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Assignments and Training

Assignments provide you with a realistic experience of associate life. A small team of partners and senior associates are responsible for assigning work from all departments. These attorneys regularly communicate with summer associates to determine their preferences and then facilitate the staffing process.

Summer associates work side-by-side with partners and associates on complex client projects. These work assignments develop and refine research, writing and legal analysis skills. Summer associates learn first-hand about trying cases, drafting motions and agreements, negotiating effectively, and closing deals.

“The partners and associates on each team put a huge amount of trust in me, which was really rewarding.  I especially appreciated the international nature of the work Simpson does – one of my days began with a morning M&A call with counsel in The Netherlands and ended with a Credit call with colleagues in Tokyo and Hong Kong.“

“I came into the program with a focus on corporate work and the program gave me exposure to every single corporate practice group. The feedback and level of responsibility as a summer associate has been incredible. Simpson clearly has a vested interest in its associates.”

 “I was encouraged to look at the work with “fresh eyes,” and my unique perspective was included in the final work product.”

All of my supervisors and mentors were patient and attentive, ensuring I had the knowledge and tools to complete my assignments well, providing me with increasingly challenging assignments as I was ready for them, and making clear that they cared about my training and development.”

“There were limitless opportunities to try out different practice groups and work on a wide variety of pro bono projects. I was also able to work with so many attorneys who have taken the time to teach, mentor, and give helpful feedback.”


Typical assignments for summer associates include writing briefs, motions, contracts and client memoranda; assisting in drafting and negotiation sessions; assisting with taking and defending depositions, as well as witness preparation; attending critical meetings; and performing due diligence in corporate transactions.

Summer associates also participate in frequent formal training programs to supplement their hands-on experience. Seminars and training sessions are geared to summer associates’ needs, including seminars on legal writing and mock depositions. Summer associates are also always invited to the Firm’s general Continuing Legal Education seminars (an ongoing bar requirement for lawyers) and other Firm-wide training programs.