legal work in a laid-back, cordial environment. Lean staffing means early responsibility and experience for associates. With a number of women in leadership roles, the firm’s commitment to diversity shows in practice. Communication is key at this collaborative firm and the social culture transcends beyond the walls of the office. Those seeking to gain quality experience, project leadership, and the ability to move up the ranks should look no further than Locke Lord.

SCORE 9.089

2022 Ranking

#32

Locke Lord LLP
#20

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

With roots in Atlanta dating back to the 1800s and 21 global offices, including one in Anchorage, Alaska, Kilpatrick Townsend is entrenched as a worldwide force in the legal arena. Specifically, it is a leader in the areas of intellectual property and IP litigation, having represented entities like Google and Sony, and they take pride in helping companies protect their most prized assets. Associates are treated well and enjoy complex but interesting work.

SCORE 9.086

2022 Ranking

#29

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
#21

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields is ideal for associates seeking exciting international work. The firm is in an expansion phase, which means lots of opportunity for early hand-on experience—plus strong mentorship and a friendly culture are additional perks. Freshfields’ roots may date back to the 1700s, but the firm’s recent momentum in the U.S. awards an exciting career outlook for its associates. The attorneys at Freshfields have a global perspective which allows the firm to excel at handling complex, cross-border work.

SCORE 9.071

2022 Ranking

#35

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
#22

Paul Hastings LLP

Consistently among the top law firms for quality of life, Paul Hastings prioritizes associate mentorship, training, and long-term career development. Lawyers seeking an amiable, collaborative atmosphere where hard work and client service are valued will likely be a good fit at the firm. There’s no shortage of challenging legal matters to tackle, but the attorneys at Paul Hastings step up to the plate to produce excellence, while maintaining a relaxed culture and a good work-life balance.

SCORE 9.041

2022 Ranking

#11

Paul Hastings LLP
#23

Linklaters

Linklaters is a Magic Circle firm with great opportunities for international work—and international travel, given its 31 worldwide offices. The firm receives high praises for requiring pro bono work as part of the formula. Compensation and partner-associate relations are other highlights for Linklaters associates.

SCORE 9.012

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Linklaters
#24

Goodwin

With more than 1,800 lawyers across 14 offices, Goodwin has established itself as a global legal name. The firm boasts particular strength in corporate law and real estate, among other areas. Candidates seeking a highly transparent firm that prioritizes associate development will likely feel at home at Goodwin.

SCORE 8.994

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Goodwin
#25

Cooley

The go-to firm for startups and early-stage companies, Cooley is ideal for those seeking cutting-edge work with innovative clients. The firm is also known for its work with life science and technology companies. Cooley has a highly social culture in 17 worldwide offices that will no doubt appeal to affable personalities, and boasts a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.

SCORE 8.980

2022 Ranking

#16

Cooley
#26

Dechert

Dechert is a global firm, but its collegial culture seems to create a sense of close community. The firm encourages attorneys to participate beyond billables, offering a “STARS” award and bonus for contributions related to teaching, diversity and innovation. It is recognized as well as one of the best law firms for pro bono work, with many accolades and many hours contributed every year.

SCORE 8.950

2022 Ranking

#12

Dechert
#27

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP

Founded in 1995 in Silicon Valley, Gunderson Dettmer has grown to 10 offices and more than 425 attorneys as the leading international law firm focusing solely on the innovation economy. They are world leaders in providing legal services to venture-backed and public technology and life sciences companies, as well as venture capital investors. Sophisticated work, amazing tutelage from partners, and office culture are highlights for associates.

SCORE 8.917

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP
#28

Gibson Dunn

A litigation powerhouse, appellate all-star, and corporate law force, Gibson Dunn is a V10 firm with impressive practice and client lists across its 20 worldwide offices. Gibson attracts go-getters who will succeed in the firm’s free-market system and mesh with the professional, amiable culture. Attorneys who want to engage in pro bono work, with hours satisfying billable requirements, will find robust, dynamic opportunities with Gibson Dunn. The firm’s flex-time program, with prorated hours and compensation, is attractive to many.

SCORE 8.906

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Gibson Dunn
#29

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Exemplary work is standard at MoFo, but as its nickname suggests, the firm—and its lawyers—don’t take themselves too seriously. MoFo, including 17 global offices and more than 1,000 attorneys, excels in many practice areas, including IP and privacy, and is a stand-out in the pro bono area, assisting in a wide range of matters. Diversity and related initiatives are key at MoFo as well, as DEI activities can count toward work hours.

