Summer Associate Program
Durham Jones & Pinegar (D|J|P) actively recruits summer associates each year. Typically, we hire law students who have completed their second year of law school, and occasionally we will also hire exceptional law students who have completed their first year of law school. We look for talented and energetic law students who are interested in making a long-term professional commitment to the practice of law and to D|J|P.
We have high hiring standards. Most of our associates have graduated near the top of their class and have had law review experience. We seek to hire individuals who have excellent written and verbal skills and who have demonstrated leadership ability. Associates are hired with the hope and expectation that if they perform well, they will qualify after a prescribed number of years to become shareholders in the firm. New associates are given responsibility early in their tenure with the firm. Associates are assigned to one or two sections of the firm, and they are mentored and supervised by a shareholder. Our associate development committee oversees and coordinates the training of associates.
Summer associates are hired with the possibility that they will become associate employees of the firm following graduation, assuming that their work product and work ethic measure up to our high standards.
Members of the recruiting committee at D|J|P work closely with university on-campus interview programs and attend recruiting functions throughout the year. Students from schools where the firm is conducting on-campus interviews should submit their resumes in accordance with their school’s guidelines.
Orientation & Training
Our summer associates receive a realistic experience of what it is like to be an attorney working at D|J|P. Students work on actual client matters. We endeavor to have summer associates, where appropriate, attend depositions, hearings, trials, and client meetings. Summer associates work with a variety of attorneys from different sections of the firm to obtain a broad overview of the firm and its practice areas.
The work of the summer associates is directed by the summer associate committee chair, who has the primary responsibility to coordinate summer associate work and social activities. The coordinator meets at least weekly with the summer associates to coordinate such matters and to exchange pertinent information. In addition, each summer associate is assigned a junior and a senior mentor, who serve as a resource for support and questions throughout the summer.
Summer associates receive both formal and informal feedback from the attorneys who assign them work. In addition, summer associates have periodic reviews with the summer associate chair during the summer and a final review at the end of the summer with the managing partner or a member of the board of directors regarding the overall performance of the summer associate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the timing of your summer program?
Our summer associates usually begin work within two weeks of the last day of school and finish their clerkship sometime in August. We are flexible with these dates as long as the summer associate works a minimum of eight to ten weeks.
Do you allow split summers?
We discourage split summers but will consider requests on a case-by-case basis. We do, however, require a minimum of eight weeks, either at the beginning of the summer or commencing in the middle of the summer. In our experience, it is generally preferable for the summer associate to participate in the entire summer program.
Does the firm hire associates from its summer program?
Yes. We view our summer program as the primary source of new hires for associate positions. The program allows the summer associates and our attorneys to get to know one another on both a professional and personal basis.
What are my chances of getting an offer after I complete the summer program?
We limit the size of the summer program intentionally so that each participant who meets the firm’s expectations has a realistic opportunity to receive an offer. Offers are extended to second-year summer associates based on the firm’s assessment of their work performance, initiative, judgment, interpersonal skills, and the firm’s needs.
When are offers extended?
Offers for continued employment are typically extended in late August or September after all summer associates have concluded their work at the end of the summer program.
What types of assignments will I receive?
We strive to give summer associates exposure to a wide variety of legal matters with a cross-section of attorneys at D|J|P. Of course, assignments are based on the firm’s needs at the time. We try to accommodate individual interests, while at the same time encouraging summer associates to expand their horizons by experiencing new areas of law. Typical assignments may involve researching issues of the law and writing a memorandum that applies the law to the particular facts of a case. Other assignments may include drafting contract terms or reviewing and summarizing documents.
Will I go to court or have client contact?
When appropriate, summer associates are invited to attend depositions and court proceedings, transaction negotiations, and closings. This is especially meaningful to the summer associate where he or she has worked on the particular matter that is the subject of such proceedings. In these settings a summer associate is able to see our attorneys at work as they represent our clients.
What compensation will I receive?
Our summer associate salaries are competitive with those of other large Salt Lake City law firms. Paid parking is also included. Our Summer Associates are also eligible to participate in the Firm’s 401(K) plan.
What is the dress code at D|J|P?
Attorneys and summer associates are expected to wear appropriate business attire to court and when meeting with clients. Otherwise, attire is business casual.
What type of social activities does the firm provide for its summer associates?
We provide a number of opportunities for the summer associates to socialize with each other and with the attorneys in the firm in settings other than the law office. Summer associates have the opportunity to have lunch with our attorneys during the summer, enjoying casual conversations and gaining valuable insight into life as an attorney. They also attend informal parties and gatherings during the summer. In the past, summer associates have also attended sporting and cultural events with members of the firm.