Q: What distinguishes GPM's summer associate program?
Q: How do I prepare for my interview at the firm?
Q: How big is GPM's summer associate class?
Q: Does GPM have summer programs in its Fargo, St. Cloud, and Washington, D.C. offices?
Q: How will I receive assignments?
Q: What kind of work should I expect?
Q: Will I receive any training?
Q: What social activities are planned to help me get to know people at the firm?
Q: How does the firm encourage diversity?
Q: Will I have an opportunity to work on pro bono matters?
Q: What is the review process for summer associates?
Q: What is the process for offers to return as an associate?
A: What distinguishes GPM's summer associate program? Our summer program combines valuable work experience with fun events to help you get to know us. What really distinguishes the summer program is the firm itself, which combines enduring stability, a respectful culture, and excellent legal services. We hire associates who are bright, curious, personable, and hard working and who are committed to their careers, community, and lives outside the office. In return, we offer a firm that supports our associates in their professional careers, while supporting our attorneys' efforts to lead balanced lives. (See GPM In Brief.)
A: How do I prepare for my interview at the firm? We encourage you to come prepared to tell us about your experiences and to ask good questions about our firm and the practice of law. (See Interview Tips.) We hope that in the interviews you will learn about the firm, observe our respectful and collaborative culture, and see that GPM is truly a great place to work.
A: How big is GPM's summer associate class? Our summer classes in the Minneapolis office vary in size, but are usually about 4-6 2-L students and 1-2 1L students. We hire only enough second-year summer associates in Minneapolis to satisfy our projected hiring needs, so the experience is about doing your best work and learning about the firm rather than competing against others. The small class size provides a good opportunity for you to get to know your fellow summer associates, as well as many other individuals throughout the firm.
A: Does GPM have summer programs in its Fargo, St. Cloud, and Washington, D.C. offices? We typically have had 1-2 second-year summer associates in the St. Cloud office, but we do not currently have a summer program in the Fargo or D.C. office.
A: How will I receive assignments? Our program is designed to expose you to a variety of practice areas and help you gain valuable experience. We will help you do some work in areas of your particular interest, but you will not be assigned to a single practice area. Instead, we purposefully have you work in many different areas of practice to expose you to a variety of substantive areas and different attorneys. To allocate the work, we designate associates as work coordinators. The work coordinators assist summer associates in exploring areas of interest by assigning projects and by informing summer associates of observation opportunities such as depositions, hearings, mediations, and closings.
A: What kind of work should I expect? Over the course of your summer, you will be asked to complete multiple assignments, such as:
A: Will I receive any training? When you arrive, you will attend a variety of training sessions designed to make the transition from law student to summer associate a smooth one. In addition to training on GPM's systems, equipment, and processes, summer associates receive an overview from each of our administrative departments to get a feel for the business side of the law. Throughout the summer, weekly breakfast meetings provide an opportunity for you to get together with the other summer associates and talk to our practice group chairs about their practice areas. You will also be assigned two mentors, one principal and one associate, to be resources for you. (See Professional Development, Mentor Program.)
A: What social activities are planned to help me get to know people at the firm? In addition to the work that you will do as a summer associate, you will also have fun with us. You will be invited to lunch with attorneys throughout the summer or to take a break for coffee or an afternoon snack. We also want you to enjoy your time outside of work and get to know the Twin Cities. We will invite you to get to know us in more informal settings like softball and lawn bowling. You will be invited to a number of social events, which may include group cooking classes, a picnic at a principal's home, a theater production, or a round of mini-golf. At the end of the summer, we want you to feel like you know the personality of GPM.
A: How does the firm encourage diversity? Recognizing that there is still much work to do, GPM has encouraged diversity in our firm and the legal profession for years. We were one of the first firms in the Twin Cities to develop a 1L Minority Summer Associate Program (1993), one of the first in the Twin Cities to develop a formal Diversity Committee (1993), and one of the founding firms of Twin Cities Diversity in Practice. We are proud to be a past recipient of the Hennepin County Bar Association Diversity Award and the Minnesota Cultural Diversity Center's Sharing Diversity Champion of the Year Award. We continue to work to attain a diverse workforce and reinforce a supportive environment based on the values of respect, belonging, support, and generosity. (See Diversity.)
A: Will I have an opportunity to work on pro bono matters? You will meet with the pro bono committee to discuss the firm's commitment to pro bono work. We encourage summer associates to do pro bono projects and will help identify pro bono projects for you to consider. (See Pro Bono Work & Community Service.) A recent summer associate described her experience this way:
"As a Gray Plant Mooty summer associate, I had the invaluable opportunity to participate in some of the firm's numerous pro bono projects. Some highlights include (1) assisting with the permanent residency application of a Somali woman and her small child, (2) researching female genital mutilation in Africa for a brief on behalf of a woman seeking asylum from persecution in her home country, (3) interviewing and drafting letters on behalf of individuals overwhelmed by debt in order to gain relief from harassment by creditors, (4) assisting with proposed revisions to the Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act, and (5) drafting an overview of Minnesota political lobbying rules for use by a nonprofit organization producing a handbook for lobbyists."
A: What is the review process for summer associates? We encourage you to ask for feedback as you work on cases and projects during the summer, and we strongly encourage assigning attorneys to provide feedback to you on each project. In addition, all attorneys who have worked with you contribute to your review, which takes place near the end of your summer.
A: What is the process for offers to return as an associate? At the end of your summer, we want to make sure that you have a good idea of what life would be like as an attorney here. It is equally important that you like us—the firm and its people. We hope that your summer with us will make your decision an easy one should you receive an offer to join our practice. Historically, we have made offers for employment to the vast majority of our 2L summer associates in Minneapolis. In 2015, 100 percent of our 2L summer associates were offered—and accepted—positions at the firm. In our experience, those who succeed as summer associates will, in turn, succeed as attorneys in our firm. We typically extend offers within a few weeks after the summer program is completed.
Gray Plant Mooty is recognized as one of the leading corporate law firms in Minnesota and one of the top franchise firms in the world. Our roots go back to 1866. Today, we are a full-service firm with nearly 180 attorneys and offices in Minneapolis and St. Cloud, Minnesota; Washington, D.C.; and Fargo, North Dakota.