Summer Associates Program
Each year we seek the best and brightest law students to spend the summer with us to gain law firm experience and help us take care of our clients’ needs. Our summer associates have represented many outstanding law schools throughout the country, including Boston University, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Indiana University, The Ohio State University, the University of Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt University. We usually hire two or three summer associates. Typically, those students have completed their second year of law school. Although we will consider students who have finished their first year, second year students usually get the nod because of their broader base of law school course work. Please browse the various categories below to learn about what our summer associate program has to offer and what we expect from our summer associates.
We view our summer associate program as accomplishing the following three functions:
Experience and Training
Simply put, law school trains you to think and we give you the opportunity to put that lawyerly thinking to a practical use. But we cannot take care of our part of that collaboration until you and your school take care of yours. If you can analyze cases and statutes and “think like a lawyer,” we can take those abilities and teach you how to use them in a way that furthers our clients’ interests. To practice law at the highest level you need to be able to analyze, organize, and express yourself in a thoughtful, coherent, and perhaps persuasive, manner. We will work with you to develop those skills. In addition to researching and writing, to the extent possible, you will have an opportunity to work directly with clients and others involved in the matters on which you are working. Each summer is different and the types of cases and other work being handled from year to year varies. But every year we try to make the clerk’s experience as varied and practical as possible. We want you to end the summer with a much greater appreciation for what lawyers do and how they do it than you may have had at the beginning of the summer.
We assume that the work product of each summer associate will be a vital part of the work being performed by the firm for the client. We treat our summer associates as “lawyers in training” and we expect that, with guidance and training, they will provide lawyerly work. As an SS+D summer associate, you can take pride in the knowledge that you are playing an important role in fulfilling our commitments to our clients.
Of course, as much as we may love our work, we also need to earn a living and put food on the table. See the section below under “Salary” to learn more about the financial rewards of being an SS+D summer associate.
We try to ensure that each summer associate gets to experience a sample of work in each practice area of the firm. Our litigators use the summer associates extensively because of the good match between the students’ research and writing skills and the work required for litigation cases. If a summer associate has a particular interest in one or more specific practice areas, we make every effort to find appropriate projects for that individual in those areas. In addition to typical work assignments, our summer associates are invited, when practical and appropriate, to attend depositions, hearings, closings, conferences, and other proceedings and activities that are integral parts of the practice of law.
In addition to all of the intangible benefits of working with our firm, we pay a competitive salary to our summer associates. In addition, we pay for parking (or for public transportation for those who choose not to drive to the office).
Our commitment to a true open-door policy allows each summer associate to know that people are always ready, willing, and able to assist them with any questions or concerns about assignments or other matters involving the firm or the practice of law. All of our attorneys, from the most senior shareholders to the newest associates, are approachable and helpful. Each of our lawyers is also happy to act as a more formal mentor for one of the summer associates. Our objective is to ensure that no one feels lost or overwhelmed.
The Dayton Scene
To learn more about Dayton and what it has to offer, go to our Life in Dayton page.
The firm sponsors several activities during the summer months that the summer associates are encouraged to attend. We strive to keep our friendships as strong as our professional relationships and we feel the summer associates should be a part of that experience as much as possible. We have a suite at Fifth Third Field, the home of the Dayton Dragons. The Dragons are a minor league affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. We try to schedule at least one outing for the summer associates and the firm attorneys at a Dragons game. We also have an annual canoe outing. The firm picnic is usually scheduled in August before the summer associates return to school. Other ad hoc activities are often scheduled during the summer.