Summer Spotlight: NYLS at Weil

With 1,100 lawyers in offices around the world, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is an international powerhouse. The firm has provided legal services to the largest public companies, private equity firms, and financial institutions for more than 85 years. This summer, Nicole Hellman 4L Evening (left), Krystel Momplaisir 3L (center), and Emily Ross 3L (right) took part in Weil’s Summer Associate Program.

Three female law studentsThe Program

Weil’s New York summer program is a 12-week rotation-based program, allowing summer associates to rotate through up to three departments. At the end of the summer, participants rank their practice area preferences, and the firm undertakes a matching process.

“Weil has worked hard over the years to develop a program that gives our summer associates a good sense of what life will be like as a full-time associate doing real work for clients, working closely with associates and partners throughout the firm,” says Jackie Cohen, Co-Chair of Weil’s Professional Hiring and Steering Committee. “We also provide a great introduction to the networking and relationship development skills that will last throughout a legal career.”

The Extras

The program emphasizes not only hands-on experience, but also training and pro bono service. Summer associates have an opportunity to participate in the firm’s pro bono summer externship program by spending two weeks at a public interest organization. Meanwhile, all summer associates benefit from a series of professional development opportunities including legal writing, deposition, and negotiation trainings.

The program also provides plenty of opportunities to network broadly. Cohen says, “We try to have our summer associates get to know as many people at the Firm as possible. Providing summer associates opportunities to meet and interact with a wide variety of attorneys offers an accurate sense of our culture.”

The Experience

Hellman says that Weil’s rotational program helped her assess a variety of professional interests.

“The program allows summer associates to do substantial work in multiple departments, which is highly valuable,” she says. “I chose to rotate through Litigation, Business Finance & Restructuring, and Corporate. The experience helped me confirm that, while courtroom experience is exciting, I’m most drawn to corporate transactional work. What especially stood out to me was that everyone I met at Weil loves what they do. That speaks to the firm’s culture as a whole.”

Ross wrote an entry for Weil’s blog, Summer Associate Perspectives, in early June. She shared her excitement about the chance to work directly with a senior partner on a substantive research and writing project. “It was such an incredible opportunity, just three weeks in,” she wrote.

For Momplaisir, the program provided confirmation and focus. “I began the summer program leaning towards the Litigation practice group, and my experience in that group felt like coming home,” she says.

Momplaisir, who will take the bar exam this February before becoming a Pro Bono Scholar at NYLS, was also inspired by Weil’s strong commitment to pro bono service—not to mention the connections she made with NYLS alumni.

“So many alumni made me feel welcome, including Partner Matt Barr ’96, Associate Mariel Cruz ’09, Associate Kaitlin Descovich ’13, Counsel Brian Drozda ’08, and Associate James Pierre-Louis ’17,” she says.

The Alumni View

Matt Barr '96

Matt Barr ’96

Barr says that there is a “special bond” among alumni at the firm, and “we proudly wave the NYLS flag at Weil.”

He echoes Momplaisir’s comments about a welcoming community for summer associates from NYLS. “I try to meet all of the NYLS students that participate in our summer program,” he says. “The firm makes it easy for the students and Weil attorneys to identify each other and encourages us to connect.”

Barr continues to be impressed with NYLS students who attend Weil’s summer program.

“They are typically hard working, eager, articulate, interesting, and smart,” he says. “More importantly, they don’t seem to take for granted the opportunity to participate in a large law firm summer program.”