We asked these questions (along with a lot of others) of our summer associates, and here are their unedited, unscripted and unabridged opinions.
How would you describe the Firm and the Summer Program to a fellow student?
"It's real. Every big firm claims to be global, but for White & Case it is the center of gravity and organizing principle for much of the Firm's identity. It means you get really big, really important, work as a summer. It also means that every office is brimming with diverse personalities from all over the world, breeding a culture of respect, tolerance and innovative thinking."
"Almost everyone at the Firm was available whenever I had a question. There is definitely an "open-door" culture, where I felt free to walk into anyone's office to talk about something. Many attorneys came to my office the first week to introduce themselves, which definitely put me at ease."
"The work is real. Better yet, it is also substantive! One of my assignments made its way into a brief. Another one of my assignments was eventually published. I answered a variety of legal questions concerning different practice areas. It could not have been better!"
Will you recommend White & Case to your law school friends? Why?
"Absolutely, I could not have had a better experience and could not be more excited for my future career. The Firm genuinely cares about what you want in your professional life, and wants to make sure it fits in with a happy/healthy life in general."
"Yes, I already have. I recommended it because it is a truly international firm with an amazing group of people. Everyone works hard, which is expected of Big Law, but not everyone has the opportunity to work with lawyers that are as intelligent, or level- headed as the ones I have worked with here."
"Yes. I had a great summer at White & Case. I've learned a lot about the Firm and the substantive work in which the Firm is involved. Everyone at the Firm and especially those directly involved in coordinating the summer program is dedicated to making sure you make the most of your ten weeks."
Was the work interesting and challenging?
"Yes. Almost every one of my projects involved substantive research and writing, which is what I had hoped for. I had the opportunity to work on big and complex cases for a broad range of clients, and the questions I was being asked to answer were challenging and interesting. What I liked most was that I could tell that my work product actually mattered to the case and that the attorneys were taking it seriously."
"The amount of substantive work I had the opportunity to work on this summer truly exceeded my expectations. The work was interesting and, overall, I felt the summer was a great learning experience. I was able to work with every group I was interested in."
"The work is surprisingly substantive, and some research questions can be incredibility challenging, especially in Litigation. I drafted research memos which were used—partially, of course—in actually motions submitted to court. The highlight of the summer, though, was getting to be a judge in a mock oral argument for a case on appeal and then attending the actually oral argument in the Third Circuit."
What were the best aspects of the Summer Program?
"One word can sum up the best part of the summer program: balance. There is a perfect balance between lunches, summer social events, training seminars and work. I feel as though I had the opportunity to bond with my fellow summers and lawyers in both casual and formal settings yet, at the same time, I truly got a sense of what associate and partner life is truly like for when I (hopefully) come back."
"Actually getting the feeling that my work mattered. I felt like "part of the team" on some of my projects—attorneys let me come for calls and always debriefed me afterwards and filled me in on the background information."
"The substantive nature of the work assignments, the exciting and various social events and the personal relationship developments. The summer gave us an accurate idea of what it would be like to work at the Firm, and still having fun along the way."
What were your impressions of the training opportunities offered by the Firm?
"The summer program had a lot of training sessions, which helped level the play field, especially for those who did not have much exposure to corporate work before starting work."
"Mentoring circle is great; associates and partners are always willing to teach and answer questions. I had many assignments where the associates would go out of their way to show me how to do something."
"The training was pretty helpful. The Firm made an effort to introduce us to a variety of different practice groups during lunchtime seminars, and plenty of practical training was available. I had the opportunity to participate in an exercise with an expert witness, where I took a mock deposition of an expert and examined another expert in a mock trial."
Please click here to view additional summer associate comments.