Summer Program

An Inside Look
A runner crouches at the starting line.

As a Wilson Sonsini summer associate, you will explore and experience our firm, our community, and the technology and life sciences clients we serve.

Our summer program will offer you ample training and significant client contact. You’ll work on a variety of projects alongside many attorneys within your practice group. Our goal: to give you a realistic view of what it is like to practice law here and to give you the insight, relationships, and experience to be successful when you join as a junior associate.

However, our summer program isn’t just about the work. It’s also about understanding what law firm life is like and giving you the social connections to make a successful transition into Wilson Sonsini.

You’ll get to know your fellow summers, as well as partners and associates, across the firm. From the summer retreat and summer academy to happy hours and dinners to firm social events, you’ll find new friends, new colleagues, and new mentors, and you’ll gain invaluable insight into your career and your future.

The 2022 Summer Associate Class takes a break in their activities for a group photo during the annual Summer Retreat at the Chaminade Resort and Spa in Santa Cruz, CA.

What are the assignments like?

View Points
Rebecca L. Stuart
Palo Alto

We give summer associates the same type of work assignments we would give to a junior associate. 

For example, I had a summer associate do a long research project into some arguments we can make for our motion for a summary judgment hearing we have coming up, which is the same as a motion to dismiss in California. 

I then had her help me write portions of the brief. Then, this next week, she is going to come attend the hearing with me. 

That is all stuff that I would give to a junior associate. But the summer associates were available, and I thought, why not have a summer associate take this opportunity instead?  

So she is getting real litigation experience to conduct the research, do the brief, and then come to see the hearing, and really see her work in action. Hopefully we’ll win the hearing, and she’ll be able to see what the point of it all is. Summer associates really do get strong opportunities like that all the time.

Headshot, Rebecca L. Stuart

How much partner contact will I get?

View Points
Luke A. Liss
Pro Bono Partner
Palo Alto

One concern summer associates candidates often have is: How accessible are the people I’m going to work with? And what kind of people are these? 

I think one thing that’s special about Wilson is its open-door policy. Its non-hierarchical policy. 

We are, like our clients, not super formal. We represent primarily tech clients. It’s not traditional lawyering. So I think one of the really special things is if people are open to being mentored and if they communicate, people will communicate back to you and people will be responsive.

I know, for me, my most formative experiences as a junior attorney and as a summer associate were being mentored by people who grew to care about me. The people I work with are some of my best friends. And they’re why I’ve stayed with for so long. 

What makes Wilson Sonsini’s summer program unique?

View Points
Dale R. Bish
Palo Alto

The Wilson Sonsini summer program focuses on exposing candidates to what the practice of law is. 

We are showing candidates—not just telling them—what it means to be a lawyer at Wilson Sonsini. Not just for your first year, but for your career. 

We want our summer associates to see what it’s like to be a mid-level, a senior associate, and a partner. By working on complex issues, working directly with clients, and being in high-level strategy meetings, they see firsthand what it’s like to be a lawyer at the firm. 

This is an important question in someone’s life—where to start their law career. We want to help them make an informed decision for their career.


Our dedicated, in-house attorney recruitment team is here to support you before, during, and after the hiring process.

From lateral partners to law students, we know the firm, we know you have questions, and we’re here to help.