Summer Associates

Secrest Wardle’s Summer Associate program provides a unique, non-competitive atmosphere for Summer Associates. The typical summer class consists of three to five second-year law students. Our goal is to recruit the brightest law students, invest in their development during the summer and recruit from the Summer Associates to meet our associate needs for the upcoming year. Rather than force Summer Associates to compete for limited positions, our philosophy is to evaluate each Summer Associate based on his or her own performance. Secrest Wardle possesses high standards and we hope that those who are asked to join the summer program will demonstrate the commitment to excellence, teamwork and client service necessary for an associate offer.

Although Secrest Wardle is organized into multiple practice groups, Summer Associates are not assigned to a particular practice group. Instead, assignments are solicited from all attorneys and are distributed equally among the Summer Associates. This process ensures that each Summer Associate is able to work with as many attorneys as possible and experience a variety of assignments from different practice areas while maintaining a manageable workload.

During the Summer Program, our new associates are given a considerable amount of responsibility. Accordingly, we feel the need to provide our Summer Associates with the type of assignments normally provided to junior associates. Summer Associates draft motions, complaints and answers; assist in trial preparation; draft jury instructions and briefs; in addition to conducting legal research. Each assignment is formally evaluated by the lead attorney. The evaluations are reviewed with the Summer Associate periodically throughout the summer. Emphasis is placed on the quality of the work as opposed to the quantity. We also encourage our attorneys to allow Summer Associates to monitor hearings, trials, depositions and attend client meetings to see firsthand the results of their work.

Each Summer Associate is assigned a mentor. The mentor is a great resource for firm procedures, resources, policies, etc.

While there is no minimum billable hour requirement for Summer Associates, we try to provide the Summer Associate with an understanding of what it is like to be an associate at the firm.

The Summer Associate Program is a balance between work and fun, social activities. There are informal gatherings and events throughout the summer which give the Summer Associate the opportunity to get to know our attorneys both inside and outside the office.

For more information about our Summer Association Program, contact John G. Mitchell at