Summer clerks typically work in our Richmond office. We have designed our program to provide our clerks with many opportunities to understand and engage in our daily practice while also becoming acquainted with our lawyers, staff, and the metropolitan Richmond area through a variety of social activities.
Integral Involvement in the Firm's Work
Our program exposes our summer clerks to our daily practice. Summer clerks can expect to undertake projects in a variety of areas and to play active and substantive roles in the work they perform. Summer clerks make valuable contributions to the work we do for our clients; we do not use summer clerks for fictional "make-work" projects. Preparing for and attending trials, depositions, arbitrations, mediations, negotiations, business transactions, real estate closings, zoning hearings, and client meetings, as well as drafting pleadings and transactional documents are actual examples of the varied activities in which summer clerks can expect to participate. We invite summer clerks to attend our periodic section meetings, at which attorneys may address that section's business or substantive topics of interest. Our Associates Committee, comprised entirely of associates, also meets periodically with the associates of the firm, and our summer clerks are invited to attend those meetings as well. Our objective is to provide as many opportunities as possible for our summer clerks to experience both our practice and our culture.
Opportunities to Meet Our Lawyers and Staff
We offer a variety of social activities throughout the summer to provide our summer clerks with different opportunities to become acquainted socially with our attorneys and staff outside the office. These gatherings range from large events involving all the lawyers in the firm or a particular section of the firm (baseball games, cooking classes, food tours, for example) to smaller events at local venues and in attorneys' homes. Many of these activities include spouses or significant others and children.
The Size of Our Summer Associates Program
Although a majority of our summer clerks work with us between their second and third years in law school, we routinely hire a smaller number of first-year law students. Because the firm makes a studied effort to assess its growth within various practice groups before the recruiting season begins, the size of our summer clerk program changes from year to year. The firm seeks to hire a number of summer clerks equal to the number of permanent associates needed the following year (the year in which second-year students graduate from law school). Our goal is to create a program in which our summer clerks will not compete against each other but, instead, will have confidence that quality performance will result in an offer of permanent employment.
We are often asked about the percentage of our summer clerks who receive offers for permanent employment. There is no simple answer to that question because the answer depends on the projected permanent hiring needs of the firm as well as the quality of each summer clerk's work. For the past several summers, we have made offers of permanent positions to the majority of the second-year students and invitations to return for the first-year students.