At Perkins Coie, summer associates work closely with partners and associates on real legal work for our clients.

Summer associate programs vary by office. Click on the location below to learn about office-specific program details.

Austin

Our Austin office is part our strategy to become the leading technology and privacy firm in Texas. Together with our Dallas office, the Austin office is positioned to serve innovative companies across the Lone Star State, including startups, medium-size companies, and global leaders in the retail, transportation, and pharmaceutical industries, among others, as they increasingly adopt technology-related platforms and applications. Our Austin attorneys focus on intellectual property litigation and counseling, emerging companies and venture capital, and healthcare, among other areas.

Boise

Perkins Coie’s Boise office serves a diverse mix of local, national, and international clients with a variety of legal needs. The office comprises one of the largest law firms in Boise and its staff and attorneys are proud to be an integral part of a large international firm.

The Boise office is seeking students interested in our Commercial Litigation; Emerging Companies & Venture Capital; Mergers & Acquisitions; Intellectual Property; Environment & Natural Resources; Trust & Estate Planning; and Patent practice groups. We provide summer associates with the resources and experience of a large firm in a small office environment. Summer associates will be given the opportunity to work with attorneys in a variety of practice areas and on pro bono projects and other matters as opportunities arise. Typical assignments include researching legal questions, drafting memos and briefs, drafting pleadings, drafting corporate formation and corporate governance documents, and drafting a variety of commercial contracts.

Summer associates will be provided a mentor to help guide them through their summer experience with advice, introductions, feedback, and workflow support. There will also be opportunities to attend various trainings on topics such as legal writing and researching, as well as continuing legal education presentations and practice group meetings throughout the summer. In addition to hands-on legal experience, summer associates may enjoy social activities, where they will get to know partners, associates, and staff.

Chicago

Our Chicago office provides summer associates with the resources and experience of a large firm in a small office environment. In addition to hands-on legal experience, a variety of social activities acquainting summer associates with partners, associates and staff as well as with the Chicagoland area.

Please see below and visit our Summer Program Overview page.

Work Assignments

The work assignments, training sessions and opportunities to attend business activities are similar to those given to associates. Our summer associates are welcome and encouraged to seek assignments in all our practice areas. Assignments include (but are not limited to) projects related to the following practice areas:

  • Bankruptcy & Workouts
  • Corporate Finance
  • Government Relations
  • Intellectual Property
  • Investigations & White Collar Defense
  • Labor & Employment
  • Litigation
  • Private Equity
  • Public Finance
  • Real Estate & Land Use

Dallas

Our Dallas office focuses on real estate, bankruptcy, litigation and commercial law matters, including real estate workouts, lending commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS) and financing. Many attorneys in this office are particularly focused on CMBS special servicers, as well as conduit and other lenders involved in the financing of commercial real estate. The Dallas office also has attorneys who focus on business litigation and complex electronic discovery issues.

One of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, Dallas is home to numerous industries such as banking, commerce, telecommunications, computer technology, energy, and transportation. Centrally located, Dallas serves as a business hub and an ideal location for Perkins Coie to serve its national client base, particularly those based in Texas.

Los Angeles

At Perkins Coie, summer associates work closely with partners and associates on real legal work for our clients. In Los Angeles, our summer associates participate in various aspects of our Litigation, Corporate Finance and Securities, Intellectual Property and Labor and Employment practices, working directly with our attorneys to support local, national and international clients ranging from startup businesses to large companies.

Please see below and visit our Summer Program Overview page.

Work Assignments

Our summer associates are encouraged to seek assignments in all our practice areas. Assignments include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Litigation: writing research memoranda, drafting pleadings, motions and briefs, preparing discovery responses and assisting with trial preparation for a wide variety of disciplines including commercial litigation, product liability, labor and employment, real estate, patent, trademark and anti-piracy;
  • Corporate: researching business issues, preparing agreements and attending client meetings;
  • Patent Prosecution: preparing trademark and patent applications, analyzing patent claims and developing patent portfolio filing strategies; and
  • Labor and Employment: researching and writing relative to transactional related labor and employment issues.

