Careers  |  Law Students


Kathy Schmidt
Senior Manager of Attorney Recruiting and Professional Development
Wiley Rein LLP
1776 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006


“I loved the summer associate assignment system. It allowed me to pick the projects that I was interested in, to pick the attorneys that I wanted to work with, and to decide exactly how full I wanted my docket to be. That freedom and control allowed me to explore the firm on my own terms, which I really appreciated. I chose projects in as many practice groups as I could so that I could get a sense for what kind of work I wanted to do.” – Kat Scott

The focus of the summer associate program is substantive work, training, and development. Project assignments form the mainstay of a student’s experience with us over the summer and are frequently supplemented with special opportunities. We want the experience to respect that of our full-time associates, so summer associates manage their own docket and gauge their own availability given the demands from other projects. Summer associates find work through our assignment database and we also encourage summer associates to seek projects directly from attorneys. 

Real Work, Real Experiences

Below are examples of assignments completed by former summer associates:

  • Analyze a major recent appellate court decision on media ownership to identify possible arguments to support a petition for certiorari, and determine standards and procedures for seeking certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Research legal issues faced by health care providers serving HIV-positive youth in DC, MD, and VA.
  • Prepare an Asset Purchase Agreement and related contracts for the sale of a number of franchised restaurants.
  • Help prepare a senior partner for oral argument in an appeal involving First Amendment and preemption issues, by identifying trends in judges’ decisions, observing moot court, and sharing their own evaluation of the case’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Analyze FEC advisory opinions and rulemakings to advise clients of recent changes in federal campaign finance laws.
  • Draft a memorandum analyzing legal limits on employer discipline or employers' options to discipline employees who threaten violence in the workplace.
  • Research whether class action plaintiff inmates suing under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) of 1995 alleging that a grievance process is constitutionally inadequate can obtain injunctive and declaratory relief.
  • Assist in the interview of a fact witness involving the evacuation of government contractors in Haiti.
  • Assist with representation of three Libyan students in their applications for political asylum including research, client meetings, and agency advocacy.