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The annual American Lawyer and L summer associates survey is conducted from late June to early August. Surveys are distributed by firms’ recruiting coordinators. Any firm may participate if it has ten eligible participants firmwide. Firms have the option of participating in the surveys in print or on the Web. In either case, anonymity is guaranteed through the use of individual passwords and codes. To participate in the summer associates survey, respondents must be law students clerking at law firms through the summer who have put in at least three weeks before filling out survey forms. The 123 firms included in the National Rankings are the ones from which we received at least ten completed surveys. Individual offices listed on the Results by City chart are ones from which we received at least five surveys. Surveys received after the deadline are not counted. Firms designated as “national” have no more than 45 percent of their lawyers in any single region of their home country. Firms designated as “international” have at least 40 percent of their lawyers working outside their home country. The average score for nine key quality-of-life questions is used to determine a firm’s overall score. To determine scores for individual questions, we average respondents’ answers on a citywide basis for the Results by City chart, and on a firmwide basis for the National Rankings charts. The survey also includes additional questions that do not count toward the composite score. These questions help provide a profile of associates nationwide, aid in tracking trends, and add insight into a given firm’s score and the differences among its offices. This year’s summer associates survey report drew responses from 3,791 interns at 192 firms — a 50.5 percent response rate. Individual firm reports can be found on Lzine.com. [For samples, see "Leader of the Pack" and "Cellar Dweller."] Thanks to the firms and summer associates who participated this year.

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