Manatt's 2007 Summer Associates Include Former Legal Assistant

How many paralegals or legal assistants do you know who have gone on to work for major law firms? Well, here's news about one:

"Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, the national law and consulting firm, announced its 2007 Summer Associate roster today. Twenty-one law students will be located in four of the firms eight offices: Los Angeles, New York City, Palo Alto and Albany. The mission of Manatts Summer Recruiting program is to engage, train and nurture the professional development of outstanding candidates from the nations top law schools and from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Manatt is ranked 19th on the Minority Law Journals Diversity Scorecard for 2007.


"Erick Flores is a member of the class of 2009 at Georgetown University Law Center. Erick is involved in the Latino Law Society, the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, the International Law Society, and Outlaw; and he is a Pro Bono Pledge Participant. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and a Bachelors degree with Distinction Honors in Communications from Stanford, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and earned the Rebele Fellowship. Erick has studied in Madrid, Spain, and is fluent in Spanish. Before law school, Erick held a wide range of positions: legal assistant at a local law firm [emphasis added], publicity intern at Twentieth Century Fox, reporter for the Beverly Hills Courier, and immigration caseworker for the International Institute of San Francisco."

"The Real World According to Summer Associates"

Ah, who doesn't like to work with summer associates?

"Law students today are a serious bunch. 'Although I appreciate the fancy lunches, dinners, ball games, retreats, etc., I am more interested in experiencing what life actually will be like as a first-year associate,' reads one typical remark from an intern at Heller Ehrman in Menlo Park, Calif. 'Make sure summer associates have enough work to do -- most of us would rather stay late than spend days bored,' counseled a Cahill Gordon & Reindel summer associate. They may welcome -- and even expect -- the fun and games, but they know that all the pampering goes by the wayside once they sign on as a permanent associate.

"Partners and administrators involved in the recruitment process say that this need-to-know approach is coming from a couple of places. Summer clerks today are much more knowledgeable consumers. 'Five or six years ago, summer associates would ask questions like, 'How many lawyers do you have?' or, 'What are your practice areas?'' says Jennifer Gotch, director of recruiting at Atlanta's Arnall Golden Gregory. "You never hear that anymore.' Instead, summer clerks are digging deeper, asking firms to open up their books, discuss their strategic plans, and describe their partnership track -- in detail.


"Some firms looked better than others under the microscope. The 172 firms in the survey averaged a rating of 4.502 on a scale of 1 to 5. The highest-scoring firms included many familiar names -- 10 of the 20 best firms of 2006 scored in the top 20 last year as well, including this year's winner, Arnall Golden Gregory. But plenty of newcomers grabbed top slots, including second-place winner Nutter McClennen & Fish (up from No. 41 in 2005), and third-place Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian (up from No. 37 in 2005). Two of the top 10 slots were captured by firms that vaulted more than 100 spots: Dickstein Shapiro leaped from 119th to sixth, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius shot from 122th to seventh."

What do you think of summer associates? Like seeing new people at the firm? Dislike having to answer all their questions?