Madison

Our Madison office provides summer associates with the resources and experience of a large firm in a small office environment. In addition to hands-on legal experience, a variety of social activities acquainting summer associates with partners, associates and staff as well as with the Madison area.

Please see below and visit our Summer Program Overview page.

Work Assignments

The work assignments, training sessions and opportunities to attend business activities are similar to those given to associates. Our summer associates are welcome and encouraged to seek assignments in all our practice areas. Assignments include (but are not limited to) projects related to the following practice areas:

  • Bankruptcy & Workouts
  • Corporate Finance
  • Government Relations
  • Intellectual Property
  • Investigations & White Collar Defense
  • Labor & Employment
  • Litigation
  • Private Equity
  • Public Finance
  • Real Estate & Land Use

New York

Perkins Coie’s New York office opened in 2011 and has been increasing in size each year. The office provides summer associates with the resources and experience of a large firm in a smaller office environment. All summer associates receive hands-on legal experience and participate in a variety of social activities to help them get to know our partners, associates and staff.

Summer Associates in the New York office are generally not assigned to specific practice groups and therefore have the chance to work on matters in different practice groups. The attorneys in our New York office provide advice on a range of legal issues, including intellectual property protection and management, bankruptcy and restructuring, CMBS and RMBS litigation, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions, among other areas.

Palo Alto

At Perkins Coie, summer associates work closely with partners and associates on real legal work for our clients. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, attorneys in the Palo Alto office work directly with entrepreneurs, inventors, venture capital investors and other technology-based clients. The Palo Alto office assigns its summer associates to specific practice groups. For the summer of 2020, the Palo Alto office is seeking students interested in our Commercial Litigation; Emerging Companies & Venture Capital; Patent Litigation and Patent Prosecution groups. The majority of a summer associate’s projects will come from their assigned practice group, but there will be opportunities to work with attorneys in other practice areas and on pro bono projects and other matters as opportunities arise. Summer associates receive hands-on experience working on real issues for real clients, while also participating in social activities to acquaint them with the firm.

Summer associates have the opportunity for both informal and formal training. Formal training includes programs on specific practice area topics and programs on general professional topics (e.g., "How to Have a Successful Summer" and "Legal Writing"). Summer associates can also accompany attorneys to networking events, court hearings and client meetings. Finally, summer associates are assigned mentors, who ensure their integration to the firm, answer their many questions and generally guide their progress and development throughout the summer.

Please see below and visit our Summer Program Overview page.

Phoenix

Located in the beautiful Southwest, Phoenix is the nation’s fifth-largest metropolitan area and the state capital of Arizona. Often referred to as the Valley of the Sun, the Phoenix area has a wealth of great restaurants, sports, nightlife and other entertainment and cultural activities. Not far from our downtown location, you can hike desert trails, climb mountains or go boating. As one of the largest offices in the firm, the Phoenix office combines the challenges and rewards of a local practice with its role as an integral part of a large international firm.

We are dedicated to providing legal work of uncompromising quality to some of the nation’s and Arizona’s leading companies, as well as to smaller companies, individuals, governmental entities (state, local, and Native American), and pro bono clients.

Our summer associates come from schools across the country. They receive a variety of client work with different partners or client teams. Summer associates accompany attorneys to trials, hearings, depositions, and client meetings, and they participate in various hands-on training programs. In addition, summer associates are invited to lunches, sports and entertainment events with firm attorneys. They also join in an all-attorney/summer associate retreat weekend and attend firm events featuring locally and nationally prominent guest speakers from the different branches of government and private industry.

Portland

Located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Portland is an area of unparalleled natural beauty. Within an hour of the city, you can be on a mountain, at the beach, in the desert, or in the middle of a forest. The Portland office is located in the Brewery Blocks of the dynamic Pearl District and is within walking distance to dozens of shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and galleries. Summer associates are given the opportunity to work in a mid-size office of 65 attorneys. Although it is part of a large law firm, the office in many ways retains the culture of a smaller firm. 

