Law student summer interns don’t have fun on their mind, according to the latest summer associates survey by the American Lawyer. A “vocal minority” is expressing what is meant by the over-all raise in anxiety in those surveyed: they want to work and they went to end up landing work.
Am Law reported an interviewer to have articulated this concern: “I would ask that the Summer Associate Program be scheduled so that there is a bit more time for work. There have been times when social events took up so much time during the week that work assignments had to take the backburner.”
With over $100,000 in loans on their back, many interns aren’t looking to enjoy the frolicking and the schmoozing that characterizes part of many of these programs. Another associate told Am Law Daily that “There’s still that lingering effect of the hard times at law firms. When people are given work they want to do it really well.”
In terms of the survey, the “worry level” of the interns, when graded on a 5 point scale, landed at 3.95 – the highest it’s ever been, making a stark difference from 2009’s 2.76.
This relates to the reported three-fourths of those interviewed who reported they were counting on landing a law firm job to handle their student loan. One fifth rather than one third of graduates are landing big firms, and those who land them make 17 percent less than they did three years ago.
So it makes sense to have less desire to celebrate, sing karaoke, gamble at casinos and participate in the other typical summer-internship revelries. Who can party at a time like this? Many students are feeling that though sociability is in fact part of the culture of many firms, they would rather set down and get to work.