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SKILL SHARPENER

Split-Summer Program Lets Law Students Have the Best of Both Worlds [by Erica Winter] For a law student’s second summer, working for a law firm or working for a public interest organization may not necessarily be mutually exclusive. A few firms around the country are carrying their pro bono commitments through to their summer associates, carving out time and money for law students to serve the community while also working for the firm.

One such split-summer program is being

Whitney chose to work in the firm’s litiga-

Morgan Lewis’s Philadelphia office, started

run at the firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

tion practice area and felt it “was a fantastic

working with the Women’s Law Project as a

Through its Public Interest and Community

place to be,” he says. His experience with the

summer associate in the first year of the PICS

Service (PICS) program, the firm allows any

Support Center was “an eye opener,” Whitney

program. “It was a no-brainer” to do the PICS

of its summer associates to work up to four

says.

program, she says. “I was really excited.”

weeks for a public service or arts organization, in addition to dedicating at least six

The Support Center provides pro bono legal

After graduating from Penn Law, Joshi

weeks of the summer to the firm. For those

services to children and also legal informa-

was awarded the Philadelphia Bar Founda-

who take this option, there is no cut in pay;

tion for their advocates. It is “the gold stan-

tion Fellowship, allowing her to work at the

all summer associates are paid for the full

dard of child representation here in Philadel-

Women’s Law Project for the first year of her

ten weeks.

phia,” Whitney says. While he was with the

Morgan Lewis employment.

group, he sat in on cases and hearings, going “There is plenty of time to do what you need

to family court. Mainly, he saw child-depen-

The fellowship allows a first-year associate

to do,” says Andrew Whitney, who completed

dency hearings on cases which on average

to work full time at a public interest organi-

the PICS program with Morgan Lewis’s Phila-

last four years, dealing with “deep-rooted

zation while receiving her first year’s salary

delphia office last summer. Whitney gradu-

issues that can’t be fixed by waving a wand,”

over the course of two years. Various firms

ated from the University of Pennsylvania Law

says Whitney.

in Philadelphia participate in the fellowship, and Joshi only applied to those that did. Not

School this May and plans to work at Morgan In addition, as a summer associate, Whitney

even knowing she would one day receive the

did research on new laws in Pennsylvania re-

award, firm participation was “indicative to

Last Summer, Whitney did an eight-week/

garding testimony of children, which can now

me that they support public interest work,”

two-week split between the firm and the Sup-

be given via closed-circuit television. He also

Joshi says, which is very important to her.

port Center for Child Advocates, also in Phila-

helped staff attorneys prepare for cases.

Lewis starting in the fall.

The Women’s Law Project is a national

delphia. Taking time away from Morgan Lewis should “absolutely not be a concern” for

Whitney’s public interest stint last summer

organization undertaking impact litigation

summer associates, says Whitney, especially

helped to solidify his goal of identifying two

to affect major issues. Usually, the group

because the firm has a high level of support

nonprofit organizations with which to do pro

focuses on filing amicus briefs and serving as

for its attorneys doing pro bono work as well,

bono work in his law career. He wants to “do quality work and really make a difference,” and he hopes to represent kids through the Support Center in his future pro bono work.

support counsel. The group was litigating a

he notes. Whitney was familiar with the PICS program

case involving women’s access to golf clubs while Joshi was there. Also, the group won a dispute allowing for the

at Morgan Lewis well before his second summer, having seen summer associates come

And he is not alone in carrying his split-sum-

limited opening of family courts in Philadel-

to work at the firm while he was a paralegal

mer public interest work through into his le-

phia to allow observers to assess concerns

there for two years. While at Penn Law, he

gal career. Cary Joshi, another alumna of the

regarding treatment of women involved in

also spent both his summers with Morgan

PICS program, spent her first year working

abuse cases. Joshi served as one of these

Lewis.

for Morgan Lewis, but not at Morgan Lewis.

observers, noting the experiences of women

As a summer associate his second summer,

Joshi, now a third-year associate with

who went through the system. The group was

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able to then advise women on what to expect

continued on back


SKILL SHARPENER

in court and give them basic information such as where to go and what to bring. During her second summer in law school, Joshi worked in the Morgan Lewis office for the first six weeks and at the Women’s Law Center for the remaining four weeks. At the firm, she looked into both the litigation and labor law sections. Currently, Joshi practices general litigation at Morgan Lewis. She is also continuing her pro

bono work with Community Legal Services. Overall, says Joshi, pro bono work at Morgan Lewis has “a real commitment from the firm.”

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1.800. 973. 1177

Split-Summer Program Lets Law Students Have the Best of Both Worlds  

Split summer program is being run at firm Morgan, Lewis and Bockius, through PICS program firm allows summer associates for pro bono work.

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