What does Schiff Hardin look for in a law student candidate?
In making hiring decisions, 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 independently and on a team; and the drive to gain experience and succeed in a client service business. Learn more about who we are.
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 Hardin lawyers. This first round of interviews will be conducted on-campus if we interview at your law school. For direct applicants who write to us or apply through resume collection, the preliminary interview will be conducted 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, a writing exercise, and a panel interview.
The panel interview is with three to four Schiff Hardin 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.
During the writing exercise, you will be given a short document that sets out a legal issue and asks you to explain it in a few paragraphs to a specific audience. Our exercises are based on real-world cases. For example, we may give you a court order and ask you to explain it to a community group affected by the ruling. We provide about an hour to complete the exercise.
What are you looking for in the writing exercise?
We are looking for organized thoughts, clear and accurate writing, and a responsive tone appropriate for the identified audience. The writing exercise is not designed to test your knowledge of any particular area of the law or your familiarity with Bluebook form. Schiff lawyers interact with clients early in their careers, and this part of the interview helps us identify candidates who are ready and eager to do so.
Which Schiff Hardin offices hire summer associates?
We hired 2017 summer associates for our Chicago and New York offices.
What is the length of your Summer Program?
Our summer program is 10 weeks long. Our 2017 program runs from May 30 to August 4.
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 is like to practice at Schiff. For that reason, our summer associates work with lawyers from different practice groups and different offices and on a range of assignments that are real assignments for real clients (and real deadlines!). Our summer associates choose their own assignments from a broad database that includes assignments from every practice area of the firm. Summer associates prepare “typical” research memoranda, but also produce other types of work product, including motions and briefs, due diligence memoranda, blog posts, primary and ancillary 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 several 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. 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. The social activities range from impromptu get-togethers to organized events like the following:
In Chicago: an architectural boat tour, WhirlyBall, trivia night, ping-pong, an Improvised Shakespeare comedy show, a Cubs game, and a night at the National Museum of Mexican Art.
In New York: Shakespeare in the Park, wine tasting, a cooking class, Escape the Room, and a Broadway show.
In San Francisco: cocktails at Bubble Lounge, San Francisco Bay ferry ride, Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament, a Giants game, and tea tasting at Imperial Tea Court.
In Washington, D.C.: Phillips Collection tour, DC United soccer game, Broomball tournament, brewery tour.
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 or provide advice. Associate advisers act both as 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 will 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 have the full ten weeks at Schiff Hardin to fully experience the work, people, and firm culture.
Do you hire 1Ls in your summer program?
Our 2017 summer program includes two 1L students. We have not yet decided whether to hire 1Ls for our 2018 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.