Best Summer Associate Programs

Shield Image
Explore Related Ranking Categories
1 - 10
11 - 20
21 - 30
2023 Best Summer Programs for Career Development
#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 9.817

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 9.621

2022 Ranking

#11

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
#3

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 9.518

2022 Ranking

#1

O'Melveny & Myers LLP
#4

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 9.326

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Shearman & Sterling 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 9.311

2022 Ranking

#6

Williams & Connolly LLP
#6

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 9.282

2022 Ranking

#13

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
#7

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 9.218

2022 Ranking

#26

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
#8

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 9.205

2022 Ranking

#1

McDermott Will & Emery
#9

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 9.200

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Boies Schiller Flexner 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 9.199

2022 Ranking

#5

Orrick
#11

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 9.144

2022 Ranking

#22

Pillsbury
#12

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 9.136

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Foley Hoag LLP
#13

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 9.100

2022 Ranking

#28

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
#14

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 9.087

2022 Ranking

#7

BakerHostetler
#15

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 9.083

2022 Ranking

#24

Fish & Richardson P.C.
#16

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 9.071

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Linklaters
#16

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 9.071

2022 Ranking

#8

Proskauer Rose LLP
#18

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 9.056

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Jackson Walker
#19

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 9.048

2022 Ranking

#21

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
#20

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 9.041

2022 Ranking

#17

White & Case
#21

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. 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 9.000

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
#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 8.989

2022 Ranking

#9

Paul Hastings LLP
#23

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 8.956

2022 Ranking

#23

Cooley
#24

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 8.953

2022 Ranking

#30

WilmerHale
#25

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 8.889

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Locke Lord LLP
#26

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 8.835

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Goodwin
#27

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 8.834

2022 Ranking

#Not Ranked

Latham & Watkins
#28

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 8.833

2022 Ranking

#29

Kramer Levin
#29

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 8.800

2022 Ranking

#19

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
#30

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 8.772

2022 Ranking

#15

Dechert