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Firms Sponsoring Split Public Interest Summers
Several law firms have instituted programs that enable law students to work part of the summer with the firm, and part of the summer with a public interest organization, with the firm paying the students’ salaries for the entire summer. These generous plans allow law students to explore two types of legal practice and demonstrate the firms’ strong commitment to pro bono work. We encourage students to discuss these opportunities with firms and to seek firms that support public interest law and pro bono work through these and other programs.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Pro Bono Scholars Summer Program is a two-year program for typically ten 1Ls. During the first summer, the Scholars spend at least six weeks at a public interest organization and four weeks at either the firm’s DC, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, or Houston offices working on pro bono matters. Salary for the entire period is commensurate with the firm’s summer associate salary. For the second summer the students are expected to work in the office of their first summer, with summer associate salary, and will be given a commercial workload as well as pro bono opportunities. Scholars will be eligible for a post-graduation offer after completing the second summer at Akin.
Bradley offers a split summer opportunity for a 1L or 2L student. The student will work a minimum of 6 weeks at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings and the balance of the summer (a minimum of 4 weeks) at a public service organization approved by the firm.
Morgan Lewis & Bockius offers the Morgan Lewis Community Experience, a program established in 2001 which allows summer associates the opportunity to spend part of the summer in our traditional program, followed by an assignment at a public interest or community service organization. Summer associates spend up to three weeks with the organization and, together without firm’s pro bono partner, choose where they will work. Summer associates who select the ML Community Experience will receive a stipend equal to the salary that they would haver received at the firm as a summer associate. Recent organizations we’ve partnered with include the East Bay Community Law Center, the Support Center for Child Advocates, the ACLU, the Justice & Diversity Center of the San Francisco Bar, the Asian Law Caucus, National Public Radio and the Asian American Justice Center. Summer associates who participate in the Community Experience program are afforded the unique opportunity to experience a more traditional “in office” summer training program and contribute to the meaningful work of select public interest organizations.
Student may also elect the Morgan Lewis Firm Experience – a fully immersive summer working at one of our offices in the United States. Our Firm Experience offers summer associates a traditional law firm experience. Students spend all 10 weeks working on real assignments and engaging with lawyers and clients in one of our US offices. At the end of the 10-week period, summer associates leave with a very clear picture of the day-to-day life of a Morgan Lewis attorney.
Boston, MA/Chicago, IL/Houston, TX/Los Angeles, CA/New York, NY/Orange County, CA/Philadelphia, PA/San Francisco, CA/Silicon Valley, CA/Washington, DC
Christina Edling Melendi, Chair Firmwide Professional Recruiting Committee
Hillary Maropis, Director of Attorney Recruiting
Norton Rose Fulbright offers a split summer opportunity for one Yale 1L and one Yale 2L to work the first half of the summer with the firm (6-10 weeks) and the second half of the summer (up to 6 weeks) with a public interest organization approved by the firm and in any U.S. city where the firm has an office.
Austin, TX/Dallas, TX/Denver, CO/Houston, TX/Los Angeles, CA/Minneapolis, MN/New York, NY/San Antonio, TX/St. Louis, MO/Washington, DC
Alice Bolander, Legal Recruiting Manager
Paul Hastings offers a limited number of second year law students an opportunity to split their summer with a non-profit or non-governmental organization within reasonable driving distance of the city where they will be working for the Firm. The public interest organization is subject to approval and conflicts clearance by the Firm. Students should express their interest in this opportunity during the campus interview process and, if selected, must submit the name of organization by March 31st. The first 8 weeks of the summer must be spent with the firm, and the final 4 weeks spent with the public interest organization. While working for the public interest organization during the last four weeks of the summer program, the Firm will compensate the student unless legally prohibited.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has in the past offered all summer associates the opportunity to spend the first 8 weeks at the firm and the rest of the summer at a DC public interest organization of their choice. The firm has helped interested summer associates find appropriate public interest opportunities.
Shipman & Goodwin offers one Yale 2L the opportunity to work 6 weeks with the firm and 4 weeks with a public interest organization, preferably in either the Hartford or Stamford area. Students should express their interest in pursuing this opportunity during the on-campus interview process. The public interest organization is subject to approval and conflicts clearance by the firm.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett offers a select number of split summer opportunities (2Ls only). These students will work for the first 8 weeks at the firm and then at a public interest organization of their choice for the following 4 weeks of the summer. The organization they choose to work for may be domestic or international. The firm also offers the Cyrus Vance Fellowship, which allows one Yale student to work at the firm for a minimum of the first 8 weeks and then to work on an international human rights project approved by the Schell Center at Yale.
Inclusion on this list assumes the firm will assure full associate pay during the public interest placement unless otherwise specified. Sometimes not all offices of a firm participate in the sponsored split program. We have listed, with the firm contact information, only the participating offices.
Yale Law School Career Development Office would like to thank the listed firms for their generous support of legal work in the public interest.
If you know of any other split public interest summer opportunities or would like to develop one, please contact the Yale Law School Career Development Office at 203-432-1676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Updated August 2021