Work Assignments

We want our summer associates to have work experiences similar to those they will have as a junior associate at Perkins Coie and, as a result, our summer associates often have the opportunity to not only meet our clients, but also work with them directly. We also encourage our summer associates to get involved with pro bono work during the summer based on their personal interests. Typical assignments include researching legal questions, drafting memos and briefs, drafting pleadings, drafting corporate formation and corporate governance documents, and drafting blog posts and power point presentations for client facing communications.

Mentoring, Training & Feedback

Each summer associate is provided two levels of formal mentorship, an associate mentor (often a former summer associate themselves) and a partner mentor. Both will be available to help guide you through your summer experience with advice, introductions, feedback, and work flow support.

We offer summer associate–specific training on topics such as legal writing, researching, and social and networking training. We also invite the summer associates to attend continuing legal education presentations and practice group meetings throughout the summer, just as we do with our associates. We also participate in a firmwide Summer Associate Retreat every summer that begins in our Seattle office and ends at a nearby resort.

You can expect to receive informal as well as formal feedback during your summer program. Informal feedback will come directly from individual attorneys that you work with on projects throughout the summer. You can also expect to receive formal feedback at one of our three scheduled evaluation meetings: a check-in Evaluation meeting which takes place roughly 2-3 weeks into your summer program, a Mid-summer evaluation, and a Final Evaluation meeting.

Social!

A variety of social activities designed to acquaint summer associates with partners, associates, and staff, as well as the Portland area, round out the summer program. Typical activities in prior years have included wine tastings, cooking classes, escape rooms, music and theater nights, zip lining, hiking, and soccer games. Finally, our attorneys are encouraged to take our summer associates out to coffee and lunch regularly - and they do!

San Diego

At Perkins Coie, summer associates work closely with our attorneys on legal work for firm clients. In the San Diego office, our summer associates work on cases in the Intellectual Property practice. Summer associates receive hands-on experience working on real issues for real clients, while also participating in social activities to acquaint them with the firm, including officewide events, attorney socials and client events.

Work Assignments

Our summer associates are assigned to the Intellectual Property group based on an expression of interest in patent litigation or patent prosecution. The majority of a summer associate’s projects come from their assigned practice area, but there are also opportunities to work with other attorneys in other practice areas, in addition to pro bono projects. Summer associate tasks depend on the assigned practice area and can include research, prior art searches, analysis of prior art references, claim charts for inter partes review (IPR) petitions, writing of articles, and adding technical color to conversations with experts.

Summer associates have the opportunity for both formal and informal training. Formal training includes programs on specific practice area topics, including corporate, finance, intellectual property, international, litigation and product liability and general professional topics (e.g., "How to Be a Successful Summer Associate" and "Legal Writing"). Summer associates can also accompany attorneys to networking events, court hearings and client meetings. Finally, summer associates are assigned mentors who assist with their integration into the firm, answer their many questions and generally guide their progress and development throughout the summer.

San Francisco

At Perkins Coie, summer associates work closely with partners and associates on real legal work for our clients. The San Francisco office assigns its summer associates to specific practice groups. For the summer of 2022, the San Francisco office is seeking students interested in our Business Litigation, Emerging Companies & Venture Capital, Environment & Natural Resources, and Real Estate & Land Use practice groups. The majority of a summer associate’s projects will come from their assigned practice group, but there will be opportunities to work with attorneys in other practice areas and on pro bono projects and other matters as opportunities arise. Summer associates receive hands-on experience working on real issues for real clients, while also participating in social activities to acquaint them with the firm.

Summer associates have the opportunity for both informal and formal training. Formal training includes programs on specific practice area topics and programs on general professional topics (e.g., "How to Have a Successful Summer" and "Legal Writing"). Summer associates can also accompany attorneys to networking events, court hearings and client meetings. Finally, summer associates are assigned mentors, who ensure their integration to the firm, answer their many questions and generally guide their progress and development throughout the summer.

Please see below and visit our Summer Program Overview page.

Seattle

In the Seattle office, our summer program encourages students to work, learn and have fun!

