Summer Associates

  • Overview
  • FAQs
  • In Their Own Words
  • Compensation
  • NALP

Lindquist & Vennum's Summer Associate Program, offered in our Minneapolis office, is intentionally small—five to seven students—but is an integral part of our hiring process.

To ensure summer associate exposure to various legal matters, during the first half of the summer we assign work from many of the firm's practice areas. During the second half of the program, summer associates solicit projects on their own, just as associates do.

Summer associates are encouraged to attend depositions, motion hearings, trials, negotiating sessions, client meetings and closings.

We give each summer associate as much feedback as possible. The summer associate receives an oral evaluation and a written evaluation on each project. These evaluations are discussed with the summer associate during two formal performance evaluations.

Because a lawyer's ability to communicate through writing is crucial to success in the practice of law, we offer a writing program. Each associate is assigned a writing program mentor. Three initial writing assignments are critiqued for organizational abilities, style and composition.

Involvement with assignments and meetings does not preclude social activities which include both cultural and sporting events. One associate mentor will help acquaint each summer associate with other members of the firm and with the Twin Cities.


How is Lindquist's Summer Associate Program different from the rest?

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 an integral part of our attorney hiring process. You won’t draft boring seminar outlines or spend 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. Your summer will be a practical, hands-on experience typical 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 personal life is supported.

What kind of work will I do?

It’s crucial at this stage in your career to gain exposure to as many different practice areas as possible—that’s why our program is divided into two parts. During the first half of the summer, you will be assigned work from the firm’s practice areas. One week you might be drafting a summons and complaint, 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 in practice areas of your choice. Learning how to take initiative and find work is important to your future success as an associate.

Will I spend all of my time in the office?

Our Summer Associates are encouraged to attend depositions, motion hearings, trials, negotiations, 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.

Will I have a mentor?

One of the major goals of our summer program is to fully integrate Summer Associates into the firm. We’ll pair you with one associate mentor who will act as your “friend in the firm.” They’ll introduce you to members of the firm and ensure you feel comfortable and at home. Your associate mentor is not an evaluator, so you will feel at ease asking them for help with any questions you have.

Are there professional development opportunities for Summer Associates?

During your first few days with us you will take part in an extensive orientation to help you get off on the right foot and succeed during your summer with us. You will also take part in our writing program in which two initial writing assignments are critiqued for organization, style and composition. In addition, you’ll be invited to attend the same training sessions offered to our associates and partners throughout the summer.

How are Summer Associates evaluated?

You’ll receive frequent feedback and ongoing evaluation—our Summer Associates tell us 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 so you’ll have 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 and two in-person review meetings. 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. Much of our reputation is rooted in our attorneys’ dedication to the organizations, legal clinics and individuals they serve each year on a pro bono basis. 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.

You will be assigned your own pro bono case and will represent an indigent client under Minnesota’s Student Practice Rule—supervised, of course, by one of our attorneys. You will have a real-life, hands-on opportunity to handle a legal matter from start to finish. Typical cases involve expungement matters, landlord-tenant issues, family court matters, and creditor disputes. You’ll get involved in activities such as providing advice, writing correspondence on behalf of the client, and possibly 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 and Sioux Falls offices, you will, on occasion, receive work from attorneys in our Denver office.

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 the Minneapolis area! You will have the opportunity to take part in a number of social events that 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—swimming, boating, card games, golfing, relaxing, and eating are highlights of this unforgettable weekend.

How much are Summer Associates paid?

Lindquist's Summer Associates are 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 look for in a Summer Associate?

Our Summer Associate Program is an integral part of the firm’s hiring process. Therefore, we look for Summer Associates who will make good associates and who embody the traits we value, such as maturity, integrity, initiative, commitment to community involvement, strong intellectual and analytical ability, leadership skills, and a client-focused mindset.

How long is Lindquist's Summer Associate Program?

Our program spans 10 weeks, typically beginning the third week in May and ending the first week in August, however is flexible to accommodate varying school schedules.

In Their Own Words

"I could not have asked for a better summer!  The training, mentorship and, most of all, the attorneys' welcoming attitudes showed me from day one that the Firm was invested in its Summer Associates' success.  The program allowed me to work on substantive projects in a variety of practice areas.  The feedback I received helped me develop my legal skills, but, just as important, my summer helped me determine what I want out of my career in law.  Lindquist has a friendly, collaborative atmosphere, and it is clear that everyone genuinely enjoys working at the firm.  I had a wonderful summer!"

