Best Summer Associate Programs

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2022 Best Summer Associate Programs
#1

McDermott Will & Emery

You can expect more from our Summer Program: Expect real-world guidance. Expect growth and development opportunities at the Firm and in the legal profession. Expect mentors giving you exposure to actual clients and meaningful work in Chambers-ranked practices. Year after year, our summer associates tell us that the work they are assigned is at a higher level than that given to their peers at other firms.

SCORE 9.857

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

McDermott Will & Emery
#2

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 9.852

2021 Ranking

#1

O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#3

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 9.774

2021 Ranking

#2

Clifford Chance US LLP
#4

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 9.693

2021 Ranking

#26

Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
#5

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 9.646

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Williams & Connolly LLP
#6

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 9.621

2021 Ranking

#3

Orrick
#7

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 9.584

2021 Ranking

#15

Proskauer Rose LLP
#8

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 9.561

2021 Ranking

#5

BakerHostetler
#9

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 9.550

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
#10

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 9.481

2021 Ranking

#34

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#11

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 9.461

2021 Ranking

#16

Paul Hastings LLP
#12

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 9.432

2021 Ranking

#8

Dechert
#13

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 9.407

2021 Ranking

#6

White & Case
#14

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

One of the most elite corporate law firms, Simpson Thacher is a dream firm for anyone pursuing a career in transactional law. The firm boasts a supportive environment that highly values training—including through its robust training program STB Ready—and mentoring, which is fostered from those at the top.

SCORE 9.366

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
#15

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 9.359

2021 Ranking

#9

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
#16

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 9.357

2021 Ranking

#25

Cooley
#17

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 9.356

2021 Ranking

#13

Foley Hoag LLP
#18

Goulston & Storrs PC

Goulston & Storrs is an AmLaw 200 firm with services across four main departments—corporate, litigation, private clients, and real estate—though it is most renowned for its real estate work. The firm emphasizes work-life balance, and while COVID has somewhat challenged the execution of that promise, the firm’s robust wellness offerings and lack of a billable-hours requirement speak to its commitment. Sometimes the stress gets higher than attorneys would like, but all in all, associates at Goulston & Storrs are very satisfied in their careers.

SCORE 9.333

2021 Ranking

#20

Goulston & Storrs PC
#19

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 9.327

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Fish & Richardson P.C.
#20

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 9.319

2021 Ranking

#14

Ropes & Gray
#21

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 9.314

2021 Ranking

#11

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
#22

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 9.295

2021 Ranking

#18

Kramer Levin
#23

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

As the oldest law firm on Wall Street, Cadwalader has long been a place for talented associates to launch their careers. The firm offers early hands-on experience, access to elite clients, and endless career paths within and beyond the firm.

SCORE 9.253

2021 Ranking

#12

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
#24

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 9.234

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Winston & Strawn LLP
#25

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 9.224

2021 Ranking

#17

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
#26

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 9.222

2021 Ranking

#33

Shearman & Sterling LLP
#27

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 9.212

2021 Ranking

#36

WilmerHale
#28

Arnold & Porter

One of DC’s finest, and a global megafirm, Arnold & Porter is home to around 1,000 lawyers practicing across dozens of areas—with antitrust being one of the most notable. The firm focuses heavily on mentoring, with mentoring budgets, shadowing opportunities, and multiple formal mentors for junior associates. Pro bono is a big deal at Arnold & Porter, too, as the firm allows up to 200 hours to count toward the annual billable goal and has won numerous awards for its efforts.

SCORE 9.198

2021 Ranking

#29

Arnold & Porter
#29

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 9.197

2021 Ranking

#4

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
#30

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 with extensive trial experience. Kasowitz’s bread and butter is litigation, with more than 200 of the firm’s lawyers focused on the area. The firm serves myriad industries, including financial services, manufacturing, media & telecommunications, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, real estate and hospitality, and technology.

SCORE 9.194

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
#31

Baker McKenzie

As one of the world’s largest law firms, with 69 international offices and over 6,000 lawyers, Baker McKenzie is known for its cross-border work. The firm often recruits candidates with global experience—or at least a genuine interest in international matters. The firm’s social environment makes it a good fit for those who value teamwork and camaraderie.

