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Summer Associates Way More Worried About Losing Their Jobs Than They Should Be – Above the Law



Summer season is upon us, meaning scores of law students have departed the hallowed halls of academia to roll up to the doors of the biggest law firms in the world. Perhaps by horse and carriage.

While Above the Law chronicles the annual parade of summer associate foibles from jumping in the river to slapping associates, we also strive to keep an eye on both the business and the culture of Biglaw firms throughout the year. And, it turns out, you all recognize that work.

The 2024 Summer Associates Survey, conducted by Law360 Pulse includes a number of insights into the summer associate world, including where you all go for your research:

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Thanks everyone! Remember, we can’t do it without you so text us (646-820-8477) or email us at when you have news. Don’t trust that we’ve already heard your news… we’d rather get 20 tips about the same story than miss it because everyone thinks we must already know.

Anyway, what else is in this Law360 Report.

The average summer associate applied to 14 firms, which is down 4 from last year’s survey. Kirkland & Ellis remains the top firm on summer wishlists with Latham & Watkins in second — the third year in a row that they’ve held those spots.

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Summers are way more concerned about getting a job offer than one would suspect. Unless this is a totally gonzo class of wild party kids that will spend the summer flashing co-workers at a partner dinner — and they’re not — they should be less worried about getting a job offer. When the most egregious summer faux pas in recent years involves foolishly asking for the breakfast meeting off so it doesn’t interfere with gym time, you know we’ve entered an era of straight-laced go-getters. Concentrate on being remotely charming while gnawing on your 3-hour, 5-star lunch and you’ll be fine.

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There was a dream that was remote work. It’s pretty much gone.

The pandemic proved that seasoned attorneys — even those with just a year or two under their belts — could turn in wildly profitable results working entirely from home. But until virtual technology can figure out how to provide all the informal, practical lessons that law school does not, everyone is going to have to head back to the office from time to time to teach the new recruits the ropes. In 5 years, all of these summers who think virtual work is “unimportant” will bitterly complain that there’s no reason to commute into the office and correctly point out that they’re much more efficient from home. And when that happens another half of the incoming attorneys will pine for an in-person learning environment. Sunrise, sunset, and all that rot.

In any event, check out the full report over at Law360 Pulse.

HeadshotJoe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.

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