US Summer Associate FAQs

What is the length of Dechert’s U.S. summer associate program?

In 2019 we hosted a summer program for ten weeks, starting on May 20 and concluding on July 26. The timing and duration of the program is the same across all US offices.

Do summer associates receive evaluations and feedback during the summer program?

Summer associates receive formal reviews at the middle and end of the summer program. In addition, the lawyers with whom you work with will provide informal feedback as projects are completed throughout the summer.

How does the summer associate assignment system work?

Our summer associate program is built around your interests. You can choose to spend your summer in one practice group, or sample several of them. There is no formal rotation through certain pre-selected practice groups or departments.

Will I be paired with a mentor during the summer associate program?

Each summer associate is assigned at least one mentor. Mentors help ensure that you have a meaningful work experience, and also serve as a general resource for questions and guidance.

Is there training for summer associates?

Absolutely! Dechert is committed to providing relevant, engaging and specialized training to our attorneys. This begins on day one of the summer program when all summer associates come together for a multi-day, interactive orientation in New York. During orientation, summer associates learn about Dechert’s history and culture, its Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and its commitment to pro bono. Training continues after orientation with various formal, hands-on training programs, including mock negotiations and mock depositions.

Summer associates learn about Dechert’s core practice areas and attend regular practice group meetings and training sessions. They also participate in Dechert’s industry-recognized Critical Skills Institute Program which helps to develop leadership, management, communication and client relations skills. 

Are there opportunities for “hands-on” training?

Summer associates are given challenging, substantive assignments working on the most sophisticated matters in the legal market. Summer associates also have the opportunity to attend depositions, client meetings, hearings, board meetings and other proceedings.

Are there opportunities to work with attorneys in other offices as a summer associate?

As both a summer associate and an associate, you will work with attorneys in other offices. Dechert is organized along practice group lines making cross-office staffing common and allowing you to work with colleagues across geographic lines.

Are summer associate splits allowed?

Summer associate splits between two Dechert offices or between Dechert and another firm are decided on a case-by-case basis. If a summer associate is splitting the summer with a different firm, we require that the summer associate spend the first five weeks with us to take part in orientation and other key summer events. 

What are the billable hour requirements for associates and how does pro bono count towards these?

The annual target is 1,950 billable hours. Associates are encouraged to devote up to 200 hours of their time to pro bono legal work, which is credited toward annual billable hours. All lawyers are required to perform at least 25 hours of pro bono work per year.

Can associates transfer between offices?

Dechert is a fully integrated firm consisting of 26 offices organized along practice group lines. Within practice groups, the firm offers associates geographic flexibility. A Dechert associate can usually relocate as long as the associate’s practice group is represented in the office to which the associate wishes to move.

What if I am getting a joint degree?

Summer associates who are getting a joint degree are usually eligible to apply for a summer position during the summer prior to their last year of school.

How are LL.M. candidates handled?

U.S. LL.M. students are treated the same as 3Ls. We typically do not hire students in foreign LL.M. programs until we have the opportunity to review at least one semester of grades achieved from a U.S. law school.

Does the firm hire 3Ls and how should a 3L apply?

The process for hiring 3Ls is driven by each practice group. We accept write-in applications from 3Ls, and encourage applicants to submit a resume and transcript via our online application, along with a cover letter identifying the practice group in which they are interested. If the practice group has a need, an applicant may be invited in for interviews.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Dechert LLP is committed to ensuring equal employment opportunity and non discrimination. The firm prohibits unlawful discrimination in any term or condition of employment against any employee or applicant for employment because of the individual’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, membership or service in the armed forces, or any other characteristic protected by law.

We are proud of our organization and want every employee at the Firm to feel welcome with an equal opportunity to excel. Thank you for your interest in Dechert LLP.