What does Schiff Hardin look for in a law student candidate?
We give substantial weight to academics, including law school grades and other honors. We look for candidates who have a record of leadership and achievement in school, work, and extracurricular and community activities; strong analytical, interpersonal, and communication skills; the ability to work both independently and on a team; and the drive to gain experience and succeed in a client service business. Learn more about who we are here.
How do I apply?
We interview 2L students through on-campus interviews at law schools and job fairs. We collect resumes at many additional law schools. For a list of those schools, please see above.
We encourage you to send us your application materials if we don’t interview on campus or collect resumes at your law school but you are interested in spending your 2L summer at Schiff Hardin.
What materials must I submit when I apply directly?
We request a resume, law school transcript, and writing sample. We encourage you to provide a cover letter with these materials.
What type of writing sample are you looking for?
We ask that writing samples be 15 pages or fewer, and written solely by the candidate while in law school (for a law school assignment, legal job, internship, externship, clinic, journal, etc.).
What is the interview process?
Typically, the first step is a preliminary interview with two Schiff lawyers. We will conduct first round interviews on- campus if we interview at your law school. For direct applicants who write to us or apply through resume collection, we will conduct a preliminary interview in the office or on the phone. If those interviews go well and there is mutual interest in continuing the process, we will invite the candidate for a callback interview. The callback interview consists of two one-on-one interviews, a lunch interview with associates, and a panel interview.
The panel interview is with three or four Schiff lawyers who take turns asking questions designed to gather more information about your academic, work, and other life experiences. The panel format helps us to get to know candidates better, and it gives candidates more time to describe their achievements.
Which Schiff Hardin offices hire summer associates?
For 2019, we are hiring for our Chicago and New York offices.
What types of assignments do your summer associates work on?
We want all of our summer associates to get a realistic look at what it’s like to practice at Schiff. For that reason, our summer associates work with lawyers from different practice groups and offices and on a range of meaningful assignments for our clients. Our summer associates choose their own assignments from a broad database that includes projects from every practice area of the firm. Summer associates prepare traditional research memoranda, and also other types of work product, including motions and briefs, due diligence memoranda, blog posts, transaction documents, and wills and trusts. We encourage summer associates to explore a variety of work during the summer, including pro bono projects.
What type of training do you offer your summer associates?
In addition to learning from their work, our summer associates also learn through trainings and observational opportunities. We have formal programs in which experienced Schiff attorneys teach our summer associates, give them hands-on litigation and corporate experiences, and provide substantive feedback to help them develop new skills. Our writing coach Julie Schrager leads group workshops and works one-on-one with every summer associate. And our summer associates learn how to develop new client relationships and nurture and maintain current ones in a full-day business development/client skills workshop.
Are social activities part of your summer program?
Yes, of course! We plan a fun mix of social activities so that our summer associates and attorneys get to know each other. By the end of the summer, our summer associates have a good feel for the firm's work, as well as its culture. Our social activities range from casual get-togethers to organized events like the following:
In Chicago: an architectural boat tour, WhirlyBall, a diversity event , Iron Schiff (our own cooking competition), an Improvised Shakespeare comedy show, a Cubs game, and a night at the Chicago History Museum.
In New York: Shakespeare in the Park, wine tasting, a cooking class, the Escape Room, and a Broadway show (“Hamilton” in 2018!).
Do you offer mentors for your summer associates?
Yes. Every summer associate is assigned an associate adviser and a partner resource, both of whom are there to answer questions and provide advice. Associate advisers act as both friends and professional advisers, conveying feedback on summer associate work and helping summer associates learn their way around the firm.
Do you allow summer associate splits?
We consider requests to split your summer between Schiff Hardin and another firm on a case-by-case basis. We usually discourage this practice, however, because we prefer you to spend ten weeks at Schiff Hardin to fully experience our work, people, and culture.
Do you hire 1Ls in your summer program?
We have not yet decided whether to hire 1Ls for our 2019 program.
Is Schiff Hardin an Affirmative Action Employer?
Yes, Schiff Hardin is a federal government contractor and affirmative action employer. For these reasons, we are required to solicit certain demographic information from candidates on a government-mandated form during the interview process. Please know that your submission of this self-identification information is entirely voluntary. Your decision to provide or not provide the information will have no impact on your employment application. Any response will be kept confidential and will not be used in the application process or shared with anyone involved in the hiring process.