Frequently Asked Questions
- When and how do I apply for a summer associate or entry-level position?
First-Year Law Students: Alston & Bird adheres to the guidelines set forth by NALP on the timing of offers and decisions. Under those guidelines, first-year law students may apply with the firm beginning on December 1st of each year. Please visit our “For Job Seekers” section to learn about which Alston & Bird offices have 1L programs.
Second-Year Law Students: If we interview on-campus at your school, please contact your career services office to inquire about how to obtain an interview slot. Otherwise, please submit your cover letter, resume and transcript to the Attorney Hiring contact in the office in which you are most interested. If you are interested in applying to more than one office, please indicate so in your cover letter and we will ensure that your materials are considered accordingly.
Third-Year Law Students and Judicial Clerks: We welcome applications for entry-level positions from both third-year law students and judicial clerks. Please submit a cover letter indicating your practice area and office location preference, resume and transcript to the Attorney Hiring contact in the office for which you have an interest. You may also visit our “For Job Seekers” section for information on our current needs.
- What materials, in addition to my resume and transcript, would be helpful to Alston & Bird in considering my application?
Depending on the office to which you are applying, you might be asked to submit an undergraduate transcript, references and a writing sample at some point during the recruitment process. If you are asked to provide a writing sample, it should be a representation of your most recent work and does not need to be lengthy.
- How long will my call-back interview last?
Depending on the office, a call-back interview may include dinner with two or three of our attorneys the night before your interview, followed by a half-day of interviews and concluding after lunch. Most candidates will meet between six and eight partners and associates during the call-back interview.
- How should I dress for my interview?
Our firm has an informal policy of “dressing for your day,” which means that many of our attorneys come to work in business casual attire unless they have a client meeting or court appearance. Many of our offices also observe “Casual Fridays”, where you will see most of our attorneys and staff dressed in a more relaxed fashion, including blue jeans! For your interview at Alston & Bird, we recommend you dress in business attire, meaning a suit and tie for men and a pant suit, dress or suit for women.
- Will I receive a list of the attorneys with whom I will be meeting in advance of my call-back interview?
Yes, prior to your interview, and no later than your call-back dinner, you will receive specific details regarding your call-back interview, including the names of the attorneys with whom you are scheduled to meet. Note that due to unpredictable client demands, the list you receive is subject to change.
- When should I expect to hear from Alston & Bird regarding a hiring decision after my call-back interview?
For summer program: At Alston & Bird, we don’t believe in hiring more summer associates than we’ll have permanent offers to give at the end of the summer. As a result, we are committed to limiting the number of offers we have outstanding at any given time to the number of open spots we have in our program, resulting in a very deliberate hiring process. We make every effort to respond to candidates within two weeks of their interview, however, it can at times be longer. If this is the case, we strive to provide updates to our candidates as frequently as possible and encourage our candidates to do the same. The Hiring Committees in each office evaluates applications and makes decisions regarding offers for that office. Most committees meet on a weekly basis with the intent to extend offers as soon as possible. Candidates who receive an offer will be notified by phone and letter.
For entry level hiring and judicial clerks: You should expect to receive feedback from Alston & Bird within two weeks of your interview. You are welcome to reach out to your Attorney Hiring contact [hyperlink] for status updates at any point during the process.
- How long is the summer program?
Our 2012 summer program will be a maximum of nine weeks. The actual start and end dates vary from office to office, however they will all begin and end in May and July. Summer associates are required to spend a minimum of six weeks with us during the first half of the summer.
- Does the firm allow summer associates to split between two Alston & Bird offices or between Alston & Bird and another firm?
Summer associates who wish to split their summer with another Alston & Bird office are required to interview with both offices and must receive offers from both offices. If you receive an offer from more than one location, you may split between the two offices.
Summer associates may split their summer with another firm; however Alston & Bird requires that you spend a minimum of six weeks with us during the first half of our program.
- How do summer associates get to know the attorneys?
We offer many opportunities for summer associates to get to know our attorneys throughout the summer. In addition to informal lunches and dinners with lawyers, each office plans a wide variety of fun and interesting events that highlight the office’s unique geographic and cultural attributes.
- What is the salary for summer associates?
Our 2012 summer associate salaries have not yet been determined, but they will be in line with the market, as is our standard practice.
- Are there set work hours for summer associates?
We ask that summer associates make it a habit to be in the office during regular working hours to ensure they are accessible to the attorneys with whom they are working. As with all of our professionals, summer associates have the autonomy to determine their exact hours each day.
- How are assignments distributed?
Summer associates work closely with their mentors to determine their workloads and individual assignments. Projects are assigned according to the summer associates’ interests and practice group needs. The mentors work to ensure that the summer associates have the right quantity and substance in their files at the end of the summer for review by the Hiring Committee.
- How does the review/evaluation process work?
Each assignment completed by a summer associate will be evaluated by the attorney requesting the assignment and his/her mentor. In addition to completing a formal written evaluation form, we ask attorneys to provide summer associates with frequent verbal feedback during the course of the assignment. We also conduct mid-summer reviews for all summer associates. The purpose of the review is to ensure summer associates are receiving proper feedback on their work as well as to solicit feedback on how their summer is progressing.
- When will I hear if I’m receiving a permanent offer? And if I receive an offer, how will my permanent practice group placement be determined?
Offer decisions are made once the program is complete and all summer associates have departed. We make every effort to notify summer associates of our decisions as quickly as possible. Each of our offices strives to extend practice-group specific offers to our summer associates.
- What type of offers do 1Ls receive?
Eligible first-year law students who spend their summer with us receive offers to return for their second summer.