(Illustration by Jon Rienford)
Sure, there’s much to recommend a summer associate gig at San Francisco’s Morrison Foerster, where one can stroll Fisherman’s Wharf after reviewing depositions, or at Boston’s Foley Hoag, where you’d be a fool not to catch a game at Fenway Park after getting some face time with the partners.
But how about spending the summer in Dallas, where, well, sometimes it’s not quite 100 degrees in the shade? On July 8, Vault.com released the list of top 50 best summer associate programs. While Morrison Foerster was No. 1 and Foley Hoag was No. 2, the Dallas office of Haynes and Boone was ranked No. 44, the only Texas firm to make the list.
Vault asked first-year through third-year junior associates who participated in their current firm’s summer associate programs to rate their experience on a scale of 1-to-10 in two areas: how well the summer program prepared the associate for life at the firm, and how fun the summer associate program was. The Overall Best Summer Associate Program ranking reflects the average of these two categories.
Haynes and Boone scored a solid 7.929 rating.
Mike Boone, a founding partner of the firm and a big booster of his home town of Dallas, isn’t surprised by his firm’s and his town’s showing on the list.
“We never want to win an award for the best summer camp program. This is a real experience for them if they came to work here,” Boone said of his firm’s summer associates. “We try to give them, first and foremost, what it would be like to be a lawyer in the trenches here. And balance that to see what we’re like as people and is it culturally a fit in what it’s like to work here.”
As for fun in Dallas? Boone reeled off the list, including the firm’s close proximity to the American Airlines Center—home to the Dallas Mavericks, the Dallas Stars and most big musical performances that come through town—and to Klyde Warren Park, which is possibly the only greenbelt and recreational area suspended over a crosstown freeway.
“It’s a great place to live. Admittedly, in August, it gets a little hot,” Boone said of Dallas. “But it’s a great place to live.”