Law Student Programs

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Real Work and Real Experience

The work our summer associates do is the same work our lawyers do. Our programs are designed to give you hands-on experience and real exposure to practicing law. You’ll research issues for depositions, draft motions, analyze transactions and watch oral arguments.

Client Exposure

We believe that summer associates should have first-hand experience meeting our clients and seeing the work that our clients do. Our summer associates have toured the Nike campus, visited the headquarters of the Banfield Pet Hospital, and gotten a personal look at the Gunderson manufacturing facility, where rail cars and barges are constructed.

Firm Exposure

It’s important for you to see how our law firm works. During the summer, you’ll be invited to associate gatherings, practice group gatherings, attorney meetings, training sessions and lunch meetings. Our goal is to give you the opportunity to experience, understand and be a part of the firm’s internal functions.

We have concluded our 2L summer associate recruitment for the 2022 Summer Program.

We encourage you to revisit this website in Spring of 2022 to learn about opportunities for the 2023 program.

When may I apply for a summer associate position?

We begin recruiting for our 1L Diversity Fellowship position in December, and begin accepting applications for our 2L position in June. In addition, we participate in on-campus interviews at Lewis & Clark, the University of Oregon and Willamette University in August. We encourage non-local students to apply online through our employment portal.

What are you looking for in my personal statement?

The personal statement is required for 1L Diversity Fellowship applicants only. Your personal statement is an opportunity to be open and really tell us about your life experiences. The types of things you may expect to share are not items you can tick off on your resume. For instance, you may want to share your journey thus far — how did you get to law school? What have you had to overcome to do so? How would your diverse status contribute to the firm and the local community in general?

How does the interview process work?

You will meet with one or two people and the meeting may take up to an hour. If you are not in the local area, the initial meeting will be conducted via Skype. Your callback interview will take place in our office and involve meeting six to eight members of Tonkon Torp. The interview schedule can last up to four hours and may include lunch. During the lunch interview, the candidate is given an opportunity to spend quality time with our attorneys.

What should I wear?

The dress code for initial interviews is business professional. During the program, we adhere to business casual in the office. In the event you are invited to a client meeting or a court hearing, we encourage you to have a suit jacket in your office.

When will I hear back from Tonkon Torp?

The Hiring Committee makes every effort to contact you as soon as possible after the callback interview. Given the number of applicants, however, the wait time can be lengthy. Feel free to periodically check in with the recruiter on the status of your candidacy.

What expenses will the firm reimburse?

We will reimburse your travel expenses and, whenever possible, share the cost of travel and lodging with other local firms. Please be sure to speak to the recruiter about our travel reimbursement policies.

How long is the summer program?

The summer program is 10 weeks long (typically starting in late May and ending in July). We coordinate with all candidates to determine the exact start date.

Can I split my summer with another firm?

In order to give you the best possible chance at an offer, we do not recommend splitting your summer with another firm.

What kind of work will I be assigned?

We provide the opportunity to work across all practice groups. The work will be real and relevant to the services we provide our clients, and will range from attending client meetings with partners to preparing for trial.

What kind of training will I receive?

Training will be varied. You will gain exposure by working on projects and various training programs offered by each practice group. Additionally, there are opportunities for on-the-job training by collaborating in small client teams.

Will I have a mentor, a legal assistant and an office?

Yes. You will be assigned an office as well as an associate mentor and legal assistant.

What summer associate events do you offer?

We provide a robust social events calendar! Some of our past events have included: BrewCycle, Portland Timbers soccer games, karaoke, iFly indoor skydiving, TopGolf, wine dinners, corporate kickball and private golf lessons.

If I have additional questions, whom should I contact?

Please contact Jeri Chavis, Manager of Attorney Recruiting, at recruiting@tonkon.com or 503.802.2110.