Summer Associate Program
The summer program at Wyche has two goals: to introduce law students to the real-world practice of law, and to begin to build relationships with young lawyers, who will we hope, become our colleagues. To achieve these ends, we interweave genuine legal work with relaxed social events that emphasize getting to know Greenville and one another.
We evaluate candidates for the summer program intensely because we want to identify law students to whom we will eventually offer permanent associate positions. We view each of our summer clerks as a potential colleague, and so we try to identify students who will make good lawyers here. Our criteria include high academic standing, membership on law reviews or other significant journals, honor society memberships, judicial clerkships, and a demonstration of vitality and enthusiasm for extracurricular interests.
The summer work assignments involve real work on real matters. Summer associates frequently attend depositions, help prepare for trials, go to court, assist with closings, research federal and state law, draft documents – all under the guidance of a seasoned attorney. We want to know, and we want each summer associate to know, just how much he or she really likes the law and what areas of practice are interesting to him or her. We make every effort to expose summer associates to all the practice areas in our firm. In the practice of law, you can't know what you like until you try it.
We encourage all summer associates – especially first-year students– to split their summers between two firms. We believe it is important for students to experience a variety of law practices and firm cultures before they finish law school and make a permanent decision about where they will practice and what kind of law they will pursue. We do require that summer associates spend a minimum of four weeks with us.
The Social Side
Collegiality is one of the very special aspects of our firm. We prize one another's company, and our lawyers have a variety of interests. During the summer, we try to share this unity and diversity with our summer associates, and show off the ambience of our city.
Greenville is surrounded by beautiful mountains with spectacular rivers and waterfalls. We offer hikes and picnics in the mountains, as well as whitewater rafting and canoeing. There is always a tennis game available at the end of the day or an afternoon of golf at one of the many courses in the area. Traditionally, we schedule an afternoon of water skiing, swimming or boating on one of the many lakes, followed by a casual dinner.We also host an evening at the Greenville Drive stadium to watch the Boston Red Sox Single A affiliate team play. In addition to lots of outdoor events, there are excellent dining and theatre evenings at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts or local music and cabaret clubs. Downtown Greenville hosts a variety of evening concerts that are within walking distance of the office and the Bi-Lo Center books major concert tours and sporting events. A tour of the Greenville County Art Museum is scheduled every year.
In summary, the summer program reflects the culture of the firm. We work hard and smart, we like where we live and we take advantage of the wealth of recreation and culture that is available to us. And, of great importance, we like and respect each other.
Statement of Recruiting Philosophy Regarding Offers
Many of our summer associates seek clerkships or other prestigious legal opportunities before they seek permanent employment with our firm. Although we will hire graduating law students directly from our summer program, many of our current members and associates came to us after spending several years with large law firms in Atlanta, Washington DC, New York and other cities, and/or one or more years of judicial clerkship after summer clerkships at Wyche. We do not follow the practice of many firms that hire large numbers of associates with the knowledge that most of them will never become members (to the contrary, although we obviously cannot guarantee membership, we anticipate that every associate we hire will eventually become a member of the firm), and our size and culture do not permit us to hire a large number of entry-level associates at any given time. Thus, Wyche generally does not make formal offers of permanent employment to any summer associate unless and until the candidate requests that an offer be made and is prepared seriously to consider permanent employment with the firm. Similarly, students who clerk with our firm following their first year of law school should indicate whether they are interested in a summer clerkship following their second year of law school. In addition, with regard to those students seeking judicial clerkships, formal offers of permanent employment are not extended until they have begun their clerkships and received authorization from their judges to apply.