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Honoring the Tradition of Training: Ten Tips for Running a Summer Program

Denise Howell’s recent post mentioning summer programs in law firms made me think back to the first article I ever wrote for publication, just over ten years ago. The article was called “Honoring the Tradition of Training: Ten Tips for Running a Summer Program.” It was published in the ABA’s Law Practice Management Magazine and I’ll always be grateful to John Tredennick for deciding to publish the article.
I scoured my hard drive and found a copy of the article, which might be the original draft. I decided to republish it on my blog without making any changes to it.
This is the time of year that law students start summer jobs and law firms try to find ways to give law students a good summer associate experience. I know that there is still not a lot of material to help lawyers who run summer programs, so I hope that making this article available online will help some people.
I didn’t re-read the whole article today. I did notice that it had some of the characteristics of what has become my writing “style” and I noticed that the paragraphs are so lo-o-o-ong, reminding me how writing styles have changed during the Internet era to reflect the way readers prefer to scan shorter paragraphs.
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Honoring the Tradition of Training: Ten Tips for Running a Summer Program
“How would you like to be in charge of our summer program?” So begins one of the most rewarding roles a younger attorney can have in the administration of a law firm.
You should take a momentary pleasure in the vote of confidence being so selected represents. The increased workload and time commitment, however, may seem a bit daunting. You probably know what you liked, and what you didn’t like, about your own summer experiences. You have undoubtedly had some involvement with your firm’s summer program and may even be a graduate of your firm’s summer program. And you probably had at least an inkling that you would be asked to take on the leadership of the summer program. Where do you find help? What are the best sources?
I’ve just finished a four-year tour of duty in charge of the summer program at my firm. I was somewhat surprised to find that there are few articles and other materials available to help design and administer summer programs. Some of the more useful articles and sources may be found in the bibliography at the end of this article. Even better is to take over a well-designed program with a predecessor who will serve as an ongoing source of wise counsel and sage advice. That, however, may not always be the case.
This article lists my ten best tips for running a summer program. My firm has a relatively small summer program, but I have chosen the tips which have the most universal relevance. I have tried to combine both the practical and the philosophical and to place the role of running a summer program squarely within the tradition of training that is an integral part of the profession.
1. Involve Yourself in the Hiring Process. You have probably been interviewing law students for a number of years. Being part of the interview process allows you to develop relationships with summer associates early in the process and gives you an opportunity to evaluate potential recruits. When you are put in charge of summer program, you should become more than a mere participant in interviewing and hiring process. Becoming a member of the hiring committee or at least having significant involvement and input in the decision-making process is vital to the success of your summer program.
I tried to interview every candidate that we brought back to the office for a second interview and did a number of our on-campus interviews as well. This approach requires a significant time commitment and may not be practical in your situation. By interviewing each candidate, I could provide consistent answers to questions about our summer program and use my enthusiasm about the program to help sell the firm and the summer program. As time went on, I found that my experiences with summer program helped me identify potential candidates more easily and see potential problem areas with various candidates. I also found the interview process very helpful for getting feedback from students about what aspects of our summer program appealed to them and for getting responses to new ideas that I was considering for the next summer.
Because I saw a large part of my role as an interviewer to be providing information about the summer program, my interview techniques became friendlier and less-threatening. This approach pays dividends in helping you build an early relationship with offerees and allows you to be more active in actual recruiting of individuals. This early relationship also makes early and consistent contacts after a person accepts an offer a more natural process.
Being involved with your firm’s hiring committee is useful for at least two other reasons. First, you will learn why offer decisions are made and what factors the other members of the hiring committee feel are important. This learning process will teach you many things about your firm, its culture and its mission. Second, after a couple of summers, you will have had the opportunity to field-test the results of those decisions and the assumptions on which they are based. Your observations become very important feedback to the hiring committee and should help to improve the hiring process.
2. Early Preparation Pays Off. It is difficult to exaggerate the time and energy commitment which is required to run a summer program. When the interviewing component of the job is included, running a summer program requires a significant amount of attention on a year-round basis. After the summer associates leave in August, you will find yourself writing memos to Managing Partners about the summer program, making your own notes about what worked and didn’t work and deciding what might be new ideas to try the next summer.
It hardly seems that the summer associates have left (and sometimes they haven’t) when you start interviewing law students for the next summer. You will be helping recruit your former associates who received offers and giving references for others. There might be 1-L interviews in December and January. In St. Louis, there is a Minority Clerkship Program which involves additional preparation and interviewing in the spring. By April I felt that I had to focus on the summer program and get set up for the arrival of new summer associates in May.
