Summer Program

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Our Summer Program offers second-year law students an exceptional opportunity to gain practical legal experience. You’ll work directly with lawyers across a wide range of practice areas, on “real world” assignments that will challenge and inspire you. You’ll also connect with Irell lawyers at all levels, developing bonds that often last a lifetime.

We are looking for a diverse group of candidates who demonstrate superior academic abilities, intellectual curiosity and the potential to become outstanding lawyers. We encourage students who may have had other jobs and careers in addition to their law school education to apply, as well as law students with technical degrees.

When you arrive, you’ll be assigned an associate mentor. You will receive assignments typical for first-year associates from the Summer Committee. You’ll also be invited to attend team meetings, client meetings, negotiations, court appearances, depositions and trials. And you can participate in pro bono work and community service projects, including adoption proceedings for needy children and their adoptive families.

Training and education is a critical component of our Summer Program. We host a series of informational programs, including “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 continuing legal education (CLE) programs, outside speaker events and training sessions. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to participate with lawyers and staff in our annual mock trial—a wrongful death trial of Wyatt Earp, tried by a jury and presided over by a judge.

Building connections is a key objective of our Summer Program. All summer associates attend a weekend retreat on Catalina Island and a firmwide party at a hotel location central to both our offices. Other events have included a kick-off bash at the start of the summer, beach parties and karaoke parties. We encourage our lawyers to socialize with summer associates through informal dinners, lunches and other activities. In the past, lawyers and summer associates have organized rock climbing excursions, surfing classes, cooking classes, rounds of golf and grilled cheese and beer tastings, among other outings.

Testimonials from Past Summer Associates

Michael Tezyan | UCLA 2020
“My summer at Irell was truly unique. Right off the bat, I was given substantive assignments that gave me perspective into the complexities of being a lawyer for cutting-edge clients. Whether it was mining legislative history to shed light on a complex statute, finding ammunition for a constitutional challenge to agency adjudication, or researching the intricacies of partnership law, my assignments were both challenging and stimulating. But what stood out to me the most was the people at Irell: the partners, associates, staff, and fellow summer associates were among the brightest and kindest group of people I have ever had the privilege of working with. The weekend trip to Catalina and the summer party at Dana Point were amazing capstones to the summer program. But for me, the highlight of my summer was bonding with my fellow summer associates during the many coffee breaks, lunches, and dinners over the summer.”

Dion Toledo | UCI 2020
“I enjoyed every moment of my summer at Irell from start to finish! I felt truly welcomed at the firm, and immediately got to work on interesting projects, such as researching a discovery issue and contributing to a motion for patent litigation cases, writing a memo to a client on an insurance matter, and even writing a tax memo for a corporate deal. In addition to engaging work assignments, I was able to work on and appear in court for a pro bono adoption project, and gain trial insight from some of the firm’s litigation legends in preparation for the summer mock trial. Outside the office, the firm provides countless opportunities to get to know other summer associates and attorneys through social activities ranging from incredible dinner and happy hour events to a weekend trip to Catalina. By the end of summer, I didn’t want to leave, and can’t wait to return to the firm in the fall.”

Nicole Miller | UCLA 2020
“My summer at Irell was an immersive and enlightening experience. I was given the opportunity to express my specific interests in the practice of law and afforded opportunities to explore them with the support of Irell’s incredibly talented partners and associates. I worked on assignments from traditional research memos to drafting letters to the court to preparing for a meet and confer with opposing counsel. I not only enhanced my knowledge of the law, but also got to figure out where my passions within the practice lie. Furthermore, I got to know my fellow summer associates and the attorneys at the firm through the many social engagements planned throughout the summer. These events, including a hike in Malibu, a weekend on Catalina Island, and a night at the Magic Castle, all allowed me to explore LA and most importantly create lasting connections with my future colleagues. I am looking forward to rejoining everyone at the firm in the fall!”

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send their cover letter, resume and law school transcript to

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