Jones Day's Summer Associate Program Goes Virtual
While many of our peer firms have shortened or canceled their summer associate programs this year, we remain committed to ours and made the decision early on to conduct it remotely—and not just at a superficial or a look-see level.
Our summer associate classes make up the most important pipeline for the Firm, ensuring that we will continue to provide the unsurpassed client service that is Jones Day's hallmark. While many of our peer firms shortened or canceled their summer associate programs this year, we remain committed to ours and made the decision early on to conduct it remotely—and not just at a superficial or a look-see level with a one- or two-week program.
This year, our program includes 209 students from 54 law schools (182 finished their second year of law school; 27 completed their first). Because of these unprecedented times in which we find ourselves, they are participating from 29 different states around the country, rather than sitting at their desks in our 18 U.S. offices.
Firmwide and office recruiting teams worked hard to rebuild the program from the ground up to ensure that our summer associates still have the same multifaceted summer experience as in years past, as well as the same opportunities to meet our lawyers, preview careers at Jones Day, and learn about our culture, history, and values. "We want to mimic, as much as we can, what it would be like if you were face to face, in person, in an office with somebody," Firmwide Hiring Partner Sharyl Reisman says. "Everything about the program is different, but the objectives haven't changed. And in some ways, we may have discovered better ways to enhance a lot of the programs we run."
Firmwide and Office-Based Programming
Among the new additions to the program: Firmwide programming, which includes a weekly Webex program where Firm leaders discuss topics ranging from Firm history and pro bono work, to significant matters the Firm has been involved in, to negotiations and legal writing. In addition, an "all-day" event of virtual programming with our Firm leaders focused on getting to know the Firm, Firm culture, and legal skills training took place on July 1.
Office-based programming this year focuses on legal skills training, socializing opportunities, and really getting to know the Firm. Although no in-person social events are taking place, offices have planned a variety of virtual activities for the summer associates to interact―including trivia nights, scavenger hunts, and virtual museum tours, as well as smaller, more interactive events, team-building exercises, "neighborhood" tours, and one-on-one programs with partners in the office, in addition to diversity programming.
Mentoring also remains an important component of the program. As in years past, summer associates have been paired with an assigned mentor to help integrate them into the Firm.
Rewarding Work Experience and Connections
With the program only a few weeks underway, many of our summer associates and lawyers have already started to make meaningful connections. And, despite the remote nature of the program, our summer associates are still getting direct client exposure and seeing firsthand the potential to have, early in their careers, a level of responsibility and client impact that is uncommon at other firms.
We hope our program is a rich experience for this year's class, and we look forward to spending more time with them over the next few weeks as they get to know about our clients, our culture, and us. Ultimately, Sharyl Reisman says, "This is an opportunity for the Firm to come forward and show everyone what we're all about―and for the summer associates to show us what they're about."
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