I also liked to incorporate new ideas in the summer program each year. I spent time looking for new articles and talking to others with the same job in other firms in the “off-season.” I also talked to a number of people in the firm after the summer was over to help decide what went right and what went wrong. Also, there were always a number of people in the firm who sought me out to tell me what went right and what went wrong. I am afraid to add up all the hours that I spent in conversations with people about the summer program. As I suggested earlier, you learn many things about the culture, philosophy and mission of your firm by running its summer program.
You must have early and continuing contact with each person who accepts an offer with your firm. It can be as simple as a congratulatory note upon acceptance of the offer, a note to say good luck with finals at the beginning of December, a note to touch base with some information about the program in February and then a note every few weeks from April to the starting date. The worst mistake you can make is to have one of your summer associates call you up to confirm that he or she does, in fact, still have a job with you for the summer.
I also highly recommend some form of written manual and taking the time to do a comprehensive orientation on the first day a summer associate arrives. A manual can take many forms. I simply adapted our firm’s staff manual into what I called a “guidebook” to help avoid any potential “official employee manual” employment issues. The guidebook contained a description of firm policies, phone numbers, computer, mail, copier and fax information, maps and biographies and secretarial arrangements. While I touched on much of the information covered in the guidebook during the orientation, the guidebook contained the type of material that will not be remembered after one listening. Our summer associates found it useful to have a written source to turn to for answers to basics questions. Never underestimate the importance of accurate office maps to your summer associates. In addition to the manual, I gave each summer associate and information packet with samples of written work and time sheets, an updated firm resume and telephone list, and articles useful to someone starting his or her legal career.
I have never liked to put someone right to work on his or her first morning on the job, but most summer associates arrive ready and raring to go. My compromise was to spend a few hours in the morning doing an orientation, touring the offices and introducing the summer associates to attorneys, taking them and their “buddies” to lunch, and then letting them get started on a project or two in the afternoon. It is unrealistic to expect that summer associates will hear and digest everything that you tell them in an orientation, but there are a number of items that they need to hear on a number of occasions and it is good to start immediately. I generally began with an introduction to the firm and its history, clients and structure. I proceeded to talk about matters specific to the summer program and then covered a broad range of practical details. I always took the approach that summer associates had not worked in a law firm before and stressed the practical while incorporating a few of my philosophical points about the program. I gave people practical tips about handling their first assignments and soliciting feedback, but I did not feel that walking through a sample assignment was useful. I also experiment with involving other people – managing partner, hiring partner, office manager, librarian – in the orientation itself. Involving others may make sense in your situation and it may even be part of your firm’s culture, but I decided that it was best to keep the orientation focused and personal and, except for library tours, everything was covered by me.
The importance of early preparation for administrative matters – offices, secretarial arrangements, network setup, phone numbers, parking – goes without saying. It is good to get on top of this by April so that everyone is thinking along the same lines. If there is a problem with office space or number of secretaries, you can get it worked out much more easily over a six-week period than you can, say, over a six-day period.
Confidentiality and ethics issues involving summer associates have become far more significant in the last few years. There has been a growing awareness of potential conflicts of interest involving a summer associate who may have worked on the other side of a case at another firm the previous summer. Because summer associates are given small parts of cases, a summer associate may have worked on a case at another firm during the previous summer and have no idea of potential conflicts. A summer associate can get caught in the middle of these types of conflicts checks. The better approach seems to be to initiate contact, probably at an appropriate higher level, between your firm and the prior employer to work out the conflicts check issues and keep the summer associate out of the loop.
A large part of my early preparation went toward promoting interest in the summer program and increase participation by members of the firm. Make sure that people who will be participating in the program as “buddies,” speakers, hosts of social events or in other capacities are contacted well in advance of the summer. I sent a memo to all attorneys and staff several weeks before the summer associates arrived describing the summer program, giving starting dates and providing brief biographies of summer associates. The day before a summer associate started an item containing a more detailed biography ran in our daily bulletin. Another item was placed in the daily bulletin on the actual start date and informed the receptionists when summer associates arrived so that they would be expected and warmly greeted. The little details really do matter. I also spoke about the summer program at the firm meeting in the spring. Participation by everyone at the firm is a large component of any successful summer program. Getting the summer program on peoples’ minds is a first step toward getting that participation.
