Choosing a firm to clerk at can be a daunting process. To assist you, we have provided answers to some frequently asked questions about the Fay Sharpe Summer Associate Program.
Why Fay Sharpe?
With our sole focus on intellectual property law, Fay Sharpe can offer an in-depth view of this highly specialized law concentration. This provides exposure and experience that cannot be found elsewhere.
Our summer associate program is an essential component of Fay Sharpe's hiring process. Each summer, we hire one to four first-year and/or second-year law students for a period of approximately three months with a goal of providing work from a variety of attorneys and partners. We try to give a realistic picture of what it would be like to work in an intellectual property firm as an attorney after graduation.
What type of student will succeed at Fay Sharpe?
We are looking for students with strong academic credentials and a technical background in engineering or science (e.g., degrees in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, biochemistry, biology, physics, etc.). Our summer associate program is a unique opportunity for the right student to learn from the inside out about our intellectual property practice, and to forge a rewarding and potentially long-lived relationship with Fay Sharpe.
What projects will I work on?
One important goal of the Summer Associate Program is to expose students to a diverse workload within their areas of background and interest. Summer associates can expect research projects and amendment writing. Current law clerks have been assigned to draft licensing agreements, clearance opinions and even patent applications, too. The project mix will directly reflect the type of work a new attorney would perform as a first- or second-year associate.
Will I interact with clients?
Yes. Summer associates accompany our attorneys to client meetings and inventor interviews. A clerkship at Fay Sharpe allows law students to rapidly develop skills and prepare for a career as an attorney. For that reason, we offer many real world opportunities and cases for students to expand upon their already existing knowledge.
How are projects assigned?
Projects are assigned based on the summer associate's academic background and expressed areas of interest. We do not create projects for our summer associates, but rather they work on existing billable projects for our clients, so projects are assigned by existing Fay Sharpe attorneys. We find this method effective, given our goal to provide diversity of work and maximize the summer associate's opportunity to prepare for the role of an intellectual property attorney.
How will my work be evaluated?
Summer associates work closely with partners and other senior lawyers who provide feedback on the associate's work, progress, and growth. Attorneys who work with the summer associate are asked to complete an evaluation at the end of the summer. All evaluations are given to our hiring partner, Jim Scarbrough, who is responsible for providing timely constructive feedback to our summer associates.
Will there be anything to do other than work?
Yes! We encourage summer associates to take part in events sponsored by local organizations including the Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association, the 20/30 Club, and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA). We have attorneys who participate in the Young Lawyers Section of the CMBA and provide excellent opportunities to learn from and network with other peers and attorneys in the Cleveland area. Here at the firm, mentorship occurs in different ways - from opportunities to co-author articles for trade publications, to participating in outings with other associates. Summer associates are encouraged to interact with peers and staff at formal and informal gatherings.
Who will answer my questions once I arrive at the firm?
The day you start, the first person you will interact with will be the Human Resources Manager, Kelly Bartel, who can answer most of your general questions. Jim Scarbrough can answer your questions pertaining to the practice. Don't forget, however, that all of our attorneys are accessible and will be pleased to spend time sharing their knowledge with you.
Do you make offers to your summer associates?
Since our summer associate program is an essential part of our hiring process, at the end of each summer, we review and hire clerks based on their performance. We hire those who best understand the needs of the practice, and those who can carve their own niche into the culture of the firm.
What kind of hours will I work as a summer associate?
Summer associates, like our associates and partners, are not required to work specific hours. In the summer, they are expected to work full-time (37.5 hours/week). We do try to extend, as much as possible, flexibility regarding test preparation, vacations, etc.
How long is the summer program?
The summer associate program typically lasts about three months. Start and end dates are flexible.
Will I have an opportunity to work during the school year?
At the end of summer employment, the summer associate may be offered the potential to work throughout the school year. This is determined on a case-by-case basis, and involves need as well as the feedback that is generated by attorneys regarding the summer associate's performance.
Where does the firm conduct on campus interviews?
We typically interview at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland-Marshall School of Law and the University of Akron School of Law. Interviews generally take place in September and October, but we may visit again after December 1st and in the spring, depending on need. Contact your school's Career Center for upcoming on-campus dates.
If your question was not addressed here, please contact our Hiring Partner, Jim Scarbrough, at 216-363-9000 or email@example.com.