Careers: Summer Associates
Summer Program Goal
The summer program is our principal source of hiring entry-level attorneys and is designed with the summer associate's professional development as its primary goal. Because more than three quarters of our summer associates return to the firm as full-time lawyers, we maintain high standards in the selection process. We recognize that the program should give each summer associate a realistic impression of what the people and practice of Riker Danzig are all about. Individual attention is a priority.
Our summer program begins in June, and lasts eight weeks. We are proud of the diversity of our summer associates. They represent diverse backgrounds and a variety of law schools throughout the United States. The 2017 summer program consisted of, respectively, four summer associates from four law schools (Rutgers-Newark, Seton Hall, University of Virginia and George Washington). The upcoming 2018 summer program will consist of, respectively, three summers from two law schools (Seton Hall and Fordham).
Each summer associate receives assignments from attorneys in numerous Riker Danzig practice areas. If a student possesses a particular area of interest, extra effort is made to provide exposure to that practice group. We purposely do not assign or rotate summer associates to a particular department; rather, we coordinate work assignments so that each summer associate is exposed to numerous attorneys and practice areas. This exposure to various practice groups helps summer associates identify their desired area of work.
The quality of the work assigned is what makes our summer program truly exceptional. The assignments comprise real work from real clients with real deadlines; each summer associate becomes a part of the team of attorneys working on a case or transaction. Our summer associates' efforts have served to help Riker Danzig achieve substantial success on our clients' behalf.
Two senior associates ("attorney liasons") are responsible for assigning work, monitoring work loads, leading weekly meetings with the summer associates, etc. Careful attention is paid to each summer associate's progress, and every opportunity is given to help them achieve professional growth.
Each attorney assigning work to be performed by a summer associate is required to provide a substantive evaluation of that work, which is critical to the development of each summer associate's lawyering skills. Without that feedback, training would be incomplete.
In addition to their assignments, summer associates also are invited to observe activities such as trials, depositions, client conferences, court hearings and transaction closings, which allows them to see our attorneys in action. These observation assignments are invaluable, as they show law students how practicing attorneys represent and advocate for their clients' interests in "real life" settings. Riker Danzig also provides summer associates more formal training through weekly seminars on a variety of legal topics.
Each summer associate is assigned a partner mentor and an associate mentor. In addition to the attorney liaisons, these mentors serve as a valuable resource for our summer associates. Many mentors and summer associates build both professional and personal ties throughout the program while attending firm and private social events, as well as weekly lunches. The mentors help to guide summer associates through the program by offering assistance and advice, and facilitating feedback.
A number of social activities are planned for our summer associates, such as cultural and athletic events, firm-wide parties, pro-bono events and informal after-work gatherings, to help acquaint our summer associates with both Riker Danzig and the Morristown area. Our social activities are designed to provide opportunities for casual interaction between our summer associates and our attorneys.
Compensation and Benefits
Summer associates for 2017 were paid $2,400 per week. The firm provides a membership to the health club in our office complex, underground parking and assistance with summer housing.