3. Make Use of Mentors. The summer program is probably not a place where you want to tough it out and go it alone. Although you are likely to run into a few things that no one else has ever experienced, many of the situations that arise during a summer are ones that arise fairly commonly. You will not have all the answers.
Your predecessors will most likely be tremendous sources of assistance to you. I talked to my predecessor on a regular basis and he was an enormous help to me. This type of regular consultation is a way to check your new ideas. Perhaps your ideas were considered or tried earlier. You should definitely learn where the potential pitfalls are as well as get a good sense of what has worked well before.
I also found the members of the hiring committee and the hiring partner to be good sources. It is good to remind them that the decisions they make have real consequences. People on the hiring committee are very interested in the training of younger attorneys and are often very willing to help you.
Your own mentor in the firm, even though he or she has little or no connection with the summer program, is often the best person to help you with some of the thornier issues or to give you important insights. In fact, tip #8 is a near quote from a comment made to me by my mentor as I lamented last summer that I felt I had the system really worked out, but that I was spending more time on the summer program than I ever had previously.
4. Consider Using a Buddy System. I am a big advocate of using a “buddy” system for your summer program. A “buddy” is a young associate who is paired up with a summer associate for the summer. I thought of them as “designated friends”; the buddies would have preferred the title of “associate advisor.” A buddy’s role, as with many things, lies somewhere in between. Each summer associate was paired with an associate in the firm with whom I thought he or she would be most compatible. The buddy helped the summer associate learn the culture of the firm and the many subtleties that are difficult to pick up in a short period of time – appropriate dress for casual day, forms to use, where to eat lunch and general information about working with individual attorneys. My notion was to try to have the assignment of a buddy act be a catalyst to a friendship that would be likely to develop over the summer in any event. I was not always successful at that, but I didn’t expect to be.
The buddies also helped me by being my “eyes and ears” for potential problems and addressing other concerns before they became problems. For example, many summer associates will say that they can take on work even though they are swamped. A buddy could give me a more accurate assessment of the summer associate’s workload and I could make the appropriate adjustment. On a lighter note, another example is the issue of what to wear to the firm picnic. I also found it infinitely preferable to pass off the issue to an appropriately-gendered buddy than try to answer questions about whether what type of swimsuit to wear to a pool party or float trip.
Although the use of buddies can take a good deal of the day-to-day load of running the summer program off of you, use of a buddy program does involve additional time to select buddies, keep them informed about what you want and to listen to their comments on summer associates. There are also tricky issues of confidentiality and objectivity. In my view, a buddy’s job is to help the summer associate get an offer to return to the firm. As a general principle, a buddy could not give his or her summer associate a project. A buddy was not asked to give me a yes-no recommendation on the summer associate, although I would ask them for a more general assessment on the issue of “fit” and their opinions on whether a summer associate had a good experience and was likely to accept an offer.
For a buddy system to work well, a summer associate has to be able to feel that he or she can confide in a buddy. I chose to emphasize that aspect of the buddy relationship and respect the confidentiality of the relationship. There are obvious pluses and minuses of this approach and you might decide to take another approach. Disclosure of whatever the buddy’s role is in the evaluation and information-gathering process, however, is essential.
Finally, a buddy system can help you handle the friend/evaluator dynamic that is an integral part of running a summer program. On the one hand, you want to have enough distance and objectivity to be an effective evaluator. On the other hand, it is unrealistic to expect that you won’t end up liking everyone and rooting for them to get an offer. The buddy system allows you to be a bit stronger in the evaluator role. Because buddies are much nearer in age to the summer associates, a buddy system also helps you avoid looking foolish by trying to act like you are younger and hipper than you are.
5. Involve Attorneys on a Regular, Structured Basis Other Than Simply Giving Assignments. I met with all the summer associates on a regular, weekly basis. We would meet each Friday morning in the same conference room. The meetings had two purposes. First was the business side of the meeting. This part of the meeting lasted above five minutes and allowed me to discuss upcoming events, any problems that had arisen, workload issues and the like. The summer associates then had an opportunity to raise any issues that applied to the group at large (individual matters had to be discussed with me individually). The second purpose of the meeting was to have one of the partners in the firm give a talk to the summer associates. Partners could talk on any subject related to their specialty with only the instruction to make their talks personal rather than institutional. Partners were to talk about how they chose their specialty, what they liked most about their work and what they actually did on a daily basis. Invariably, this approach resulted in a discussion of advice that the attorney would give to a young law student. I followed the talk with a short homily emphasizing a point or two that the speaker made. Parents with children who watch Barney will recognize this approach.