WORK – Real-Life Work Assignments

At the beginning of the summer our summer associates are invited to choose assignments from a database, allowing them to try out different practice groups and types of assignments based on their interests. Our summer associates typically have a general idea of the area of law in which they want to practice before they arrive at Perkins Coie, but this system allows them to explore the various subgroups and occasionally another group entirely. As the summer progresses, we help the summer associates find a “home” within one of our practice groups, and at that point we encourage them to focus on work and relationships within that particular group. At the end of the summer, we make offers to our summer associates that include practice group assignments.

Most of our summer associates work with our largest practices— Corporate, Commercial Litigation and Intellectual Property — however, from time to time there are opportunities to work with our smaller practices as well. In the Corporate practice, past summer associate assignments included drafting corporate formation and corporate governance documents, software and end-user licensing agreements, and privacy policies. Recent summer associate assignments in the Commercial Litigation practice included writing research memoranda; drafting pleadings, motions and briefs; preparing discovery responses; preparing for and assisting at depositions; and assisting with trial preparation. In the Intellectual Property practice, past summer associate assignments included preparing trademark and patent applications, analyzing patent claims, developing patent portfolio filing strategies and developing claim construction arguments for briefs.

We want our summer associates to have work experiences similar to those they will have as a junior associate at Perkins Coie and, as a result, our summer associates often have the opportunity to not only meet our clients, but also work with them directly. We also encourage our summer associates to get involved with pro bono work during the summer based on their personal interests.

LEARN – Mentoring, Training and Feedback

Many of our summer associates have never worked in a law firm. To help them get acclimated to law firm life, we offer a variety of resources to help them learn how to be a attorney at Perkins Coie. Each summer associate is paired with a Summer Associate Committee (SAC) Tracker who helps coordinate the summer associate’s workflow and also serves as a professional mentor. In addition, each summer associate is assigned a Hiring Committee Tracker who helps monitor the summer associate’s progress and serves as a more senior mentor throughout the summer. Finally, each summer associate is paired with an associate mentor whose only role is as a personal mentor (and friend) who does not provide work-related feedback to the summer associate.

We offer summer associate–specific training on topics such as legal writing and how to select a work assignment; we also invite the summer associates to attend continuing legal education presentations throughout the summer, just as we do with our associates. We provide panel presentations to the summer associates to explain the nature of the work done in each of our practices . We also host a firmwide Summer Associate Retreat every summer that begins in our Seattle office and ends at a nearby resort.

Finally, we provide a great deal of formal and informal feedback, including an individual midsummer review with the summer associate’s SAC and Hiring Committee Trackers and the Chair of the Hiring Committee.

FUN! – Social Events and Networking Opportunities

Lest it seem that a summer at Perkins Coie is all work and no play, we offer many events to encourage our summer associates to get to know each other, as well as our attorneys and clients. These events included cooking classes, zip-lining, sailing, go-karting, spending a day at Microsoft, Mariners and Sounders games, art tours and glassblowing. In addition, Perkins Coie attorneys often host smaller functions at their homes for more intimate groups of attorneys and summer associates. Finally, our attorneys are encouraged to take our summer associates out to coffee and lunch regularly and they do!

Washington D.C.

In the Washington, D.C. office, our summer associates receive hands-on experience working on real issues for real clients, while also participating in social activities to acquaint them with the firm. Currently the second largest office of the firm, the Washington, D.C. office opened in 1979 to meet client demands for stronger representation in the nation’s capital and before a number of federal agencies.

Work Assignments

Our summer associates will be assigned to work in one of the following practice groups: Commercial Litigation, Environment & Natural Resources, Investment Management, Patent Litigation, Political Law, Technology Transactions & Privacy, or Trademark, Copyright, Internet & Advertising. The majority of a summer associate’s assignments will come from their assigned practice group, but there may be opportunities to work with other attorneys and practice areas on pro bono projects and other matters as opportunities arise. Summer associate assignments, depending upon their assigned practice area, would likely include:

