Summer Program FAQs

Hiring for the Summer Associate Program

What are the dates of the 2021 summer associate program?

We offer a second-half of the summer program, currently scheduled to start June 22, 2021 through July 30, 2021.

Do all of your offices have a summer associate program?

In 2021, 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?

Please submit your application online here no later than February 19, 2021

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 with an average of approximately 25 students in each summer associate class.

What criteria do you look for when hiring summer associates?

We hire summer associates who demonstrate 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 contribute to a team environment.

Summer Associate Program at a Glance

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

Our summer program provides summer associates a realistic impression of what it would be like to practice law with Bass, Berry & Sims. As a result, summer associates have diverse opportunities to observe the attorneys as well as participate in client meetings, depositions, conference calls, hearings, trials and closings. In addition, a summer associate receives valuable training and experience working in tandem with firm attorneys drafting documents, preparing motions and completing an array of legal tasks. We emphasize constructive feedback as part of our summer program so that progress may be noted throughout the course of the program.

Will I have a mentor as a summer associate?

Yes. Each summer associate is assigned to a mentor team comprised of partners and associates, and the attorneys serve as expert resources regarding questions about the firm and provides counsel on each summer associate’s long-term goals. The associate mentor members of the team oversee the summer associate’s work assignments and serve 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 typically managed by the associate mentor. Summer associates are asked to identify any practice preferences prior to the start of the summer 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 given to our entry-level associates. Mentor teams are trained in delegation and feedback to allow for summer associates to continually develop their skills throughout the summer.

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 participate in assignments from a variety of practice areas if you choose. Throughout the summer, the summer associate program provides overview programming of each practice area to allow summer associates to gain insight into that practice area. The program also hosts various social activities to allow summer associates to get to know associates and partners. Summer associates are encouraged to get to know and work with as many attorneys from the various practice areas as 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 $2,300 per week for second-year students and $1,900 per week for first-year students. The summer associate salary for second-year students in our Memphis office is $2,125 per week for second-year students. We expect a similar arrangement in 2021.

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

Our firm maintains a business casual dress code year round.

What is the firm doing to address the well-being of its employees?

Bass, Berry & Sims is committed to the well-being of everyone who works at the firm. In demonstration of this commitment, we were one of the first law firms to sign on to the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Well-Being Pledge. The Pledge aims to improve the mental health landscape and to prevent substance use within the legal profession. The Pledge calls upon legal employers to recognize that substance use and mental health issues represent a significant challenge for the legal profession and to acknowledge that more can and should be done to improve the health and well-being of those who work in the industry. More information about the Pledge and the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession can be found here.

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