This approach built on some of the things which were already being done in the program and reflected part of my answer to my consistent question: “What would I have liked to see when I worked during the summer?” Although this type of program results in a larger expenditure of time, it is very worthwhile. First, it is a non-threatening way to introduce attorneys to the summer associates and to help break down perceived barriers for the summer associates. After speaking to the group, a partner would be more inclined to take summer associates to lunch, to have them accompany him or her to a deposition or closing or to give out more projects. Summer associates were also more likely to seek the partner out either for projects or to discuss some of the points raised in the talk.
Second, it helps law students learn what lawyers actually do. Many law students simply do not know what an average lawyer does let alone what lawyers do in some of the more esoteric areas. Third, because I usually had eight to ten speakers in the course of a summer, I was able to promote participation from attorneys in various departments. Fourth, I could tailor speakers and, in a few cases, topics, to the particular group that I had for the summer. Some attorneys who I wanted the summer associates to meet might not be able to give projects, but were able to speak to them. I also let the summer associates pick one speaker at the end of each summer, which proved to be a very popular and successful experiment. It is a powerful motivator to tell an attorney that the summer associates have picked him or her as the one person they would most like to hear.
You can also benefit immensely from learning about the firm and its history and culture and, more importantly, about your partners and their history, work and interests. You will certainly benefit from being able to refer potential clients to others in your firm and to cross-sell existing clients as a result of the knowledge you gain about your partners that you might not have otherwise known.
6. Adopt a Structured Approach to Feedback and Evaluations. The two dragons of the summer program are feedback and evaluations. These two areas are largely a function of firm culture and you may be able to do little to change existing practices. To paint a fair picture of life at your firm, you will want to develop a feedback and evaluation system that is not too different from the one that is being used for young associates. I focused on eliminating barriers to feedback and evaluation and tried to minimize the amount of paperwork involved. I developed an explicitly two-tiered approach to feedback.
For feedback on the specifics of a given project, I simply relied on the one-on-one relationship between the assigning attorney and the summer associate. I told the summer associate that I would get involved in project feedback only if asked. Part of what I wanted to do was to push summer associates to seek feedback and to help them recognize feedback when they got it. Learning to get and interpret feedback is an essential skill that must be learned and practiced by young attorneys.
My focus was on the general evaluations rather than on specific project feedback. I gave two evaluations during each summer, one in the middle of the summer and one at the end of the summer. Each attorney with whom a summer associate had worked received an evaluation form and I concentrated on ways to get the highest level of responses. I experimented with different evaluation forms and finally decided to use a simplified form with 4 or 5 rating areas that forced a general conclusion. Attorneys seemed to write more comments when I left little space for comments than when I left large white spaces for comments. I used these evaluation forms as the basis for my own comments to the summer associates and filtered the responses back to the summer associates. This approach was preferable to showing summer associates the individual evaluation forms. Personally soliciting oral evaluations from attorneys may sometimes result in more in-depth evaluations, but the enormous amount of time that can be involved probably does not make this method practical in most firms.
Students generally will tell you that they are most interested in getting a thorough and honest evaluation at the middle of the summer. I put a lot of effort into the mid-summer evaluation. A mid-summer evaluation can be very inaccurate since it tends to highlight the comments on the first few projects done by the summer associate. Nonetheless, it is vital to get summer associates as information as possible by mid-summer.
I preferred a structured format for evaluations. I used the same format for each summer associate. Each summer associate review lasted at least 20 – 30 minutes. I began by explaining how the information was gathered and the potential inaccuracies that might arise during the evaluation process, especially at mid-summer. I then discussed with as many specifics as possible the positive aspects of the evaluations. I then mentioned at least three areas for improvement, again using as many specifics as I could. It is one thing to say that someone is “careless”; it is far better to say that the person needs to pay attention to detail and point to a specific oversight, like leaving out a page of a copy of a memo that was turned in to the assigning attorney. An evaluation of the summer associate’s written work was next on my agenda. I tried to read some examples of each summer associate’s writing, but I focused on a general set of points I wanted to emphasize during the summer – attention to detail, use of citation, drawing conclusions, considering the audience – and then made a few specific comments on the written work. Finally, I asked the summer associate for a self-assessment and his or her view on how things were going. The summer associate and I then tried to develop a plan for the rest of the summer to address the improvement areas or any other problems and to try to get specific types of work in which the summer associate was interested. The final evaluation followed the same format except that I asked for the self-assessment at the beginning of the meeting before giving my comments and I solicited feedback on the summer program and talked specifically about the summer associate’s desire to return to the firm.
