Paul L. Caron

Monday, March 15, 2021

Big Law Firms Prepare For A Second Year Of Virtual Summer Associate Programs, Big Firms Prepare for Another Year of Virtual Summer Programs:

Following months of uncertainty over their summer associate programs, several large law firms have decided to make their 2021 programs virtual for a second year in a row, though some are leaving the door open for potential in-person events.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Goodwin Procter and Ropes & Gray will have completely virtual programs, with the first two opting for a full 10-week summer associate schedule.

Summer programs at Latham & Watkins; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati will be virtual and full-length as well, though the firms have said that there may be in-person events toward the end of the program.

Most firms made their announcements in the last week, breaking with many firms that told in late February that they are holding out in hopes that they can have an in-person program—an experience that partners often feel is crucial to integrating prospective associates with a firm’s culture. ...

[G]iven the success of last year’s virtual program and the fact that the majority of summer associates are in the early-to-mid-20s, putting them squarely at the back of the line for vaccination priority, many firms are fine with a second year of virtual programming.

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