SCORE 8.904

2022 Ranking

#50

Morrison & Foerster LLP
#30

Finnegan

Top-ranked for intellectual property, Finnegan is well known for its work in patent law—and its team of professionals has quite the impressive array of tech experience in addition to legal prowess. The firm is also known for its pro bono work supporting veterans. Finnegan takes training seriously, with extensive formal programming combined with an emphasis on mentoring. If you're seeking a supportive, team-oriented atmosphere, you will feel at home here.

SCORE 8.893

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Finnegan
#31

Latham & Watkins

You know you’ve made it in the legal industry when you’ve landed a spot at Latham. The firm is a global leader across dozens of practice areas, with over 3,000 lawyers in 15 countries, and recruits the best of the best. This globalization allows Latham to service clients with the finest legal resources, regardless of location. Those seeking autonomy to shape their practice plus extensive training and support will be pleased with their opportunities at this legal giant.

SCORE 8.886

2022 Ranking

#48

Latham & Watkins
#32

WilmerHale

Handling cases that often make front page headlines, WilmerHale is a litigation super star, with particular strength in intellectual property. The firm boasts a respectful culture where associates feel supported by partners and have the resources they need to soar with high-level matters. The firm has a deeply-rooted commitment to pro bono and opportunities to dive headfirst into meaningful projects are around every corner. WilmerHale is a good fit for those looking for a hardworking but easy going environment.

SCORE 8.880

2022 Ranking

#27

WilmerHale
#33

Skadden

From M&A to tax, Skadden is a legal powerhouse and mainstay among the most prestigious firms in Vault’s Top 100 ranking. Skadden lawyers are a social bunch who value teamwork and mentorship, while also diving headfirst into complex matters. From New York to Shanghai, the Skadden name is worldwide, with approximately 1,700 attorneys across eight U.S. offices and 13 international offices. Exit opportunities are endless for Skadden attorneys, due to the firm’s strong alumni network and prestigious name. The firm’s commitment to pro bono is unparalleled, with over two million hours dedicated to pro bono over the past 10 years.

SCORE 8.873

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Skadden
#34

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

As an elite firm with 13 global offices and approximately 1,000 attorneys, Willkie seeks top talent—but the firm is careful to hire only those who will contribute positively to the culture. Associates rave about many aspects of the firm, but great compensation and the absence of a billable hour requirement are clear frontrunners as far as perks go.

SCORE 8.870

2022 Ranking

#38

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
#35

Perkins Coie LLP

Perkins Coie cultivates collegiality through holistic hiring, social retreats, affinity groups, wellness programs, and more. Whether they hope to make partner or move in-house, associates here are in a good position. Providing legal services to some of the world’s most innovative companies, Perkins Coie attorneys take pride in performing substantive, meaningful work. While its history is rooted in aerospace and transportation, Perkins Coie has stretched its services far and wide across its domestic and international offices.

SCORE 8.852

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Perkins Coie LLP
#36

Haynes and Boone, LLP

Headquartered in Dallas, it’s no surprise the culture at Haynes Boone is as supportive and social as its Southern roots. With friendly colleagues and invested partners, associates get top-notch legal experience at a firm where they feel welcome.

SCORE 8.840

2022 Ranking

#34

Haynes and Boone, LLP
#37

Winston & Strawn LLP

Winston’s Midwestern roots—though it’s grown to ten domestic and six international offices—are reflected in its top-to-bottom friendly culture. Strong mentorship allows junior associates to quickly develop skills on high-profile matters, and robust wellness and diversity programs round out the Winston experience. Those hoping to find a strong pro bono commitment in a law firm will be pleased with Winston, as the firm ranks high in number of dedicated attorneys and attorney hours.

SCORE 8.836

2022 Ranking

#24

Winston & Strawn LLP
#38

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

900 lawyers strong with a long list of lauded practice areas, there isn’t much at which Akin Gump doesn’t excel. Transparent? Check. Making strides in diversity? You bet. Walking the wellness walk? Absolutely. Social types who are down to earth will fit well at the firm. Akin Gump is a leader in lending a helping hand, with an attorney average of more than 100 hours devoted to pro bono clients per year and over 70% pro bono participation.

SCORE 8.827

2022 Ranking

#25

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
#39

Ropes & Gray

A V20 law firm, Ropes & Gray has a seat at the table of the most elite law firms. The firm is known for its private equity chops, as well as its overall strength across legal practice areas. Training and mentoring are key to the firm’s collaborative culture, which has no room for egos. Ropes & Gray is committed to honoring its reputation as a firm that promotes friendship and camaraderie amongst all employees.

