Summer Program FAQs

Hiring for the Summer Associate Program

What are the dates of the 2019 summer associate program?

We currently have a second-half only program that is scheduled to run from June 24, 2019 through August 2, 2019.

Do all of your offices have a summer associate program?

In 2019, the Nashville and Memphis offices will have a summer program.

Are first-year law students eligible to participate?

In addition to a program for second-year students, the Nashville office sponsors a program for first-year students.

How do I apply, and is there a deadline?

Send letter, resume and law school transcript to on or before August 31, 2018. Please indicate in which city’s summer associate program you would prefer to participate (in 2019, the Nashville and Memphis offices will have a summer program).

Does Bass, Berry & Sims seek to hire diverse first-year law students?

As part of our commitment to diversity, we are proud to be a member of the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity (LCLD) whose overall goal is to increase diversity in the legal profession. Through our partnership with the LCLD, we hire first-year students to participate in the LCLD 1L Scholars Program and cover their costs to attend the annual summit.

How many summer associates does your firm hire each year?

The size of our summer associate program is based on our projected need for new attorneys. Over the past few years, the size of our summer associate program has remained fairly consistent. For the past three years we have averaged 25 in our summer class.

What criteria do you look for when hiring summer associates?

We hire only summer associates who show the potential to be excellent attorneys. We seek well-rounded and highly motivated individuals with excellent interpersonal skills, strong academic achievement, strong work ethic and the desire to work in a team environment.

Summer Associate Program at a Glance

What kind of training can I expect to receive from your Summer Associate Program?

Our goal is to give summer associates a realistic impression of what it would be like to work at Bass, Berry & Sims. As a result, summer associates have many opportunities to observe the attorneys as well as participate in client meetings, depositions, conference calls, hearings, trials and closings. In addition, a summer associate gets hands-on experience by drafting documents, preparing motions, etc. We also emphasize constructive feedback as part of our summer program so that progress may be noted through the course of the program.

Will I have a mentor as a summer associate?

Yes. Each summer associate is assigned both a partner mentor, who serves as an advisor on firm questions and long-term goals, and an associate mentor. The associate mentor oversees the summer associate’s work assignments and serves as an integral part of acclimating the summer associate into our firm.

How is work distributed and what types of assignments can I expect to receive as a summer associate?

The work assignment process is managed by the associate mentor. Summer associates are asked to list any practice preferences and are given the opportunity to choose assignments that match his or her interests. Summer associates are given substantive assignments that are typical of assignments actually given to our associates.

What if I am interested in multiple practice areas and do not know which area I would prefer?

The work assignment process, with the assistance of your attorney mentors, will allow you to receive assignments from a variety of practice areas if you so choose. Throughout the summer, some practice groups host luncheons or other activities that will provide the summer associate with an overview of that practice area. Summer associates are encouraged to get to know and work with as many attorneys from the various practice areas as is possible during the summer program.

How many billable and non-billable hours will I need to complete as a summer associate?

Summer associates are not expected to meet a minimum amount of billable or non-billable hours. However, assignments given to summer associates are reflective of the work given to our associates. Our full-time associates typically bill between 1,850 and 2,050 hours annually. We also expect all of our attorneys to be involved in non-billable activities, such as pro bono matters, bar related activities, recruiting, attorney development and continuing education.

What salary can I expect to make as a summer associate?

The summer associate salary in our Nashville office is currently $2,125 per week for 2L students and $1,750 per week for 1L students. The summer associate salary for 2L students in our Memphis and Knoxville offices is $1,950 per week for 2L students and $1,600 per week for 1L students.

What is the dress code at Bass, Berry & Sims?

Our firm maintains a business casual dress code year round.

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.