  • Commercial Litigation: Writing research memoranda, drafting pleadings, motions and briefs, preparing discovery responses, and assisting with trial preparation for a wide variety of disciplines including business litigation, antitrust, government contracts, insurance recovery, white collar & investigations, and privacy & data security;
  • Environment & Natural Resources: Conduct legal research, draft client communications, and prepare motions and briefs for administrative litigation matters for a wide variety of subject areas, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act and various issues related to Native American Law;
  • Investment Management: Writing research memoranda regarding issues primarily related to the regulation of investment advisers, mutual funds, ETFs, hedge funds and other investment products. Review and mark-up prospectuses, shareholder reports, proxies and other filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission primarily related to such investment products;
  • Patent Litigation: Summer Associates may be asked to help develop arguments in support of infringement or validity positions, prepare discovery responses, conduct technical and legal research, prepare motions and briefs, and assist with deposition and trial preparation across a wide array of technologies;
  • Political Law: Summer Associates may be asked to research federal or state campaign finance, gift or lobbying laws; review political and issue advertisements for compliance with such laws; draft briefs regarding First Amendment or voting rights litigation; and review political committee registrations or reports.
  • Technology Transactions & Privacy: Summer associates may be asked to witness negotiations; review agreements; research Federal Communications Commission regulations and case law; research technology law; research privacy law; apply telecom, tech and privacy law to specific fact patterns; support FCC rule making proceedings with writing, research and analysis.
  • Trademark, Copyright, Internet & Advertising: Conduct legal research and write memoranda regarding issues relating to trademark, copyright, rights of publicity, Internet governance, and advertising. Summer associates will be exposed to all aspects of trademark and copyright clearance, prosecution, and enforcement, such as drafting Response to Office Actions, drafting cease and desist letters, participating in client calls, investigating third-party infringers.

Social Events & Networking Opportunities

We offer many events to encourage our summer associates to get to know each other, our attorneys, and our clients. These events have included a summer kick-off reception, dinner parties at partners’ homes, community service activities, shows at the Kennedy Center, a cooking class, a night of baseball to see a Nationals game, and other sporting events or concerts. We also host a firmwide Summer Associate Retreat every summer that begins in our Seattle office and ends at a nearby resort.

In addition, Perkins Coie attorneys often host smaller functions at their homes for more intimate groups of attorneys and summer associates.

Finally, our attorneys are encouraged to take our summer associates out to coffee and lunch regularly and they do!

Additional Information

Attorney "trackers" coordinate work assignments and monitor the type, quality and amount each summer associate receives. Summer associates are also encouraged to seek out assignments directly from senior associates and partners.

Supervising attorneys provide informal feedback to summer associates after each assignment, and they submit written, formal evaluations to the office hiring committee. The formal evaluations become part of each summer associate's mid-summer and final evaluations.

Professional Development

Summer associates have the opportunity for both informal and formal training. Formal training includes monthly CLE programs on specific practice area topics. Summer associates can also accompany attorneys to networking events, court hearings, real estate and corporate transaction closings and client meetings. Finally, summer associates are assigned mentors who ensure their integration to the firm, answer their many questions and generally guide their progress and development throughout the summer.

Pro Bono Involvement

Summer associates can work on pro bono matters. At the beginning of every summer, a local legal aid organization presents an in-office training program and then pairs interested summer associates with firm attorneys to work on available pro bono cases.

Diversity

Summer associates are invited to attorney affinity group meetings, including our attorneys of color, women, LGBTQ+ and parents groups, as well as to diversity events and dinners sponsored by the firm. For a list of past events sponsored by the firm, please visit our Diversity Sponsorships page.

Sustainability

Our local Green Committee collaborates with the firmwide committee to develop and implement sustainability practices for the office and for individuals. In addition to paper, plastic, metal and glass recycling, we also offer battery, cell phone and used office supply recycling. The office offers incentives to those who choose to ride public transportation and encourages employees to participate in community events like "Bike to Work Week."

Accolades and Awards

For almost two decades, the firm has been named to Fortune's list of "The 100 Best Companies to Work For." It was also listed as one of the "Best Law Firms for Women" in 2008, 2009 and 2011 - 2020 by Working Mother magazine and national consulting firm Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, as well as one of the Fortune's "Best Workplaces for Parents," 2020

For additional information, please visit the NALP Directory of Legal Employers to view our online NALP form and Workplace Questionnaire.