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While many law students must decide whether they’d rather spend their summers working for corporate law firms or devoting their time to public interest work, the summer hires at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius don’t have to make that choice. Morgan Lewis offers all of its summer associates the opportunity to participate in its Public Interest and Community Service (PICS) program, which allows law students to split their summers between typical work at one of the firm’s offices and public interest work at an approved organization. Summer associates must put in a minimum of six weeks in the regular program. They then have the option to spend the rest of their summer at a public interest or community service organization while being paid a stipend from Morgan Lewis equal to the salary they would be making at the firm. “The PICS program is the best of both worlds,” said Ami Mody, a current summer associate participating in the program at Morgan Lewis’ Philadelphia office. Mody, who will begin her third year this fall at Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law, will be spending the latter part of her summer at the Support Center for Child Advocates. The PICS program, begun in 2001, was designed and implemented by Eric Kraeutler, the firmwide professional recruiting chairman. This year, more than one-third of the firm’s 119 summer associates are opting in to the program, a proportion that Kraeutler says is “pretty typical.” Some of the organizations for which Morgan Lewis is paying students to work include Human Rights First in New York; the AIDS Law Project in Philadelphia; National Public Radio in Washington; and the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. The firm works to place the summer associates with public interest or community-service organizations, but is open to specific requests from the associates themselves. Lewis Csedrik, who participated in the program in Washington during its inaugural year in 2001, chose his public interest organization, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, from a list provided by Morgan Lewis. Csedrik, a Vermont Law School graduate, said he found both his time at the firm and at the National Trust “equally fulfilling.” Now a fifth-year associate, he added that he was “really impressed with the way Morgan Lewis was able to keep its summer associates engaged with the firm even while they were at their public interest group.” Theresa Bryant, the executive director of the Yale Law School Career Development Office, has worked to prepare an informational brochure about firms that offer similar programs. According to Bryant, there are about 24 firms that offer such opportunities. This summer, about 89 law students from 30 schools have been given sponsored split summer positions at 17 firms across the country. According to her research, Crowell & Moring of Washington allows up to one-third of its second-year summer associates to work six weeks at the firm and five weeks at one of 10 Washington public interest organizations. King & Spalding of Atlanta offers a six-week/six-week split for “several summer associates.” LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae of New York offers a similar opportunity to all its home-office and Washington summer associates. Miller & Chevalier, based in Washington, allows all summer associates to spend up to six weeks at one of three approved Washington organizations after spending a required eight weeks with the firm. While many firms retain a limited number of split summer slots for which students must apply directly, Morgan Lewis is one of a few firms that make the program available to all summer-associate hires.

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