How is Lindquist & Vennum’s Summer Associate Program different from other firms’ programs?
Our Summer Associate Program is designed to create an experience that is full of challenge, real work experience, constructive feedback, mentoring and hands-on training. The program is also an integral part of our attorney hiring process.
As a Lindquist & Vennum summer associate you will be exposed to work at varying levels and in many different practice areas. You won’t be drafting boring seminar outlines or spending all of your time in the library working on non-billable research projects. Your projects will be billable client work, typical of what a first- or second-year associate does. Rather than be assigned random projects as they come in the door, you will have the opportunity to select projects that interest you from a variety of practice areas. You will receive valuable and regular feedback on your projects throughout the summer. Your summer at Lindquist & Vennum will be a practical, hands-on experience of what it’s like to work in a firm like ours, where quality work is expected, community service is part of the culture and a balance between work and life is supported and achieved.
Another unique aspect of our program occurs during the second half of the summer, when our summer associates solicit work from various attorneys—just like real associates do. This allows you to focus on the practice areas that interest you most and provides valuable insight into what it’s like to juggle and direct your own workload.
Because an attorney’s ability to communicate through writing is crucial to success in the practice of law, we also offer a summer writing program. Each summer associate is assigned a writing program mentor. Three initial writing assignments are critiqued for organizational ability, style and composition. This program helps you make the transition from writing practice memos in law school to drafting correspondence, pleadings and other documents that give the supervising attorney and the client the information they need to make informed decisions.
What kind of work will I do?
We realize that it’s crucial at this stage in your career to gain exposure to as many different practice areas as you can and to learn what it will really be like when you become an associate. That’s why our program is divided into two parts. During the first half of the summer, you will be assigned work from many of the firm’s more than thirty practice areas. One week you might be drafting a summons and complaint or interrogatories, while the next you’re participating in a real estate closing or observing a family law hearing. The second half of the summer is more self-driven and you will solicit projects on your own in practice areas of your choice—maybe in an area of law that you have a special interest in or one to which you would like more exposure. Learning how to take initiative and find work is key to your future success as an associate.
Our summer associates are also encouraged to attend depositions, motion hearings, trials, negotiating sessions, closings and even client meetings. Watching a litigator in trial, experiencing the dynamics of a strong client relationship and feeling the rush of a deal that’s finally closing is invaluable in helping you form your career path.
Is there a mentoring element to the program?
One of the major goals of our summer program is to fully integrate summer associates into the firm. We know you’ll meet people and make friends along the way, but we pair you with two associate mentors who will act as “friends in the firm.” Your mentors will make every effort to introduce you to others in the firm and ensure that you feel comfortable and at home. The majority of our mentors are associate attorneys who have successfully completed our Summer Associate Program themselves, so they know what you’re experiencing first hand. They are not evaluators, so you will feel at ease asking them for help with any questions you have throughout the summer.
You will also have a writing mentor to help you develop your ability to effectively communicate through your written work product. Your writing mentor will be an attorney who has been recognized within the firm as a skilled writer.
How are summer associates evaluated?
Helpful mentoring, frequent feedback and ongoing evaluation—in some situations that sounds overwhelming, but we’ve heard enough times from our program participants that it’s what makes our program so valuable. Why spend an entire summer stressing over whether or not you’re doing a good job? We do all we can to give you constructive feedback throughout the summer that will provide you with the peace of mind that you are on the right track. You will receive both an oral and written evaluation on every project you complete. Copies of the written evaluations are shared with you, so there’s no guesswork in our program.
Will I work on pro bono matters?
Lindquist & Vennum is deeply committed to the delivery of pro bono legal services. In fact, a large part of our public reputation is rooted in our attorneys’ dedication to the organizations, legal clinics and individuals they serve each year on a pro bono basis. To underscore our institutional commitment to pro bono activities, the firm has accepted the Pro Bono Institute Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, agreeing to use our best efforts to ensure that we annually contribute, at a minimum, an amount of time equal to 3% of the firm’s total billable hours to pro bono work.
Since 1997 we have met and exceeded our goal with 100 percent participation by our partners, associates and paralegals and the pro bono standards set forth by the Pro Bono Institute, Minnesota State Bar Association and Colorado Supreme Court. Our firm-wide commitment to pro bono work is in keeping with our tradition of full participation in the community.
Lindquist & Vennum was one of the first participants in the Volunteer Lawyers Network’s (VLN) Summer Associate Program. As part of the VLN program you will be assigned a case and will represent an indigent client under Minnesota’s Student Practice Rule—supervised, of course, by a Lindquist & Vennum attorney. This aspect of the program presents you with a real-life, hands-on opportunity to handle a legal matter from start to finish. Typical cases involve employment law matters, landlord-tenant issues, family court matters and creditor disputes. You will have the opportunity to get involved in activities such as providing advice, taking depositions and even appearing in court.
Will I receive work from the Minneapolis, Denver and Sioux Falls offices?
While our Summer Associate Program is only available in our Minneapolis office, you will, on occasion, receive work from our Denver and Sioux Falls offices.
Will I have any fun?
Our Summer Associate Program isn’t all about work. We want you to enjoy your summer with us and get to know more about the Minneapolis area! You will have the opportunity to take part in a number of fun social events, the purpose of which are to provide casual, relaxed opportunities to get to know your future colleagues. It all starts with a welcome reception where you will meet the majority of attorneys at the firm. Throughout the summer we organize several fun, interactive activities, which may include sporting events, a cooking class, a boat cruise, bowling or a family picnic. Summer associates are also invited to attend the associate weekend getaway in northern Minnesota. Swimming, boating, card playing, golfing, relaxing and eating are the highlights of this unforgettable weekend.
How much are summer associates paid?
In 2012 our summer associates were paid $2,100 per week. Summer associates are paid for the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays and receive one paid day of vacation during the course of the summer.
Does the firm typically extend offers to its summer associates?
Absolutely! That’s part of the reason why our program is smaller in size—we limit the program to the number of associates we anticipate hiring the following year. There is no competition for only a few openings and we do not hire an excessive number of new associates just to weed them out when it comes time for partnership. Our goal is conservative, steady growth.
What does Lindquist & Vennum look for in a summer associate?
Our Summer Associate Program is an integral part of the firm’s hiring process. Therefore, we are looking for summer associates who will make good associates. Take a look at our Attorney Core Qualities statement, which outlines the qualities that are required of all Lindquist & Vennum attorneys.
Where does Lindquist & Vennum find its summer associates?
We conduct interviews for our Summer Associate Program at several law schools in the Twin Cities and the Midwest region. We may also extend our search to the east or west coast. In addition, our recruiters attend minority job fairs and recruiting conferences in the Twin Cities and elsewhere. Take a look at the 2012 on-campus interview schedule.
How long is Lindquist & Vennum’s summer associate program?
Our program spans 12 weeks, typically beginning the third week in May and ending the first week in August, however is flexible to accomodate varying school schedules.
Where do I apply?
Contact our Director of Legal Recruiting