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U.S. Summer Associates

Make the transition from student to lawyer. Our summer associate program is the first step to becoming a full-time associate. 

We look for smart, imaginative, and hard-working people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas to discover the opportunities that K&L Gates has to offer.

Our Summer Associate Program provides you with the opportunity to get real-life experience on diverse projects. You’ll have the chance to accompany our lawyers to court appearances, arbitrations, depositions, trials, client meetings, and other key events. As a summer associate, you’ll receive regular formal and informal feedback on your ongoing performance and developmental progress. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with the firm’s partners and associates during informal social activities. 

We’re committed to providing every summer associate with the tools to succeed. We will challenge you to explore and define your practice interests, to make significant contributions while working on real-life complex and sophisticated legal matters, and to make a difference in the community—all while learning from exceptional lawyers. 

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Law Student Diversity Initiatives

We sponsor numerous programs in our U.S. offices for diverse 1L students. 

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Approximate hiring needs for 2021 Summer Program:

Office # of Lawyers*   Approx. Summer Program Size Practice Groups That Typically
Hire Entry Level Associates
Boston 96 4-5 Corporate; Asset Management and Investment Funds; Litigation-Commercial Disputes 
Charleston 29 1-2 Banking and Asset Finance; Corporate; Labor, Employment, and Workplace Safety; Litigation-Commercial Disputes; Real Estate
Charlotte 52 4-5 Banking and Asset Finance; Corporate
Chicago 78 4-5 Corporate; Intellectual Property; Litigation-Commercial Disputes
Houston 14 1-2 Energy, Infrastructure, and Resources; Litigation-Commercial Disputes; Power; Real Estate
Los Angeles 23 2-3 Corporate; Litigation-Commercial Disputes
Miami 31 1 Corporate; Litigation-Commercial Disputes
New York 61 3-4 Corporate; Asset Management and Investment Funds; Litigation-Commercial Disputes
Newark 42 2-3 Corporate; Litigation-Commercial Disputes
Orange County 23 2-3 Corporate; Litigation-Commercial Disputes
Pittsburgh 142 5-6 Corporate; Energy, Infrastructure, and Resources; Insurance Coverage; Investigations, Enforcement, and White Collar; Litigation-Commercial Disputes
Raleigh 30 2-3 Corporate; Litigation-Commercial Disputes; Labor, Employment, and Workplace Safety; Real Estate
Seattle 146 6-7 Corporate; Environment, Land, and Natural Resources; Labor, Employment, and Workplace Safety; Litigation-Commercial Disputes; Technology, Sourcing, and Privacy
Washington D.C. 135 4-5 Antitrust, Competition, and Trade Regulation; Energy, Infrastructure, and Resources; Government Contracts and Procurement Policy; Investigations, Enforcement, and White Collar; Asset Management and Investment Funds

*as of August 2020

How do I apply for a summer associate position if you don’t interview at my law school?
You may submit an application for our summer associate program online. Click here to apply now.

How many summer associates were in the firm’s 2020 program?

Austin - 1
Boston - 6
Charleston - 1
Charlotte - 4
Chicago - 5
Houston - 3
Los Angeles - 2
Miami - 1
Newark - 3
New York - 3
Orange County - 2
Pittsburgh - 14
Portland - 1
Raleigh - 4
Seattle - 7
Washington, D.C. - 5

What’s the typical agenda for an office interview?
The interview format differs among offices.  Generally, you’ll spend the morning or afternoon at the firm, meeting with four to six lawyers with a myriad of experiences and practices, as well as local recruiting staff.  Be sure to identify practice areas of interest before your interview to ensure you meet with lawyers in those practices.

Will I be reimbursed for travel expenses associated with my office interview?
Yes.  We reimburse all reasonable travel expenses approved by the Regional Recruiting Manager.  Be sure to keep your receipts and submit a NALP Travel Reimbursement Form (provided by our Regional Recruiting Manager). 

When does the summer associate program start, and how long does it run?
Our summer associate program varies by office but it typically runs eight to ten weeks, beginning in May or June.  Ask your Regional Recruiting Manager for this year’s program dates.

Does the firm allow split summers between K&L Gates offices or other firms?
We typically prefer summer associates to spend their full summer in one office so their experience is fulsome and uninterrupted, but we consider requests to split within K&L Gates offices on a case-by-case basis.

As a summer associate, will I be assigned mentors? 
Yes. Your mentors will assist you with all aspects of our summer associate program, helping with work assignments and professional development and serving as a resource during your time at the firm. 

As a summer associate, what type of training can I expect to receive?
The firm’s Professional Development Department develops a new summer associate curriculum each year, designed to enhance your knowledge and technical skills and your transition to practicing lawyer.  

As a summer associate, what type of work can I expect?
You’ll work on client matters and pro bono cases similar to what you would work on as a first or second-year associate. We also provide shadowing opportunities which may include depositions, arbitrations, client meetings, board meetings, and judicial proceedings.

As a summer associate, what type of feedback can I expect to receive?
You’ll receive informal feedback from your mentor and other lawyers over the course of the summer. You’ll gain insight through written evaluations as well as a mid-summer review and end of summer review.

Does the firm have a billable hours expectation for summer associates? 
No. However, you will be working on real client work and are expected to learn how to balance deadlines and expectations. Summer associates typically bill between 25-35 hours per week.

Will I have the opportunity to work on pro bono matters?
Yes. K&L Gates has a strong commitment to pro bono work, and you’ll be encouraged to participate in these assignments during the summer.  

As a summer associate, will I be provided with insurance benefits?
The firm does not provide insurance or other benefits to summer associates or their dependents.

How many summer associates receive permanent offers from K&L Gates?
Our goal is to make offers to all of our summer associates. We assess the potential of each summer associate and extend offers to those who demonstrate the potential to succeed as a K&L Gates lawyer.   

What types of social activities could I expect to participate in as a summer associate? 
The firm arranges a variety of social activities throughout the summer program to provide summer associates and lawyers the opportunity to get to know one another. Dinners, sporting events and local happenings are just some of the ways summer associates get to know the lawyers. 

Do you hire 1Ls for your summer program?
We hire 1Ls for a select number of our offices. Please check our website in December for more information about how to apply. 

Do I have to choose a particular practice area at the beginning of the summer?
We encourage our summer associates to explore opportunities in a variety of practice areas throughout the summer.

How can I expect to receive work as a summer associate?
Our work assignment process varies by office and practice group.  Some practice groups take a free-market approach, and some have assignment coordinators.  Partners and more experienced associates assign work within each practice group.

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