SUMMER ASSOCIATE PROGRAM
Phelps Dunbar provides law students opportunities to work at the law firm through various programs that provide a realistic view of the practice of law and how to best service client legal needs. Depending on the office, practice and present needs of the firm, Phelps Dunbar coordinates summer associate programs and law clerking opportunities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Florida and Alabama.
The firm's summer associate program is committed to providing law students a variety of experiences focused on strengthening skills essential to our legal practice. In several of our offices we will host a traditional summer program which lasts 6-7 weeks during the first-half of the summer. This program allows students to become involved in the day-to-day activities of a law firm practice, including research and writing, attending depositions, investigations, hearings, motions and trials, and corporate and commercial closings. Projects are assigned to summer associates through a pool system which allows the summer associates a chance to work in multiple practice areas and groups within the firm. Throughout the program, partners and associates act as mentors to provide the summer clerks with informal evaluations and advice, as well as to help acclimate the student to the firm, practice area and office. Summer associates are provided opportunities to meet our clients and participate in training programs throughout the summer geared to help enhance their skills. Additionally, in an effort to become acquainted with our attorneys on a personal basis, the firm sponsors a number of social and professional functions that allow for interaction in non-work environments. In the summer of 2013, the following offices will host summer associate programs: Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Tampa, Florida.
back to top
In addition to or in lieu of the traditional summer programs, Phelps Dunbar has alternate opportunities for the law students to gain exposure to the law firm. Phelps Dunbar provides for the hiring of law clerks when practice groups or offices have additional needs. These opportunities allow students to work during the school year or for intervals in the summer for offices and practices that require additional support. Phelps Dunbar works directly with the law schools to recruit students for these positions and the firm works with each law clerk to determine a mutually agreeable schedule. Similar to our summer program, the law clerk experience allows students to gain exposure to a law firm environment, become involved in the daily activities of an established legal practice, and work side by side with experienced attorneys.
Throughout the year we evaluate the needs of the firm, offices, and practices and adjust the programs based on the necessary hiring demands to support our clients.
back to top
How do I apply for a law clerk position at Phelps Dunbar?
Many of our offices do not host a traditional summer associate program and instead offer opportunities to work as a law cloerk either during the school year or at intervals during the summer. If you are interested in applying for a law clerk position, please submit your application on-line here.
How do I apply for a summer associate position at Phelps Dunbar?
There are a couple of ways. You can sign-up for on-campus interviews if we will be at your school during the fall or spring. If we are not scheduled to be on-campus, please submit your information on-line here. Please note that excellent academic credentials are required (top 25%). Moot court and/or law review experience is preferred.
How long does the traditional summer associate program last? For law clerks?
The firm’s summer programs are the first-half of the summer only. In all of the offices, except for Tampa, the program will run six weeks. In Tampa, the summer program runs for seven weeks. The law clerk program's length of time varies depending on the schedule of the law clerk as well as the firm's needs. The law clerk opportunity can be available anywhere from a couple of semesters to a few weeks in the summer.
Are summer associates or law clerks assigned to a mentor?
Yes. Summer associates are assigned an attorney(s) who will serve as a guide to help familiarize the summer associates with the procedures of the firm and the specifics of the summer associate program.
What is a typical work assignment for a summer associate or law clerk at Phelps Dunbar?
Summer associates typically prepare memos, perform research, review discovery and draft client letters and motions. The firm strives to actively involve summer associates in the day-to-day activities of a typical associate at Phelps Dunbar.
How are the summer associates and/or law clerks involved in work-related activities?
Summer associates participate in a wide variety of work-related activities. With client permission, summer associates are allowed to attend trials, depositions, shipboard investigations and client meetings. In addition, summer associates are encouraged to participate in firm-sponsored client presentations and attorney training lunches.
Are there social activities involved in the summer associate program?
Yes. Social functions at Phelps Dunbar are designed to allow the summer associates to meet attorneys in a relaxed atmosphere. Examples of social functions include golf tournaments, partner parties, bowling events, happy hours, lunches, baseball games and trips to other offices.
Do most of the summer associates and/or law clerks receive job offers?
The majority of entry-level associate hired at Phelps Dunbar have participated in the summer associate program. The number of offers are determined based on the particular needs of the firm, practice areas and office.
back to top
We have completed our on-campus interviews for our 2013 Summer Associate Program.
back to top
In 2010, Phelps Dunbar introduced a new training program entitled Phelps-Edu to encompass all of the firm’s continuing legal education programs. In addition to year-round training programs offered to our attorneys, the firm has developed and implemented a program designed specially for the summer associates. Phelps-Edu Summer offers summer associates a glimpse of life as a junior associate, as well as gaining applicable skills for practicing law. The program, created by a Phelps Dunbar attorney, supplements the law school education.
Phelps-Edu Summer is designed to work within the firm's summer program. It runs concurrent with the traditional summer program assignments and events and may include a variety of assignments such as a research memo, writing a client letter, drafting a motion for summary judgment, an oral argument and/or review of an assignment. The program is flexible and administered according to the needs of each office. Partners with expertise will present seminars on assignment topics. Knowledgeable senior-level attorneys will review the assignments and provide direct feedback to the summer associates.
Whether through our on-going attorney training or our specific summer program training, Phelps Dunbar is committed to assisting attorneys in continuing their education and providing seminars on current topics. Our training sessons and material are available year-round on our on-line video library.
back to top
Tory George Nieset
Director, Legal Personnel & Recruiting
Phone: (504) 566-1311