The CollegeJournal’s "Summer Law Associates Get Down to Business" contrasts the lavish summer camp atmosphere of law firm internships past with the current trend that transform them into real work (and learning) experiences — with just a little lavish entertainment thrown in for ol’ times sake… and fun.
"Much about the [internship] programs — private-sector internships mostly for students between their second and third years of law school — has stayed consistent throughout the years. They still represent the main pathway for joining the world of big law firms. As was the case a generation ago, most of the summer associates in a given law school summer class get offers to come back and be real lawyers after they graduate. They’re paid well (at the biggest firms in New York, the going rate for 2006 is around $2,800 per week, before taxes), fed well, and are generally told not to worry about their billable hours.
But firms say the summer associates want more substantive training. And the firms are more than glad to give it to them….
The firms are adding programs like formal deposition training, mock trials, mock transactional projects, regimented writing tutorials and instruction on research and writing. They are also giving real assignments to the interns. All these changes are in response to intern requests for a more valuable and realistic summer experience according to the firms.