Parker Poe has a vibrant Summer Associate Program designed to expose law students to life as a practicing attorney. Summer associates work on a variety of challenging projects comparable to those assigned to first and second-year associates. In some cases, they present directly to clients.
“I didn’t expect to be able to speak to an actual client, and to do that was great,” says a summer associate who traveled to Atlanta as part of a client presentation.
“I think what was the most impactful about it was the fact that we actually got to see how our work product played out,” adds another summer associate who went on the trip. “Not only did we get to give the client the research they needed, but they actually took the time to explain to us how it fit into the bigger picture.”
Summer associates get the opportunity to explore a variety of practice areas, which helps them decide what they want to focus on as they chart their legal paths. They work with different attorneys throughout the firm and are supported by one in their office who helps manage their workload and provides guidance. They receive informal evaluations throughout the summer, as well as more formal midterm and final progress reports.
Each summer associate is also assigned a mentor group, which is comprised of an associate, a partner, a recruiting committee member, and a secretarial assistant, who help coordinate work, social activities and administrative matters and who are available to answer all types of questions.
Parker Poe keeps its Summer Associate Program intentionally small – the majority of entry-level associates are hired through it. Attorneys and staff want to get to know summer associates on a personal level and introduce them to their city. There are a variety of social activities to cultivate a sense of community, including an annual event for all summer associates to meet with diverse attorneys and firm leadership.
In summary, the firm provides summer associates with real-world, practical experience as they begin their legal careers, as well as an introduction to the Parker Poe family.