Law Student FAQs
1. How do I apply for a Summer Associate position with Fish?
If you currently attend one of the law schools on our On-Campus Interview (OCI) schedule, you may sign up for an interview with us through your career services office.
If we do not go to your school for OCI, please submit your resume, transcripts, and a writing sample with your online application. Please be sure to note the office location(s) of interest and provide your current mailing address and phone number.
2. Am I eligible to apply for a Summer Associate position if I do not have an engineering or science background?
Yes. While a scientific or technical background may be preferred for some positions, only candidates interested in patent prosecution are required to have such a background (e.g., electrical engineering, physics, or computer science).
3. What if I’m interested in a Summer Associate position at more than one Fish office?
If you are interested in a Summer Associate position at more than one of our offices, only one application is necessary. Let us know the offices in which you are interested and the order of preference during either the On-Campus Interview or in your cover letter.
Our offices make individual decisions concerning callbacks and offers as a result of the different sizes, practice areas, and hiring needs at each location.
4. What is the callback process at Fish?
If selected for a callback interview, you will receive a callback invitation from a member of the Recruiting Department. During the callback interview, students typically meet with a member of the Recruiting Department and four to six attorneys. Morning interviews conclude with a lunch with a couple of attorneys.
5. How soon should I expect to hear from Fish, and how long will I have to respond if I receive an offer?
After callback interviews, candidates can expect to hear back from us in about one to two weeks. We adhere to the NALP offer guidelines extended to law students for summer and postgraduate positions.
6. Does Fish hire first-year law students?
In accordance with NALP guidelines, 1L students are encouraged to submit their applications to us after December 1. After 2L hiring is complete, our offices individually evaluate whether their summer programs are able to accommodate 1L students.
In addition, the firm hosts a Diversity Fellowship Program for 1L students. The Diversity Fellowship Program is a component of the firm’s ongoing initiative to recruit, retain, and advance attorneys who will contribute to the diversity of the firm’s practice and of the legal profession. The program consists of four components: Each selected Fellow receives a paid summer associate position in one of Fish & Richardson’s domestic offices during the summer of 2016; mentoring throughout the academic year by members of the firm; participation in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity 1L Scholars Program; and a $10,000 scholarship*.
*Fish will award $5,000 to all 1L Diversity Fellowship Recipients upon completion of their 1L summer clerkship with the firm, and offer an additional $5,000 to those who receive and accept an associate offer with the firm after the completion of their 2L summer clerkship with us.
First-year law school students may apply from December 1, 2015 to January 8, 2016. The 1L Diversity Fellowship Application Form can be found here. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the 1L Diversity Fellowship Program can be found here.
7. May I split my summer with another firm?
While splitting summers is allowed in some offices, we strongly encourage students to spend the entire summer with us. Week requirements and other regulations vary across our offices, and requests to split the summer are handled on a case-by-case basis. We suggest contacting the Legal Recruiting Administrator in the office in which you are interested to discuss the minimum requirements.
8. May I split my summer with another Fish office?
Our offices make independent hiring decisions, so students who are interested in more than one office need to interview and receive offers from both offices of interest. At that point, requests to split the summer between two offices are reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis.
9. What are the compensation and benefits for Summer Associates?
In 2017, Summer Associates firm-wide will be paid $3,500 per week. If travel is necessary, we also reimburse students for expenses, up to $650, for roundtrip travel between their law schools and the Fish offices where they will be spending their summers.
10. What would I need to do to receive an offer to return as an Associate, and when are such offers extended?
Many factors are evaluated when the firm decides whether to extend an Associate offer. In addition to work product, the firm considers the motivation, judgment, interpersonal skills, initiative, and other personal characteristics shown by Summer Associates throughout the summer.
After all the Summer Associates have left the firm, the Hiring Committee meets to evaluate each Summer Associate. Decisions are generally made prior to September 1.
11. Does the firm hire 3Ls?
3L hiring is driven by practice group and office need. While we don’t typically interview 3Ls during On-Campus Interviews, we will consider write-in applications. If you are interested in applying for a position, please submit an online application identifying your office preference and practice area of interest, and attach your resume and transcript.
1. How are work assignments distributed among legal staff?
In general, assignments for Junior Associates are managed at both a practice group and an office level. Staffing is done on a case-by-case basis. There are many cases in which Junior Associates work directly with a Principal.
There are also larger matters that may involve more levels of staffing, and the Associate may be part of a team for that particular matter. Many of our cases are cross-staffed among offices, providing Associates with the opportunity to work with a variety of attorneys at all levels.
We have a large firm with a small firm feel when it comes to working on cases between offices. We are proud to provide early responsibility and client contact to our Junior Associates. Our Group Leaders play a large part in making sure that Junior Associates have exposure to the practice areas and experiences they desire.
2. Does the firm pay for relocation?
The firm pays for moving expenses for certain legal positions if relocation to another city is necessary to work at the firm and the move meets the IRS distance requirement.
3. Does the firm allow office transfers?
While we have allowed inter-office transfers, each request is considered on a case-by-case basis.
4. What types of opportunities are there for pro bono work?
We believe that participating in pro bono legal work is an important part of an attorney’s professional development and is important to the firm as a whole.
All our attorneys are strongly encouraged to do pro bono work and are supported in doing so. The firm shows its support of pro bono work by providing full hours credit toward annual hours minimums to legal staff members who work on approved pro bono matters.
We have partnerships with a number of pro bono organizations. There is a Pro Bono Coordinator in every office who is responsible for notifying attorneys of pro bono opportunities as they arise. Please click here for more information on the firm’s pro bono efforts.
5. Does the firm allow part-time schedules?
Any member of the legal staff who is joining the firm or in good standing with the firm is entitled to be considered for a reduced hours arrangement.