Jenna Johnson, University of Minnesota Law School


"I could not have asked for a better summer experience. From the first day, I felt like I was part of the Lindquist team and was immediately relied upon to provide real work product that was used for high level matters.  I was impressed not only by the level of trust that the attorneys placed in me, but also by how friendly and open everyone was. I always felt that I could approach any attorney and they were more than willing to provide feedback or answer any questions I had. It was clear everyone at Lindquist cared about my success and they were truly investing in my future.  Throughout the summer I was exposed to a number of practice groups and was able to work on a wide range of projects. This allowed me to explore all of my interests and to better understand my preferences. The summer program truly prepared me for the legal profession and I feel very fortunate that I was able to spend an amazing summer at Lindquist & Vennum."

Neal Rasmussen, University of Minnesota Law School


“It was apparent from the first week of my summer that Lindquist attorneys wanted me to succeed and were willing to assign projects that exposed me to practice areas in which I was interested. The collegial atmosphere of the firm lowered the barriers that one might expect to exist at a firm of Lindquist’s size and caliber.  Attorneys were approachable and never made me feel like my questions were dumb or they didn’t have time for me.  I worked on real files, and my work was even sent to clients. Most notably, each of the summer associates managed their own case file for a pro bono criminal expungement.  I will never forget meeting my client and knowing that my work will have a real impact on my client’s life.  It was a great summer!”

Katie LaGrange, William Mitchell College of Law


“I loved my summer experience at Lindquist!  The firm is a collection of unique, brilliant legal minds and is also a place of kindness and generosity.  I felt comfortable, like I was a part of the firm from very early in the summer program. The assignments I received had clear purpose: I knew why I was working on something and what value it would have for the client.  The assignments were also very diverse and came from many different practice groups.  So, for someone who isn't sure what practice area she is most interested in, the program gives a broad exposure to many possibilities.  The assigning attorneys encouraged open communication and questions, so I felt like people wanted me to succeed. My most valuable experience was working directly with a long-time firm client to prepare them for an issue in conciliation court.  It cannot explain how much I learned from that experience, how much I enjoyed it, and how I appreciated the partner's trust in my ability to help this client.”

Jessica DuBois, Hamline University School of Law


"My summer associate experience at Lindquist & Vennum has been, in a word, substantive. As a non-traditional law student, I desired to start my career at a firm that would provide early, substantive exposure to both clients and sophisticated legal work. Lindquist & Vennum had both. Throughout my time here, I had opportunities to meet with clients and draft work product for both court and private uses. Furthermore, Lindquist & Vennum assigns each summer associate an attorney and legal writing mentor. Each mentor provided me with regular, substantive advice regarding my professional development. Without a doubt, a summer associate at Lindquist & Vennum will have early substantive opportunities to practice law, but with the structure and tools one needs to guarantee success."

Alex Ellman, Vanderbilt Law School 


"I had an incredible experience as a summer associate at Lindquist and Vennum. From the first day, I felt welcomed into the culture and work of the firm. I completed projects for a variety of practice groups, including business litigation, real estate transactions, insurance recovery, and trusts and estates. I received instructive feedback on my assignments, which helped me improve my legal research and writing skills throughout the summer. My writing and pro bono mentors especially aided my development of real-world lawyering skills. The attorneys and staff treated me with respect and kindness, which also made me feel like a valuable member of the Lindquist team. Through its abundant expertise and resources, Lindquist truly invested in my future – and for this, I am fortunate and grateful."

Katy Wendt, University of Minnesota Law School


“I had the opportunity to spend two summers at Lindquist & Vennum. During both summers, the firm’s commitment to the program was evident. I received constant feedback and worked on challenging projects. I was able to meet with clients, appear in court, and work with both partners and associates. The attorneys I met truly cared about my success and all acted as mentors to me in one way or another. I could not have asked for a better experience.”

Kara Gray, William Mitchell College of Law


Lindquist & Vennum's compensation structure is designed to attract top associates and appropriately reward their talent and commitment. Our starting salary for associates is competitive with leading Twin Cities law firms. Bonuses are paid in the first quarter based on performance during the previous year; they may be in the form of either a “formula” bonus based upon objective performance goals, or discretionary based upon unique contributions to the firm.

Our comprehensive benefits package includes:

  • A generous parental leave policy.
  • Alternative work schedules and part-time policies.
  • Subsidized health coverage, including spouse/domestic partner health care benefits.
  • Dental and vision insurance.
  • Short-term and long-term disability, term life and accident insurance.
  • Backup child care and elder care.
  • CLE reimbursement.
  • 401(k) plan.
  • Bar review and bar exam fees, a bar exam advance and bar dues.
  • CLE fees.
  • Moving expenses.
  • Flexible spending accounts for medical, dependent care and transportation.
  • Employee assistance program.
  • Paid time off and holidays.
  • Pension plan contribution (after initial period of employment).
  • Tablet, laptop computer and mobile device.

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