FAQ

Find answers to your questions about our summer program.

How are assignments distributed during the summer program? Can you receive assignments from all practice areas?

Work assignments are made through two full-time summer associate coordinators (one litigation and one corporate associate) who take leave from their regular practice to plan and run the summer program. There is no rigid assignment or rotation system for summer associates. The summer coordinators work to provide summer associates with assignments in their principal areas of interest.

How much partner contact is there? Are partners accessible?

All summer associates will work with partners, and the firm’s “open-door” policy encourages frequent interaction among all lawyers. In addition, each summer associate is assigned a partner mentor. The mentor gives the summer associate his or her mid-summer and end-of-summer reviews, often works with the summer associate, and checks in with the summer associate on a regular basis. There are also many social opportunities to meet partners, including a formal welcome dinner for partners, summer associates and their guests.

Do you have a mentor program for summer associates?

In addition to partner mentors, each summer associate is assigned an associate liaison who helps the summer associate get acquainted with the firm. They get to know the summer associate by attending lunches, dinners and other informal social events.

What type of work is given to summer associates?

We give summer associates work that would be appropriate for first- and second-year associates, including legal research, drafting legal memoranda, court papers and corporate documents, performing due diligence and participating in many other aspects of corporate transactions and litigation matters.

Is pro bono work available and encouraged?

This summer, as in past summers, we involved nearly the entire summer associate class in our pro bono program. Summer associates work with partners, counsel and associates on a variety of existing matters, including amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court, court reform projects, asylum cases, and corporate and real estate transactions for public service organizations, among other projects. In addition, they have the opportunity to work on new matters we accept specifically for the summer program, as well as to participate in two-week externships at public service organizations.

How does the review/evaluation process work?

Summer associates receive regular feedback from lawyers with whom they work. In addition, two formal evaluations are given by a partner during the summer – a mid-summer review and a final review.

Can I do a rotation at one of Davis Polk's overseas offices during the summer? Must I speak another language?

Once a summer associate accepts an offer at Davis Polk, they may, so long as their stay in the summer program will be at least 10 weeks, request a rotation to London, São Paulo, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Beijing or Tokyo. Selection is based on the needs of these offices, a summer associate's long-term interest in working in the selected office as a full-time associate, and necessary or helpful language skills. During the summer of 2017, over 20 summer associates were assigned to an overseas office for four weeks; many others worked and traveled domestically.

What type of in-house seminars/training do you provide to summer associates?

Throughout the year, we have regular breakfast and lunch presentations for all lawyers on various legal topics to which summers are invited while they are here. During the summer, we also have special presentations and training sessions for the summer associates, including: 
• Corporate and Tax Immersion Programs 
• Corporate and Litigation Practice Overviews 
• Due Diligence Training 
• Partner Profiles 
• Associate Profiles 
• Pro Bono Overview

What kinds of social events are there during the summer program?

The firm sponsors many social events for summer associates, ranging from informal lunches and dinners with lawyers, to sporting events and cultural activities. Our 2017 summer events included cooking classes, walking tours, a theater night, laser tag, private movie screening and a welcome dinner at The Plaza Hotel.

What happens if you receive a clerkship?

Summer associates who decide to clerk following graduation and who receive an offer from the firm may defer their offer until they complete their clerkship. Class credit is given for up to two years for clerkships at the U.S. federal or state court or Canadian court level. Upon arrival at the firm, eligible clerks receive a bonus of $50,000 for a one-year clerkship and $70,000 for a two-year clerkship or two one-year clerkships.

What is the policy on splitting the summer?

Students interested in splitting their summer are required to work at Davis Polk for the first 8 weeks of the summer. They may then split their summer with another law firm outside of New York City or work within New York City at a government, nonprofit or financial institution.

Will the firm help me find summer housing?

The Recruiting Department will send information about summer housing options to incoming summer associates.