Search
Perkins PDF Bar
Summer Program

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 links below to learn about office-specific program details.

 


Chicago Overview

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.

For more detailed information on our program, please see below and visit our FAQs.

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
  • Hotels & Leisure
  • Intellectual Property
  • Investigations & White Collar Defense        
  • Labor & Employment
  • Litigation
  • Private Equity
  • Public Finance
  • Real Estate & Land Use

Dallas Overview

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 Overview

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.

For more detailed information on our program, please see below and visit our FAQs.

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.

Palo Alto Overview

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. Summer Associates in Palo Alto participate in various aspects of our Emerging Companies & Venture Capital, Patent & Trademark Procurement, Technology Transactions & Privacy and Litigation practices.

For more detailed information on our program, please see below and visit our FAQs.

Work Assignments

  • Our summer associates are encouraged to seek assignments in all our practice areas. Assignments include (but are not limited to) the following:
  • Emerging Companies & Venture Capital: drafting formation documents for new companies, employee benefits and executive compensation documents, joint venture agreements and corporate governance documents;
  • Licensing & Technology: drafting software and end-user licensing agreements, writing privacy policies and terms of use and drafting support and maintenance agreements;
  • Litigation: writing research memoranda, drafting pleadings, motions and briefs, preparing discovery responses and assisting with trial preparation; and
  • Patent Prosecution: preparing trademark and patent applications, analyzing patent claims and developing patent portfolio filing strategies.

 


Phoenix Overview

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, typically during successive two-or three-week rotations with different partners or client teams. Summer associates accompany lawyers 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 lawyers. 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 Overview

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 70 lawyers. Although it is part of a large law firm, the office in many ways retains the culture of a smaller firm. Summer work assignments, training sessions and opportunities to attend business activities are similar to those given to associates. A variety of social activities acquainting 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, fly fishing in Central Oregon, cooking classes, river rafting, music and theater nights, and baseball games.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Corporate Finance & Securities
  • Commercial Finance
  • Litigation
  • Real Estate & Land Use
  • Labor & Employment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Corporate Restructuring & Troubled Loans
  • International Business & Trade
  • Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights
  • Environmental & Natural Resources

Travel Expenses: We provide roundtrip coach airfare or car travel reimbursement for summer associates, along with a reimbursable roundtrip visit for a spouse/significant other and children (if applicable).


San Diego Overview

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 Overview

At Perkins Coie, summer associates work closely with partners and associates on real legal work for our clients. In San Francisco, our summer associates participate in various aspects of Complex Commercial, Intellectual Property and Antitrust Litigation, Labor & Employment, Insurance Coverage, Product Liability and Class Action Litigation Defense, working directly with our attorneys and clients.

For more detailed information on our program, please see below and visit our FAQs.

Work Assignments

Assignments include (but are not limited to) writing research memoranda, drafting pleadings, motions and briefs, preparing discovery responses, assisting in depositions and trial preparation.

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 programs on specific practice area topics (e.g., "The Ten Easiest Ways to Waive Attorney-Client Privilege" and "Litigation Claims under Section 17200") and programs on 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 ensure their integration to the firm, answer their many questions and generally guide their progress and development throughout the summer.


Seattle Overview

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 lawyer 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!

Please contact Katie Monin via email for more information about our Seattle office’s summer program.


Washington D.C. Overview

At Perkins Coie, summer associates work closely with our attorneys on real legal work for firm clients. In the Washington, D.C. office, our summer associates work on cases in our Political Law group and Insurance Recovery group, a subgroup of our Commercial Litigation 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 office-wide events, attorney socials and our summer softball league.

Work Assignments

Our summer associates will be assigned to work in the Political Law group or the Insurance Recovery practice, a subgroup of the Commercial Litigation group, based on their expressed area of interest.  The majority of a summer associate’s projects will come from their assigned practice, but there will be opportunities to work with other attorneys and other practice areas on pro bono projects and other matters as opportunities arise.  Summer associate assignments, depending upon their assigned practice area, would likely include:

  • Insurance Recovery: Writing research memoranda, drafting pleadings, motions and briefs, preparing discovery responses, and assisting with trial preparation.
  • 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.

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, GLBT 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 the past twelve years, the firm has been named to FORTUNE magazine'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 and 2009 by Working Mother magazine and national consulting firm Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, as well as one of the "2013 Top Ten Family Friendly Firms" by Yale Law Women.

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

Real Advantage

BEST EXPERIENCE

"I had previously worked at another law firm and in a public interest position.  My summer at Perkins Coie blew both of those experiences away"

- FORMER SUMMER ASSOCIATE