Meyer, Unkovic & Scott’s summer associate program demonstrates the firm’s overall commitment to recruiting and nurturing new associates. As a result of this philosophy, we have built a comprehensive program that balances real-world experience, training, interaction, and, of course, plenty of fun.
Because MUS’s first year associates typically are hired from our summer classes, it is vital to the firm — and the new lawyer — to make this experience realistic. Too often, new attorneys discover a drastic difference between life as a summer associate and their existence as a first year attorney. That is not the case at MUS. Summer associates leave our program knowing they haven’t witnessed a “censored” version of firm life. Accordingly, they can accept a full-time position objectively and without fear of the unknown, which should be the primary goals of both the summer associate and the law firm.
MUS offers all its attorneys an appealing balance between work and home life. Summer associates are introduced to that philosophy immediately, with work, training and social activities all offered in balanced doses. Best of all, our summer associates find the program flexible enough to work with many different attorneys and discover what practice area is most appealing to them as individuals, all while fully enjoying the summer break from law school. The result is a truly memorable experience.
However, creating an optimal balance between work, training and personal interaction can only exist through a focused firm-wide effort. MUS has placed the full weight of the firm’s resources and creativity to bear in developing our summer program. As a result, the summer associate program has been refined over the years to combine an efficient structure with enough flexibility to allow individual attention.
In the end, uncertainty has no place in any successful summer associate program. Our summer associates always know how they are progressing. Attorneys first assign projects through the partner in charge of summer associates, who then hands out assignments with a full understanding of each summer associate’s workload and interests. The assigning attorney works closely with the summer associate throughout each project and then submits an objective evaluation based on performance.
Through this evaluation process, summer associates constantly are aware of their performance and are empowered to pay more attention to certain aspects of their work and capitalize on their strengths. These evaluations play a key role in our formal summer associate reviews, which are conducted in the middle and end of the program.
The following are some of the highlights of the MUS summer associate program:
MUS summer associates work on real cases under the close supervision of our practicing attorneys. To ensure that summer associates receive the proper amounts and types of work, all assignments first flow through a partner who leads each class. MUS attorneys who request summer associate assistance submit a written form that describes the project scope, basic facts, time requirements and due date. Summer associates then sit down with the assigning attorney to discuss the project in detail. Even after the work begins, all MUS attorneys maintain an open door policy for any additional questions or assistance. Our summer associates can expect to:
- Draft pleadings and memoranda
- Attend depositions and hearings
- Research substantive case law
- Assist attorneys in evaluating procedural issues
- Meet with clients
- Attend conferences with judges
- Help prepare presentations and seminars
- Provide a fresh perspective on challenging issues
A comprehensive, consistent and effective evaluation system is crucial to every associate’s development, which especially is important for summer associates. Upon the completion of every summer associate project, the supervising MUS attorney is required to submit a written evaluation. The evaluation considers the quality of work, promptness, presentation and other factors. Summer associates are then regularly apprised of their progress from both the attorneys who assign the work and the hiring committee. Formal reviews are conducted during the middle and end of the summer, which allows summer associates every opportunity to truly understand how they are performing.
Research & Writing
The heart of our profession is effective research and writing. Every successful attorney must be skilled at identifying appropriate legal issues and persuasively communicating an argument. The MUS research and writing program is designed to progressively help summer associates bridge the gap between the real world and their law school classes. Our attorneys provide quality feedback on completed assignments, hold informal classes over lunch and conduct practical exercises throughout the summer. As a result, MUS summer associates quickly become comfortable with substantive legal assignments and their new work environment. Most importantly, summer associates can experience the thrill of seeing their work appear in a real pleading or motion filed with the court.
A great summer associate experience should include a solid dose of fun. In addition to spending time with mentors and other attorneys, summer associates can be found at Pirate games, playing golf, relaxing at lunch, or a number of other activities. These experiences help everyone relax, build camaraderie and ensure that the MUS summer experience is memorable.
MUS is located in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, right next to restaurants, public transportation, parking facilities, theaters, the symphony, shopping outlets and other interesting places. We also are a short walk away from state, federal and bankruptcy courts and all other major Pittsburgh law firms.
All second year students are encouraged to apply for the MUS summer associate program. While excellent academics and membership on law review or other publications are important, the firm also places an emphasis on life/work experiences. Historically, the firm each year selects three to four summer associates from law schools across the country. To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter to:
Christopher P. Smith, Jr., Managing Partner
Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP
Henry W. Oliver Building
535 Smithfield Street, Suite 1300
Pittsburgh, PA 15222