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Party Almost Over for 2007 ‘Summers’

Posted Aug 6, 2007 5:44 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Question: When can a law student get paid for traveling to London? Answer: When he or she is working as a summer associate at Dechert.

The 1000-attorney firm took all 99 of its 2007 summer associates in 17 offices in the U.S. and Europe to London, where it also has a 112-attorney office, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. And, at a cost of as much as $2,800 per week per summer associate--the top pay these days at major Philadelphia firms--such excursions aren't cheap.

But, overall, even mega-firms have been taking a relatively low-key approach this year to the annual summerfest of work and wine-and-dine events that are intended to give potential law firm hires a chance to showcase both their legal and social skills. Despite increased competition for graduates of top law schools, due to a booming market for legal work as the number of graduates from big-name institutions remains the same, common social activities for summer associates are low-key, the article says. Hot spots include firm-hosted events at the Lucky Strike bowling alley in Center City, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Phillies baseball games.

Nonetheless, even as those who call themselves "summers" report a relatively work-packed schedule of 50-hour weeks, "This has really been like an 11-week date," says Muhammad At-Tauhidi. A third-year student at Temple University Beasley School of Law, he is a summer associate at 456-attorney Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll.

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