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Summer Program

It's time to take what you’ve learned in law school and give it context through real-world experience. Learn how to put together a brief or contract. How to collaborate with teams of lawyers and professionals to create innovative solutions. All of this while learning about the firm’s practice areas. In our summer program, you’ll form new relationships, expand your network and find out what it’s like to be an Akin Gump lawyer.

The Work You Want, Right From the Start

Choose to work on assignments that excite you. We don’t put you through a formal practice group rotation. Instead, our assigning partners and work coordinators will guide you as you discover practice areas that spark your curiosity.

Summer associates can work on matters ranging from billion-dollar contracts, to briefs involving discrimination claims, to IP work and more.

Former Akin Gump summer associates have:

  • Drafted a memo on the scope of liability for makers of a popular, carcinogenic chemical compound.
  • Reviewed complex contracts for a $1.7 billion credit facility.
  • Prepared a client for an SEC interview.
  • Drafted a memo for a summary judgment brief involving racial discrimination.
  • Prepared license agreements arising out of sublease arrangements for a hedge fund.

Front Row Seat

Shadow high-stakes depositions, hearings, witness interviews and client meetings with leading practitioners.

Past summer associates have:

  • Met with a client in Argentina to review, translate and summarize corporate documents.
  • Attended a deposition and subsequent arbitral hearing.
  • Reported on a Senate Committee meeting.
  • Attended collective bargaining agreement negotiations.
  • Assisted at a critical hearing in a cross-border bankruptcy case.
  • Reported on an international trade organization meeting.
  • Observed a client’s shareholders meeting.

Make an Impact through Pro Bono Work

Working on pro bono matters helps you learn on the job and make a difference. You'll join your peers and senior lawyers working to profoundly empower people, organizations and causes. All summer associates are assigned a pro bono project during the summer, allowing them to work alongside our lawyers and collaborate with legal services organizations on the front lines of issues that matter to you—from death penalty trial defense, to human rights, poverty law, immigration and more.

More than 70 percent of our lawyers devote more than 80 hours a year to pro bono activities. In 2019, the firm donated almost 100,000 hours of pro bono service. Pro bono hours are counted equally to any other client hours, with no cap on credit. All levels of firm management champion the firm’s policy of strongly encouraging lawyers to participate in our pro bono practice as part of their ongoing caseloads.

Pro Bono Opportunities

Our pro bono practice areas include:

  • Death Penalty Trial Defense
  • Education Reform
  • Environmental Protection and Animal Rights
  • Human Rights and Refugees
  • Immigration Law and Policy
  • Impact Litigation
  • International Development
  • Policy Work in the Public Interest
  • Poverty Law
  • Soldiers and Families.

Past summer associates have:

  • Analyzed critical issues in terrorism cases for a paper on prosecuting terrorism defendants.
  • Represented women applying for legal status under the Violence against Women Act.
  • Briefed the merits of a Supreme Court case addressing prosecutorial immunity.
  • Drafted a political asylum application for a foreign scholar at risk of persecution in his home country.
  • Represented asylum seekers through the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project.
  • Do you want to make pro bono a priority in your career? Check out our Pro Bono Scholars Program for rising second-year law school students.

Grow Your Skills

Our training programs for summer associates expose you to new ideas and innovative ways of solving even the most complex legal and business issues.

We’ll give you the tools and training you need to excel. At Akin Gump, we focus on professional development and skill building starting on day one. In addition to working on matters, you’ll attend legal writing workshops, pro bono training, panel discussions and meet-the-practice presentations.

“The summer associate training programs and departmental lunches were extremely useful. The training programs really gave us a sense of how our discrete projects fit into a bigger picture and gave us a chance to experiment with presentation and negotiation styles and techniques. The departmental meetings gave us a real, honest account of life in the department.” — New York summer associate

Valuable Mentoring

During the summer, you’ll tackle challenging matters for sophisticated clients. We don’t throw you into the program or your projects without support. You’ll be paired with several lawyer mentors to show you the ropes and make sure you’re maximizing every opportunity. Your mentors will make introductions across the firm, spend time one-on-one to answer questions and join you for networking events. Mentors will help you secure assignments in your areas of interest and navigate the program. They can also be a sounding board as you explore your career goals.

Feedback and Evaluations

In addition to two formal review meetings during the summer, you’ll meet regularly with mentors and supervising lawyers to get frequent feedback on your work. We go over your assignments, skills, progress and questions to ensure that you are getting the most out of your summer program (and so that you always know where you stand).

Events That Matter 

The best way to get to know our lawyers is to connect and be yourself. Our program includes plenty of opportunities to bond with your fellow summer associates and our lawyers while enjoying a variety of experiences. Across the summer, we host regular networking and wellness events and encourage impromptu gatherings so that you can make the most of the summer. Learn more about summer events in our offices by navigating to each program’s page.

“The summer events were a great opportunity to get to know what firm lawyers’ lives are like outside of work. While I found that many Akin lawyers have an intensity and passion for their work, many are equally intense and passionate about their hobbies, communities and families. Some are foodies, some follow baseball religiously, others spend many out-of-office hours serving others. These things are easier to learn about outside the office than in it. I saw that Akin lawyers lead rich lives outside of work.” — Washington, D.C. summer associate

Our program includes plenty of opportunities to bond with your fellow summers and our lawyers while enjoying experiences such as:

  • Major League Baseball games
  • Sip and paint events
  • Bowling
  • Escape rooms
  • Competitive cooking classes
  • Spin classes
  • Concerts
  • Broadway shows
  • Summer associate-only events
  • Community service projects
  • Dinners at lawyers’ homes
  • Diversity and inclusion events.

Learn about summer events in our offices.