Perkins Coie's summer associate program provides varied work opportunities and social events that are designed to promote interaction among summer associates, attorneys and staff. Our summer associate program is our primary source of new associate hires. We principally recruit second-year law students and occasionally hire pre-clerkship third-year law students for our domestic offices.

Please do not email your application materials. Before contacting an individual in a specific office, please provide your application materials via one of the following links. The following offices are hosting a 2019 2L summer program: Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Madison, Palo Alto, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C.

Summer associates work on a wide range of challenging legal assignments similar to those given to new associates which typically include legal research, analysis and drafting. Summer associates are commonly invited to attend depositions, mediations, deal closings, client meetings, trials and other professional activities and events. They are welcome and encouraged to work on pro bono projects. Perkins Coie seeks summer associates who have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership in and service to the community, and dedication to excellence in the legal profession. All candidates must be enrolled in and in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school.

When applying, please provide your resume, transcripts, writing sample (10 page max) and a cover letter explaining your areas of interest and geographical preference.

Summer associates are not expected to commit to a specific practice area, and they usually complete projects within a variety of practice areas. However, students with interests in particular practice areas should keep in mind the offices where those practice groups commonly hire new associates. This list is a general guide and is not intended to exclude opportunities in practice areas that become available from time to time.


Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Palo Alto,  Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C.

Commercial Litigation

Chicago, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C.

Environment, Energy & Resources


Patent Prosecution

Los Angeles (in bioscience)

Palo Alto (in computer science, electrical engineering and physics) 

San Diego (in computer science and electrical engineering)

Seattle (in aerospace, computer science, mechanical  engineering and physics) 

Trademark & Copyright


Patent Litigation 


Phoenix (in computer science, electrical engineering and computer engineering) 

Palo Alto (in computer science, electrical engineering and physics) 

San Diego (in computer science and electrical engineering)

Seattle (in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering)

Washington, D.C. (biotechnology, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, pharmaceutical)

Labor & Employment


We are seeking candidates who have excelled in law school and have significant writing experience as demonstrated by law review or law journal experience, moot court or prior academic or professional writing. Candidates must have strong interpersonal and communication skills and show a genuine interest in and understanding of law practice. Candidates for patent prosecution must have a degree in electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering or an advanced degree in physics. Prior programming or engineering experience is strongly preferred for patent prosecution candidates.

Work assignments: Our summer program offers a range of assignments and learning experiences. We provide challenging legal work assignments similar to those given to associates. Review and feedback are provided at the conclusion of an assignment. Summer associates are strongly encouraged to work on pro bono projects, which can provide the opportunity for direct client contact and court experience.

Contact with Clients: We encourage our attorneys to invite summer associates to attend depositions, mediations, closings, client meetings, trials and other business activities.

Trainings, Presentations and Firm Meetings: Summer associates are invited to attend continuing legal education sessions offered by the firm during the summer. We also offer a series of presentations that provide opportunities to learn more about the different practice areas available at the firm.

Summer Associate Retreat: Each summer all Perkins Coie summer associates gather in Seattle for a day of presentations and meetings to help them learn more about the firm and one another. The group then heads to a retreat in the mountains for two days of activities. The summer associate retreat provides a unique opportunity for our summer associates to meet their colleagues and Perkins Coie attorneys from other offices in a relaxed and fun environment.

In short, our summer program is designed to give summer associates an honest view of what it is like to work at Perkins Coie.


We believe that diversity of thought and experience enriches our dynamic work atmosphere. We have created a firm culture that is based on collaboration, commitment to serving our clients and mutual respect. New employees are integrated into the firm through our extensive orientation, training and mentorship programs. We are committed to a fair and equitable workplace where each person is a valued member of the team.

Perkins Coie is highly rated for the quality of its client service. This strength stems from two key factors: a strong emphasis on service that starts at the top of the firm and permeates throughout, and an extremely collegial culture that emphasizes collaboration in support of client needs. We have been named as one of FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for 16 consecutive years!

Perkins Coie is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or any other category prohibited by local, state or federal law. This policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, placement, promotion, transfer, demotion, compensation, benefits, social and recreational activities and termination.