Sara Hallmark
See yourself
as a summer associate.

“I really enjoyed working with and learning about different practice groups, and I always felt that I was contributing to important work.”

- Sara Hallmark, Associate, Washington, D.C.

Getting to know Hogan Lovells

In researching firms prior to interviewing for summer associateships, I could see that Hogan Lovells was an excellent firm on paper, but it was not until I started to meet its people that I realized how special the firm truly is.

At first, I did not receive an interview spot through my law school’s lottery system, and I thought that maybe it was not meant to be for me to go there. However, I decided to drop my resume off in Hogan Lovells’ hospitality suite during my school’s interview week anyway, and when I did I was blown away by the incredibly personable and interesting lawyers I met there. Unlike other hospitality suites I had visited, the people from Hogan Lovells seemed truly excited about the firm and the work they were doing, and were more than happy to share their experiences with me. I left that day feeling that if the people I had met were representative of who I would work with at the firm then it was the firm I wanted to be a part of. After meeting many more of Hogan Lovells’ people, I can say that I definitely have not been disappointed.

Prior to my summer at Hogan Lovells, I had the opportunity to play a few seasons on the firm’s volleyball team. During this time, I met several former summer associates who told me about their summers. Needless to say, after my initial impression of Hogan Lovells and the stories I heard about working there, I had very high expectations of the experience I would have as a summer associate.

I was pleasantly surprised when my initial expectations were far exceeded. One of the many positive things I can say about the summer associate program is that it has a great balance of work and fun. The projects I worked on were interesting and challenging, and my supervising lawyers gave me great direction and feedback. I really enjoyed working with and learning about different practice groups, and I always felt that I was contributing to important work. Additionally, the summer associate events throughout the summer gave us the opportunity to get to know the people we were working with in a more social setting. The people we did projects with during the day were the same ones we had fun with in the evenings.

Even though I know that Hogan Lovells’ Washington, D.C. office is large, after meeting and being able to work with many of its people, I left at the end of the summer feeling it was not so big after all.

Experience

I was very impressed by the caliber of projects I worked on, and professional opportunities I experienced as a summer associate. For the education practice group, I had the opportunity to research an issue related to harassment and school liability, work closely with a partner to put together a forty-five minute presentation on the issue, and then travel to New York to assist this partner in giving the presentation at a conference for school administrators (2010 School Law Institute). Additionally, for the white collar group I had the opportunity to travel to New York to participate in a client interview and then draft the corresponding interview memos for the group. These experiences represent the kinds of substantive, unique, and interesting experiences one can expect to find as a summer associate at Hogan Lovells.

People

The atmosphere is definitely collegial and friendly. There is a sort of “open door” policy at Hogan Lovells, and this atmosphere made me feel like I was already a part of the team the day I first walked in the door. On that first day, we were encouraged to reach out to people in the firm if we ever had any questions about a project we were working on or if we just wanted to know more about the work that they did or practice group they were in. As a summer associate, I was a little nervous at first to reach out and interrupt someone who I knew was busy and working hard; however, when I did I was shocked by how willing people were to take time out of their busy schedules to talk with me, and how excited they were about the work they were doing.

Having this sort of friendly and supportive environment is contagious. Even though all of us summer associates were working as hard as possible on our own projects, we were also more than happy to pay it forward and help each other out on projects whenever it was needed.

Word to the wise

The kind of person that Hogan Lovells attracts is what truly makes it great, so I would recommend to someone considering the firm to talk to as many Hogan people as possible. The intangible qualities of the firm are what put it in a league of its own.