The summer of 2023 was pretty exciting for summer associates — after all, summer programs now seem to be back in full swing in the wake of the pandemic. From taking extravagant trips to London to attending the NBA draft to seeing Drake concerts and Taylor Swift concerts, this year’s summer associate experience did not disappoint.
But what matters most to summer associates, and which firms did they like best?
Unfortunately, in addition to their exciting outings, this year’s crop of summers saw the less-than luxurious side of Biglaw too, complete with layoffs of all varieties and return-to-office mandates galore. It’s no wonder that summer associates were concerned about their job prospects and mental health. Here are some of the details from the American Lawyer:
[S]ince last summer, layoffs have rolled through Big Law at a pace not seen since the Great Recession, so it’s no surprise that this year’s associates now care more about job security than they do work-life balance or the strength of their preferred practice area. Gen Z is also more skeptical of law firms’ efforts around mental health; fewer of this year’s summers felt their firms genuinely cared about their mental well-being. And as firms call associates back to the office four days per week—a precursor to a return to full attendance, depending on who you ask—four out of five summer associates prefer hybrid work over complete in-office policies.
Before we get to the rankings, let’s discuss the methodology used by American Lawyer. Firms were ranked by their average scores based on the following categories: partner access and mentorship, interactions with other associates, interesting legal work, firms’ alignment with their own stated goals and self-image, and whether summers were concerned with their mental health or well-being as an attorney.
Without further ado, here are the Top 10 firms:
- Paul Hastings
- Clifford Chance
- Duane Morris
- Arnold & Porter
- Cahill Gordon
- Blank Rome
- Proskauer Rose
- Morgan Lewis
- Sheppard Mullin
- Kilpatrick Townsend
Click here to see the full list.
Congratulations to all of the firms that earned the respect and appreciation of their summer associates.
The 2023 Summer Associates Satisfaction Ranking [American Lawyer]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter and Threads or connect with her on LinkedIn.