Summer Program FAQ’s

Q. How and when should I apply for a Summer Associate position?
A. The firm participates in fall On-Campus Interviews (OCI) at a number of law schools and in a select few job fairs each year. Students attending schools/job fairs we’re participating in should apply through those programs. Students attending other schools are encouraged to apply directly via the firm’s web application by August 15th each year.

Q. How long is Downey Brand’s summer associate program?
A. 10 weeks, from late May through the end of July.

Q. How many summer associates does the firm hire into the program?
A. The number of students varies depending upon anticipated hiring needs. The firm usually hires 4-6 summer associates.

Q. What is the salary for summer associates?
A. $2,700 per week in Sacramento and Stockton; $3,250 per week in San Francisco.

Q. What is the dress code?
A. The firm maintains a “casual yet professional” dress code policy. All employees are advised to dress for their day (e.g., if you know you will be participating in an appearance or client meeting, more formal attire may be appropriate).

Q. Are summer associates assigned to specific practice groups?
A. Summer associates should expect to receive work from any of the firm’s areas of practice. Summer associates are also free to seek work from practice areas of interest. Summer Associates hired in San Francisco have a demonstrated Natural Resources interest.

Q. What kind of work do summer associates do?
A. The work and experience the firm provides to summer associates are similar to that of a first year associate. Summer associates work on active, billable matters and have opportunities to draft research memos, contracts, pleadings and correspondence. Summer associates also have opportunities to attend court hearings, depositions, mediations, site inspections and client meetings.

Q. How do summer associates receive feedback regarding their performance?
A. Attorneys are asked to provide written evaluations for all summer associate work product, and to discuss their impressions of the work product directly with the summer associate. The written evaluations are provided to the summer associates. Additionally, the Hiring Partner meets with the summer associates and their mentors to discuss the summer associates’ performance.

Q. Is there mentoring for summer associates?
A. Summer associates are each assigned two mentors – a partner or counsel and an associate – who serve as a resource throughout the summer. Mentors can assist summer associates with obtaining work assignments, facilitating introductions, fielding questions and navigating firm life.

Q. Does Downey Brand allow Summer Associates to split the summer with other firms?
A. We do not participate in split summers, as we find the full 10-week experience benefits students and the firm in assessing their work and potential for success as an entry-level associate.

Q. I am in my law school’s 4-year evening program. Am I eligible to participate in Downey Brand’s Summer Associate program?
A. Yes, between your third and fourth years of law school.

Q. Are 1L or 3L students eligible to participate in Downey Brand’s Summer Associate program?
A. The firm participates in the Sacramento County Bar Diversity Fellowship Program in cooperation with U.C. Davis and Pacific McGeorge law schools and hosts a 1L student through that program each year. Outside of that program, the firm does not hire 1L or 3L students into its summer program. 1L students may find a list of employers who do hire first-year students using the search feature at

Q. Does Downey Brand allow Fall Associates (previous Summer Associates who’ve received permanent offers) to defer their start dates for clerkships?
A. Yes. These requests are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Q. Does Downey Brand participate in Winter/Spring On-Campus Interviews?
A. Not at this time.

Q. Does Downey Brand have unpaid internships or job-shadowing opportunities available?
A. No.

Q. Does Downey Brand accept applications from 3L students for first year/fall associate positions?
A. Yes. The firm hires most of its first year associates through its Summer Associate program; however, 3L students interested in a first year associate position following graduation may apply directly to the firm via our careers pages.