I liked this highly structured approach because it allowed for criticisms to be made in a positive framework, it ensured that each evaluation was similar, it made it easy for me to keep notes of each evaluation and to eliminate the complaint that “you never told me there were things I had to improve,” and it promoted a two-way flow to the evaluation. It is important to seek information as well as impart it. My approach takes a good deal of time and effort, but it provides good information to the summer associates and it helps eliminate misunderstandings from evaluations which can take endless amounts of time to sort out.
7. Handling Social Events. My least favorite part of running our summer program was organizing and promoting social events. The social events were great, but working around schedule problems, work emergencies and other distractions was extremely difficult. And that was just getting the summer associates together.
My conclusion is that no matter how great a social event may be you are always better off getting summer associates out of the office, and out of the library, to attend trials, depositions, closings or any other work that shows what an attorney actually does. The time spent riding and talking with an attorney in a car to and from a deposition will likely turn out to be a more pivotal experience for the summer than will a night at the opera. Similarly, lunches and small group activities are also preferred by most summer associates.
The key, however, is to be who you are. Social events which fit within the firm culture and which are in line with your own personality as well turn out better than a great new idea that you may have. What you want to achieve is a setting where both attorneys and summer associates are relatively relaxed and comfortable (even though most law schools seem to counsel students never to let down their guard at any time) and the summer associates can get a better sense of what the attorneys in your firm are like outside a work setting.
I did not like to schedule many social events in the first few weeks of the summer. You will want to get a reading of what your summer associates’ interests are first. Last year’s most successful activity might be a disaster with this year’s group. Remember also that a summer associate can get overbooked for the summer. Be sure that you do not plan so many activities that summer associates have little free time on the weekends or begin to see the events as a burden.
I always preferred a realistic approach. If there are twice as many social events in the summer as there are in the rest of year, you probably need to rethink your approach.
Remember that you do not have to do everything with respect to the summer program. Delegation is key. Getting several people, especially the buddies, to take over the planning of social events can be a big help. Another good idea is not to attend every event. Your presence can inhibit summer associates and, if you are not there, they can feel that they are not necessarily being told the party line.
8. It’s a People Job, Not a Systems Job. Last summer was my fourth summer of running our summer program. I had all of my systems worked out and running smoothly. But I found that I was spending even more time on the summer program than I ever had before. It was frustrating me until I heard the words: “Well, it’s a people job, not a systems job.”
The systems that you design can make things flow more easily and smoothly, but running a summer program is a very high-maintenance operation. Many people are involved who need to be given attention on a regular basis. Do you really want to go for a week or more without chatting with each summer associate? Do you want to have regular meetings with buddies? Friday morning meetings may take up another hour or two. Managing workload can take up a good deal of time. Gathering evaluations from attorneys who do not turn in their forms can take a great deal of time. Evaluations take time. During the last few weeks of the summer, people who rarely, if ever, speak to you, will spend a great deal of time asking how summer associates are doing and speculating on offers. It is not uncommon to have at least one day during the summer where you find that it is time to go home and you know that all you have done is deal with summer program issues and you have no idea what they all were.
Because it is a people job, the best skills that you can have are flexibility and adaptability. Part of my enjoyment in running our program was making successful modifications in the way I did things during the course of the summer in reaction to the different people and situations we had. I tried to give the summer associates a high level of input into the way the summer program ran. There was also at least one issue which arose every summer for which I was completely unprepared and which I could not have predicted.
By all means, work on setting up a good system. But remember that any system you design will have to be modified over the course of a summer.
9. Practice Patience. My philosophy was to create an atmosphere where summer associates had a chance to show what they could do and then to let them do it. It is better to let a summer associate adopt the approach that he or she believes best than it is to force them into a mold that you think might be best. I did, however, try to do some steering if it seemed appropriate or necessary.
There are a tremendous number of practical skills that a summer associate has to learn over the course of a summer. Part of the summer experience is learning how to deal with these practical issues: How do I get my work done when my secretary is sick? Or, by “memo”, did the assigning attorney mean a two-page action memo like my last assignment or twenty-page “law review” memo like the one before that? Or, how can people say that because the assigning attorney rewrote every sentence of my memo and kept rubbing her temples while talking me I should get the message that I had done a good job?
