Summer Associate Program

Summer Associate Program

The summer associate program at Taft is the lifeblood of our firm. After all, almost all of the firm’s first-year associates have joined us as a result of participation in the program. We look for students who have outstanding academic credentials as well as maturity, a friendly demeanor, demonstrated leadership, strong communication skills, and common sense.

Taft’s goal is to provide every summer associate with a realistic experience of what it is like to practice law. Summer associates work on a variety of actual client matters. You will attend depositions, hearings, closings, conferences, and trials as well as perform the careful research expected of all of our lawyers. You will learn about as many of our practice groups as possible through client work and sessions highlighting our areas of practice. Summer associates are evaluated throughout the summer on an informal basis, and will also have formal mid-summer and end-of-summer updates.

You will be assigned at least one summer associate mentor, who is available to offer assistance as you become integrated into the firm. To help ensure you have the best experience possible, we have a strong team in place. We are here to help you be successful!

Our summer associates often share with us the impact the program has on their professional development, and many join us as attorneys after law school.

We believe that one of the firm’s biggest assets is our people, and we want you to meet as many of them as possible. You are probably wondering how you can meet so many people in a few short months, but we will provide you with many opportunities to do so. We arrange several social activities intended to help you become knowledgeable about our firm, our people, and our communities.

When asked what the work environment was like at Taft as a summer associate, Taft Employment and Labor Relations attorney Shawna Sorrell shared,

“There were many events that I attended as a summer associate, but the most memorable were the events spent with all Taft summer associates firm-wide. I truly felt like part of a team from the beginning of the summer associate program.

On the first day of orientation, I met my fellow summer associates and was very inspired by the diverse array of backgrounds and experience levels present. There was an emphasis on collaboration from our first meeting on, when summer associates were told that we were not competitors and that there was a position for each one of us if we earned it. When we received assignments, I often collaborated with other summer associates for different perspectives or to simply be reassured that we were all in the same boat when it came to new content. The Team Taft approach was present from the very beginning and has carried into my current practice as well.”

We staff our summer program based on our need for incoming lawyers the following year. On a firm-wide basis, we typically hire 30-35 summer associates per year.

The summer associate program is engaging, fast-paced, and rewarding. And of course, it can lead to a career of tremendous opportunities with one of the most respected firms in the Midwest. It is our desire that you fully experience the firm during your time with us and that you reach the same conclusion that we have – Taft is a great place to work!

Taft accepts resumes from second-year law students beginning in July of each year and from first-year law students beginning Dec. 1 of every year.

If you attend a law school at which we do not interview on campus and wish to apply with us, please do so by sending a cover letter, resume, and law school transcript to the appropriate person:

Lisa Watson Chicago & Indianapolis

Lisa Watson
Chief Recruiting Officer

Cincinnati, Columbus, & Dayton

Jim Tomaszewski
Director of Recruiting and Associate Advancement


Cleveland & Detroit

Cara Newby
Director of Legal Recruiting & Inclusion


Mackenzie Sauceman Minneapolis

Mackenzie Sauceman
Manager of Legal Recruiting & Professional Development