Seyfarth Shaw L.A. office managing partner Laura Shelby is quoted in the June 15 edition of The Recorder regarding firms finding new stream line methods to enhance summer associate programs.
The article explains that the summer associate programs of old were a time-consuming, lavish affair. It estimates that a big firm in a major city in the boom times would have easily granted $60,000 to each summer associate, including the student's salary, parties and dinners, space and support staff costs, and the time of partners who oversee the summers. Laura's comments to The Recorder concur, "Seyfarth viewed the traditional summer program as expensive and not effective in churning out associates that could hit the ground runnin. Its much smaller labor-and-employment focused summer fellowship addresses those issues."
Many companies like Seyfarth are enhancing these summer programs to ensure that they are not overly expensive and that they are accomplishing the goal of churning out great associates. "Cost was one driver behind Seyfarth's move to drop its summer program in 2009 in favor of a leaner and more practical pilot program focused on its busy labor and employment law group, the traditional summer program was very expensive, it didn't do as much to train the people, and the people didn't always come back," says Laura.
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