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Summer Associates Rank Choate Hall & Stewart and Foley Hoag Number One
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Summer Associates Rank Choate Hall & Stewart and <a href='' target='_blank' data-lazy-srcset=Foley Hoag Number 1″ width=”478″ height=”270″ />

Summary: The American Lawyer’s 2014 Summer Associates satisfaction survey reports that Choate Hall & Stewart received nearly perfect scores on all assessments by summer associates, and that Foley Hoag tied with Choate Hall for the Number 1 spot.

Choate Hall & Stewart made its summer associates a happy group this year. American Lawyer reports that the firm tied with Foley Hoag for the top spot in American Lawyer’s 2014 Summer Associates satisfaction survey. Choate Hall skyrocketed to the top from the Number 68 spot last year.


Summer associates gave the Boston-based firm a 5 out of 5 on each of the criteria used in the survey. The associates reported doing interesting work, “real” work, positively interacting with partners and full-time associates, and receiving excellent training and guidance. The firm also received high ratings on communicating its goals and expectations to the summer associates. Associates also said that the firm portrayed itself accurately during the interview process. High marks were also given for the likeliness of the summer associates to accept a full-time position. Overall, it was ranked a top place to work.

Foley Hoag also ranked at the top of the list, just as it was last year. Foley Hoag is another Boston firm and is an Am Law 200 firm.

” href=”” target=”_blank”>Clifford Chance, a British-based Magic Circle law firm, shot up from Number 112 in 2013 to Number 3 this year. Although summer associates did not rank the firm well for real work, firm portrayal, and partner interactions, they were ecstatic to have the chance to work for three weeks in one of the eleven offices located abroad. Students had the opportunity to work in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, London, and Moscow. All travel and lodging expenses were paid by the firm. Schulte Roth & Zabel, a New York Firm, tied with Clifford Chance for the Number 3 spot.

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The survey pool consisted of 5,085 summer associates who had just completed their first or second year of law school. These students were clerking at law firms across the U.S. for at least a three-week period. The survey was mailed out between June 16 and August 15, and 72% of the students responded. The main rankings chart included 96 firms for which at least ten completed surveys had been received. The associates were guaranteed anonymity, but could provide contact information for follow-up if they desired.

Most summer associates said they were highly satisfied with their experience. Chadbourne & Parke, which ranked lowest on the list, still received an average score of 4.231 on a 5-point scale. The New York firm fell from 84 to 96. Its lowest score was a 3.75 for partner interaction. This was also the lowest score that any firm received in this category. ” href=”” target=”_blank”>Linklaters scored at 3.81, the second-lowest score in this category.

The firms that ranked the highest offered the summer associates mentoring by senior attorneys and gave them the opportunity to do substantive work. Foley Hoag summer associates were excited to be “able to learn from some of the most senior members at the firm.” One associate wrote, “Unsolicited, the partner invited me to come along on a pitch meeting. But when the topic I had written on came up, the partner simply handed it over to me and had me explain it to the CEO. It was both nerve-wracking and amazing. At the end of the meeting, the company hired our firm.”

Manuel Melo just completed his second summer with Choate Hall. He also had a positive experience: “One of the primary reasons that I returned is that every partner has his door open, and they are happy to speak with you. All of my work was surprisingly substantive, and I interacted with important clients directly.”

William Gelnaw, a co-managing partner at Choate Hall, said that the firm had sharpened its focus and had begun recruiting summer associates who would make a good fit at the firm and who were interested in the core practice areas. Also, a summer preview program “brought the group together in the early spring for some orientation, training, firm updates and [allowed] the summer associates to begin to develop relationships among themselves and with their mentors.”

The summer associates also seemed more positive than in years past. They were only moderately “worried about a declining number of job opportunities available to recent graduates at large law firms,” with a score of 3.692 on a scale where 1 meant very worried and 5 meant not worried at all. They reported that their classmates were not terribly worried as well, up to 4.002 from 3.874 last year. The summer associates demonstrated more confidence in getting jobs this year with an increase to 4.15 from 4.07 last year.

Weekly gross pay also increased to $3156.39 from $3,085.55 last year. They reported an average of working 47.18 hours per week. The majority of these associates, 66.4%, also said that they expected to be working with the same firm in five years. However, 19% reported they weren’t sure where they would be at that point.

The associates also reported needing well-paying jobs to pay back student loans. The overall loan balance was averaged at $99,833 based on the surveys. Almost 64% of summer associates said they expected big-firm pay to assist with their debt. These associates also rated their school career centers at 3.6, and, as for their schools preparing them for actual practice, they gave a score of 3.941. Most reported they expected their law school investment to pay off (93.6%) and 79% they would attend the same school if they had to do it over again.

Other events stood out to some of the summer associates. One Choate Hall summer associate spoke of the “diversity dinner,” which was an event where the partners and the summer associates went out to discuss the difficulties of being a minority lawyer in Boston. An associate from Covington & Burling, which ranked at Number 79, enjoyed the “Ladies Who Lunch,” where partners took summer associates to tea with popovers and strawberry butter and discussed law firm and life experiences.

At Boston, there are lots of summer associate jobs are available. Please visit here on for latest updates.

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