A few of our associates and past summer associates offered their sense of a typical day:
Eddie Ocampo was a 2016 and 2017 Summer Associate. Eddie graduated from the University of St. Thomas Law School in 2018.
The two summers I spent as a Fredrikson & Byron Summer Associate provided sophisticated legal work, a full-calendar of social events, and even weekend “getaways” floating on pontoons—these experiences and opportunities distinguish Fredrikson & Byron’s Summer Associate program from all the others. In fact, the unique culture that sets Fredrikson’s Summer Associate program apart is a direct result of the commitment that firm shareholders, associates, and support staff have to making sure that the summer associates get the best overall experience and leave with an extraordinary first impression. That said, the impression I left with after my first summer was “there has to be a flipside to Fredrikson—it can’t all be sunshine?” I was wrong. I set out my second summer looking for where the “catch” was and found—there is no catch. Although it became evident my second summer that there is definitely a lot of work, it also became evident that the firm’s collaborative and collegial culture makes the workload feel like less of a burden. Fredrikson’s Summer Associate program is very much a two-way interview and the Summer Associate Committee makes every effort to be completely transparent with its summer associates. I honestly felt blessed to be a summer associate for two summers.
Fredrikson provides its summer associates opportunities to attend department and group meetings, enjoy firm-paid lunches with attorneys, solicit a mix of litigation and transactional projects, attend social events at shareholder and associate residences, and a clear explanation of the firm’s partner track. This transparency allows summer associates to tailor their own experience and determine whether the firm has the capacity to meet their ambitions and needs. Many of the projects I did as a summer associate involved researching and drafting documents in Spanish for the International Law group, attending depositions in Eminent Domain matters, filing Articles of Incorporation for a firm pro bono client, and drafting sections for a brief in a national high-profile sexual-harassment matter. Fredrikson summers work on actual client matters and work collaboratively with each other to ensure that they are learning from each other while producing the best work-product they can.
At several points throughout the summer a member of the Summer Associate Committee checks-in to make sure that all the summers are getting the most out of their summer experience, both socially and professionally. The Summer Associate Committee ensures that all the summers get incredible opportunities for professional mentorship and feedback on the work they are assigned during the summer. Honestly, getting to know and work with the firm’s attorneys is truly the best part of being a summer associate—well, that and the backstage tour of First Avenue with John Stout.
ANNE RONDONI TAVERNIER
Anne Rondoni Tavernier was a 2015 Summer Associate. Anne graduated from the University of St. Thomas Law School in 2016.
“A typical day as a summer associate at Fredrikson & Byron involved an ever-changing combination of challenging legal work, professional mentorship and amazing field trips around Minneapolis.
My work flow as a summer associate was organized in a way that enabled me to explore and find my strengths. They encouraged us to take projects from all areas of the firm, which made my days challenging and exciting. But as the summer continued, I could invest my energy into the departments I was most interested in. I quickly realized that this was a hallmark of a Fredrikson & Byron attorney – entrepreneurship and being a self-starter is rewarded. By the end of the summer, I had worked on a death penalty case, filed articles of incorporation for an LLC, researched tax matters, observed a bankruptcy hearing, responded to subpoenas and worked with the department I ultimately ended up in – intellectual property litigation.
The incredible professional mentorship made the work fun, rather than onerous. Getting to know the firm’s attorneys is truly the best part of being a summer associate. Building relationships with the attorneys afforded me invaluable insight into day-to-day practice. I not only had coffees and lunches with attorneys, but I was encouraged to ask questions and voice my opinion after hearings or meetings. Feedback on my work was immediate and meaningful. I always got the support I needed to successfully complete a project. The attorneys were truly happy to work with us and welcomed us into their practices. Even now, as an associate, I deeply value the relationships I built as a summer associate.
In between all of this was constant fun. We’d go directly from reviewing a motion to dismiss to enjoying live music at Minnehaha Falls. We went on an overnight retreat that involved pontoon rides and an epic game of Pictionary, caught a concert at First Avenue, played on the firm softball team and had dinner with firm attorneys and their families. Every day I marveled – is this supposed to be my job? I felt so lucky to be a summer associate at Fredrikson & Byron.”
Marie Williams was a 2016 Summer Associate. She graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in December 2016.
“In my experience, each day as a summer associate at Fredrikson & Byron involved working on challenging projects, getting to know the firm and having fun.
The projects assigned to summer associates require real problem solving for real clients – no ‘canned’ or hypothetical fact patterns here. Depending on the demands of the project, a summer associate might spend an entire week on one matter, but it’s more likely that each summer associate is juggling three or four projects at a time. The summer associates are treated like junior associates – it was up to me to manage my time, ask questions, follow up with my assigning attorneys and seek more projects as needed.
The summer program is designed so the summer associates can get to know attorneys throughout the entire firm. Each summer associate is encouraged to take a mix of litigation and transactional projects to determine which practice area interests him or her and which attorneys he or she enjoys working with. To further facilitate this, I would attend a department or practice group meeting or go out to lunch with an attorney almost every day. The associates and shareholders I met were happy to talk with me about their experiences, and it made ranking my preferred practice groups at the end of the summer much easier. Plus, these conversations allowed me to learn a lot about Fredrikson & Byron’s unique culture.
The summer experience also included a variety of social events, which helped my summer class become great friends. Not only did the summer associates attend firm-sponsored events each week (like the weekend retreat at Grandview, a Lynx game, a concert at First Avenue and the associate and shareholder parties), we actually scheduled our own events and happy hours together. The culture at Fredrikson & Byron made this possible – we didn’t feel like we were competing with each other and there was no need to ‘size each other up.’ Developing friendships with the other summer associates certainly made the summer more fun, but these strong relationships will also help us throughout our careers – there’s no doubt we’ll be referring work to one another and collaborating together on projects, hopefully for years to come!”