SCORE 8.796

2022 Ranking

#20

Ropes & Gray
#40

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

One of the oldest New York-based firms, boasting premier offices in Paris, London, Madrid, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, and São Paulo, Davis Polk is renowned for its Securities/Capital Markets, Banking & Financial Services, and Securities and IP litigation practices. The firm prides itself on a collegial environment where associates are given the resources and support to learn and excel. Central staffing and lockstep compensation encourage associates to focus on client service and career development above numerical targets.

SCORE 8.793

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
#41

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP

With around 250 lawyers operating out of 10 offices across the U.S., Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP is a litigation powerhouse. The firm handles virtually every kind of litigation and represents clients across myriad industries, including financial services, manufacturing, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, real estate and hospitality, technology, and transportation.

SCORE 8.786

2022 Ranking

#30

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
#42

Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland is a legal behemoth, with thousands of lawyers practicing across such areas as corporate, energy, financial services, IP, litigation, real estate, and tax. Among its top practice areas includes tax, where the firm active in every area from planning the most complex corporate tax transactions to representing taxpayers in administrative and judicial tax controversies The firm also ranks high for associate quality of life, with particular recognition for its training and mentorship.

SCORE 8.783

2022 Ranking

#4

Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
#43

Quarles & Brady LLP

Born of a Badger State merger, Quarles and Brady has grown from its Midwest roots to ten offices nationwide. Among the firm’s strengths include corporate matters, intellectual property, health care, labor and employment, and real estate, and the firm navigates legal issues on behalf of Midwest heavyweights such as Molson Coors and Harley Davidson. The firm has also been widely recognized for its efforts to support women in the legal industry.

SCORE 8.750

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Quarles & Brady LLP
#44

Boies Schiller Flexner LLP

Boies Schiller Flexner is the type of firm where associates toss aside the life vest and dive right in—and lawyers at this litigation powerhouse wouldn’t have it any other way. Litigators looking to roll up their sleeves and learn on the job will feel right at home here.

SCORE 8.733

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
#45

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

New York-based Stroock has four offices strategically located across the country to serve its clients on a full range of legal matters. The firm is a trusted advisor to the financial services and investment communities and has a special focus in financial restructuring, real estate, corporate, private funds and asset management, and litigation/enforcement. The firm takes pride in its diversity efforts, including affinity group and mandatory implicit bias training.

SCORE 8.722

2022 Ranking

#15

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
#46

Jenner & Block

It’s no surprise that Jenner & Block has such a friendly, down-to-earth culture—the firm is known for its strong commitment to pro bono and public service. Top-notch attorneys come here not just because they want to do good work—they want to do good. Associate development is a priority at the firm with mentorship opportunities abound. Boasting a strong appellate practice, Jenner & Block is a place for driven attorneys to tackle complex legal work.

SCORE 8.720

2022 Ranking

#46

Jenner & Block
#47

Polsinelli PC

As a rare law firm not founded or based in one of the nation’s largest cities and without any international offices, Polsinelli still has risen to an impressive level with 21 offices and more than 900 attorneys. Calling Kansas City home, the firm has embraced its Midwestern roots by excelling in both client service and client relationships. Associates, too, appreciate the firm’s laidback culture and their relationships with partners.

SCORE 8.704

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Polsinelli PC
#48

Vinson & Elkins

V&E’s lean-team model means great training for associates, with hands-on experience, strong partner mentorship, and opportunities to tackle new challenges. Overall, associates agree that V&E offers a great culture, great compensation, and great work. With its largest office in Texas, V&E’s southern hospitality shines through at the firm and associates don’t shy away from an opportunity to socialize, both inside and outside the office. Through its market-leading approach, V&E has been tackling some of the most complex legal disputes for over 100 years.

SCORE 8.701

2022 Ranking

#44

Vinson & Elkins
#49

Ballard Spahr

With deep roots in Philly, Ballard Spahr has made its mark across the U.S. with 15 offices. The firm has a particularly robust litigation practice and has been lauded for its focus on innovation. The firm attracts friendly, outgoing types who are supportive of their colleagues and enjoy socializing.

SCORE 8.700

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Ballard Spahr
#50

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

Based in the Big Apple, Kelley Drye & Warren has over 180 years of legal experience. With expertise in over 30 practice areas, the firm has compiled an impressive client roster including Arcelor Mittal USA, Bacardi, JPMorgan, LabCorp, Mylan, Nestle, and Take-Two Interactive Software. New York is Kelley Drye's birthplace and headquarters, but the firm's national footprint includes offices in other key markets, with its second-largest office located in Washington, DC.

SCORE 8.690

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP