Summer Program

Our summer program is designed to allow summer associates to explore any areas of our practice, experience client meetings, corporate closings, court hearings, depositions and trials, and work with many of the firm's attorneys. Each summer associate is assigned to an "anchor" case or transaction that he or she follows closely through the summer, while also working with other attorneys on other matters. The goal is for summer associates to end the summer with a sense of what practicing as an attorney at Irell & Manella is really like.

To educate summer associates about Irell & Manella, we host a series of informational programs. Last year’s programs included lunch with the Managing Partner, Legends of the Firm, Trademark Year in Review, Pro Bono at Irell, IP at I&M and Art Law at Irell, among others. Summer associates are also invited to the regular attorney CLE, outside speaker events and training sessions that take place during the summer. They also have the opportunity to participate in a mock wrongful death trial of Wyatt Earp that is tried to a jury and presided over by a retired federal judge. Each summer, many of our summer associates handle pro bono matters and community service projects, including adoption proceedings for needy children and their adoptive families.

Another purpose of Irell & Manella's summer program is for summer associates to get acquainted with each other and the firm's attorneys. Summer associates from all offices attend a weekend retreat on Catalina Island. The firm also hosts a firm-wide party at a hotel location central to both offices. Other events have included a kick-off bash at the start of the summer, beach parties and karaoke parties to name a few. Attorneys are also encouraged to enjoy dinner, lunch and other activities with summer associates. In the past, attorneys and summer associates have organized rock climbing outings, surfing classes, cooking classes, rounds of golf, grilled cheese and beer tastings, etc.

Please see what past summer associates have to say about our program:

Sharon Song | Harvard 2016 | Los Angeles Summer Associate 
My summer at Irell was fantastic on many levels. Through my assignments, I learned from the best - I was on cases with brilliant litigators, who guided my thinking and taught me how to approach a memo or motion as an advocate. I learned to think creatively, strategically, and methodically. I was thankful for the opportunity to work in a wide range of areas, and truly appreciated the comprehensive feedback I received on my assignments. And outside of the office, I had so much fun with Irell lawyers and my fellow summer associates at lunches, dinners, overnight trips, and impromptu social hangouts! I formed lasting friendships during my summer at Irell and I can't wait to return!"

Alexis Federico | UC Irvine 2016 | Newport Beach Summer Associate
"As a summer associate at the Newport Beach Office of Irell & Manella, I enjoyed a summer full of interesting legal work and enriching and fun social events. I worked on matters from several different practice areas and learned a lot through the guidance and mentorship of both partners and associates. The firm is committed to offering a wide range of legal experiences and I was given the opportunity to research complex issues, participate in strategy meetings with clients, attend hearings, and even participate in a mediation. The Newport Beach Office was both professional and warm—the attorneys genuinely cared about me and my future. Through the many social events, I was able to get to know people at both offices personally and really get a feel for the firm’s culture. I can’t wait to return."

Elliot Chen | Duke 2016 | Los Angeles Summer Associate
"My summer at Irell was an amazing experience. Irell’s attorneys are genuinely excited about their work, which shows in the firm’s approach to practice. Coming into the summer, I was primarily interested in patent litigation. I worked on a variety of matters in that area. My assignments felt meaningful and involved interesting, complex legal issues. I received detailed feedback, and I got to watch my cases develop as part of the team. On a somewhat related note, one summer highlight was watching a mock jury deliberation after competing in the mock trial of Wyatt Earp. Also, Irell’s summer program is incredibly fun! Impromptu social events offer a natural way to get to know your colleagues outside the office and as friends. Highlights included surfing lessons, stand-up comedy, and an overnight trip to Catalina Island.  Irell’s culture embraces quirk and creativity. I can’t wait to return!"

Stephanie Spiro | University of Chicago 2016 | Los Angeles Summer Associate  
"While I was preparing for my on-campus interviews after my first year of law school, everyone I spoke with about Irell & Manella raved about the firm’s reputation for producing the highest quality work, investing in junior attorneys’ career development, and creating a congenial work environment. I began the summer with high expectations. The three months—comprised of intellectually stimulating work assignments, helpful training sessions, gratifying pro bono projects, and countless social and entertainment opportunities—exceeded all of my initial expectations. My work coordinator assigned me to a variety of projects according to my preferences. I attended a week-long trial with an outstanding team of attorneys and staff who integrated me into all meetings and preparation activities. I wrote a cross-examination outline and pocket briefs, helped prepare a witness, and observed the entire trial. Through each case I worked on, I gained associate and partner mentors. I also had opportunities to socialize with attorneys and my fellow summer associates during a retreat in Catalina Island and outings to movies, concerts, sports games, and restaurants. The only negative part about the summer is that it had to end. But I am thankful I will soon return to the firm that provided me with the best summer I could ask for."