Most of these lessons should be learned by the summer associate himself or herself. Unless the summer associate is really floundering, it is probably best to resist the urge to jump right in and bail him or her out at the first hint of a problem. The vast majority of problems work themselves out in a fairly short period of time. This is especially true of the problems you hear second-hand. When a summer associate comes to you directly, though, you have to deal with the issue directly.
Some issues that arise during the summer should be delegated appropriately. I did everything possible to stay out of issues involving office furniture, for example. Secretarial and administrative issues should be handled by the summer associate with the office manager. Running the summer program gains you precious little weight at the firm – you do not want to be reminded too often how little – and you will want to choose your battles carefully.
Using a buddy system also gives the summer associate an initial friendly first step for advice on handling some issues. Generally, a summer associate is disinclined to bring every little issue to you. You want to be sure that they understand that you are always available when needed, but that there are often other avenues to try.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Stamp Your Imprint. Everyone runs a summer program in response to his or her own summer experience _ keeping the parts you liked, downplaying or eliminating what you didn’t like and adding some of the things that you wished would have been part of your own experience. No matter how structured your summer program is, there will be some opportunities to have the program reflect your personality and your insights. It is wrong to simply be a care-taker of your firm’s existing program. Every program can be improved.
I tried something new every year. My particular interest was in using the summer program to provide educational opportunities during the summer. For example, I talked one of my partners into being a writing advisor for summer associates. Once I was comfortable with the general structure of the program (and I inherited a good one), I enjoyed trying new things during the summer. As a result, our summer program had a spontaneous feel that reflected my personality.
What I learned at the end of my fourth year was that the person who runs a summer program, in many ways, the first mentor law students will have. Your philosophy about the profession, your enthusiasm about the practice and your firm, and your approach to the training of young lawyers will probably be passed on to your summer associates. That is at the same time both a sobering and exciting realization. George Leonard, in his book, Mastery, says that in choosing a teacher it is good to know who that teacher’s teachers were. As I thought about this statement, I decided to make my last talk to summer associates about my own mentors and teachers. It is fascinating to see your own training as part of a historical tradition of teaching and to realize, as I did, how greatly you have benefited from the instruction you received early in your career. You honor your teachers by continuing their tradition of training.
Conclusion
I don’t know whether I decided to stop running our summer program because the summer associates kept calling me “Dad” or because I heard myself saying “what a great group of kids.” Running a summer program is and should be a young person’s game, for many reasons. But I had a four great years.
The great enjoyment and reward of running a summer program comes largely from the opportunity to know, teach and assist the extremely bright, motivated and interesting law students who will end up working at your firm for a summer or, you hope, much longer. I had four “great groups of kids” who impressed me greatly and from whom I learned many things. I am richer for knowing all of them and hope that I have contributed in some small way to helping them become the excellent lawyers, and people, that they are capable of becoming.
I interviewed a law student this fall who told me a story of working with an older sole practitioner for period of time while she was deciding whether or not to go to law school. He gave her a lot of work, but also took a lot of time to talk to her about law school and the profession. When she told him that she had decided to go to law school, he told her that he had spent all the time with her because when he was young an older attorney had done the same thing for him. And, he told her, if she became a lawyer, she would have the same obligation to another young person in a similar situation. This is part of the tradition of the profession.
Often today you see and hear of an obsession with the “career path” and staying on it and fearing that you might fall even one step behind, that time spent working with young law students is time that might be better spent working on your own specialty, and that no one has any time for anyone other than himself or herself. I strongly believe that there is plenty of time and, if running a summer program is a detour off the fast track, it is a detour well worth making, a detour that has long been part of the tradition of the profession.
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Bibliographic Note: In many ways, the best general reference is Arnold B. Kantner’s chapter on summer programs in The Lawyer Hiring Handbook (NALP). A good general article is Daniel F. Hinkel’s “Success With Summer Associates” in the April, 1987 ABA Journal at pages 66 -70. An excellent practical article which focuses on orientation is Michele Mainaro’s “How to Start Off a Summer Program” in the May 20, 1991 issue of The National Law Journal. You may also have access to seminar materials. The National Association for Law Placement is another source of information. Tapes of sessions relating to summer programs from the NALP annual convention are readily available and can be helpful as would attendance at the seminars.
Written in December, 1995/January, 1996
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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