SCORE 9.188

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Baker McKenzie
#32

Fenwick

Fenwick & West has established itself, since its inception in 1972 in Silicon Valley, as a go-to firm for technology and life sciences companies. Clients like Apple, Meta, Amazon, and eBay have called on the firm for its corporate, M&A, intellectual property, and IPO expertise. Attorneys gravitate towards Fenwick not only for its sophisticated work, but for its recognition of the importance of work-life balance. The firm offers access to vacation condos in some exotic locations.

SCORE 9.175

2021 Ranking

#31

Fenwick
#32

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 9.175

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Locke Lord LLP
#34

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 9.172

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Haynes and Boone, LLP
#35

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 9.167

2021 Ranking

#48

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
#36

Jackson Walker LLP

Jackson Walker is the largest exclusively-Texan law firm, with over 400 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 9.146

2021 Ranking

#7

Jackson Walker LLP
#37

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

SRZ attracts associates who are social and hardworking, and it is a great fit for those interested in the financial services industry. The firm has a history of taking on high-profile pro bono matters and hasn’t wavered in its pro bono commitment.

SCORE 9.127

2021 Ranking

#41

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP
#38

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 9.118

2021 Ranking

#10

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
#39

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

The opposite of a stuffy BigLaw firm, Quinn Emanuel is a unique combination of casual and ambitious. Lawyers who work at this top litigation shop are independent and motivated, with the autonomy to direct their workloads and the drive to tackle intense hours for complex matters—all while wearing jeans and flip flops (if they so choose). Quinn Emanuel attorneys are treated to a fully remote, work-from-anywhere policy, and have significant opportunities to work in any of their international offices.

SCORE 9.115

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
#40

Wiley Rein LLP

Wiley Rein may be a one-office firm, but it packs a punch. It is known for its prominent Telecom, Media & Technology group comprising more than 60 top attorneys in the field and also—not surprising for a DC firm—for its government and policy work. The firm’s other major practices include insurance, government contracts, election law, international trade, and intellectual property. The firm represents a wide range of clients—from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations to individuals—in myriad industries, including energy, manufacturing, defense, aerospace, intelligence, information technology, professional services, telecommunications, health care, A&E, and construction.

SCORE 9.103

2021 Ranking

#43

Wiley Rein LLP
#41

Baker Donelson

Baker Donelson has a strong footprint in the southeastern U.S., with 22 offices spanning 11 states and Washington, DC. Over 650 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 9.083

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Baker Donelson
#42

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

M&A giant and leader of the New York legal market, Wachtell Lipton is one of the most elite law firms in the industry. Known for its high-profile matters and above-market compensation, Wachtell Lipton is home to a passionate group of lawyers who embrace hard work and professionalism. The firm is small by elite, BigLaw standards, which fosters a collegial atmosphere, and has spurned domestic or international expansion by maintaining a sole office in NYC.

SCORE 9.068

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
#43

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 9.060

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Pillsbury
#44

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 9.027

2021 Ranking

#49

Vinson & Elkins
#45

Allen & Overy LLP

A top global firm, Allen & Overy handles significant international matters as it continues to grow in the U.S. Associates are treated to a collegial culture, and they appreciate the firm’s Compass program that allows them to receive ongoing feedback.

SCORE 9.023

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Allen & Overy 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 9.021

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Jenner & Block
#47

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

One of the most prestigious law firms, Sullivan & Cromwell subscribes to a generalist approach, allowing lawyers to work across industries and subgroups. Sullivan & Cromwell boasts an army of over 800 attorneys across eight countries. The firm prides itself on its mentoring and career advising, as well as its commitment to being a unified global practice by only staffing its offices with lawyers who have built their careers at S&C.

SCORE 9.018

2021 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
#48

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 9.008

2021 Ranking

#24

Latham & Watkins
#48

Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Lowenstein Sandler is a full-service law firm, with over 300 attorneys in nearly 50 practice areas. Founded in New Jersey, the firm now has five offices across the U.S. Associates report challenging but satisfying work, and they are overwhelmingly pleased with various aspects of working here, from the culture to the work-life balance. Of particular note is the firm’s real commitment to pro bono work, which associates report is genuine.

SCORE 9.008

2021 Ranking

#37

Lowenstein Sandler LLP
#50

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 9.002

2021 Ranking

#50

Morrison & Foerster LLP