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Ranked first nationwide and in New York in The American Lawyer’s 2015 Summer Associate satisfaction surveyAt Kaye Scholer, we understand that many law students are still learning about which practice areas interest them most. To help Summer Associates discover and achieve their individual goals, our Program is designed to provide each Summer Associate with a customized experience. Rather than a “rotation” system, participants in the Summer Program are encouraged to take on assignments from any of our diverse practice groups, offering Summers a chance to experience our multi-disciplinary practices focused on the Life Sciences and Financial Services industries, among other sectors.

To broaden Summer Associates’ experiences and knowledge, we believe it is important that each Summer Associate take part in as many real-life legal situations as possible. Summer Associates are given front-line responsibilities on a variety of projects that are equal in responsibility to the work assigned to first- and second-year Associates, including legal research and drafting of memoranda, motions, briefs and transaction documents. We also assign each of our Summers a topic on which to co-author with a seasoned lawyer an article about issues, trends and developments in the market. Some of these are later published by top-tier legal media outlets, such as Law360(See Hot Topics, our compilation of articles by some our 2015 summer associates.)

To manage the assigning process, two Partners have the joint responsibility of assigning Summer Associates work from all departments and ensuring that those assignments meet each Summer Associate’s practice area preferences. On a weekly basis, Summer Associates meet with the assigning Partners as a group to discuss current assignments and future interests. As preferences change over the course of the summer, the assigning Partners adjust the mix of work assigned to each Summer Associate.

In addition, the assigning Partners ensure that Summer Associates have assignments which vary in scope. This includes short term, long term, research, drafting, and “action assignments.” Action assignments provide Summer Associates a chance to attend and observe legal proceedings including negotiations, closings, client conferences and court proceedings.