Inside the Life of a Jackson LLP Summer Associate
Explore the world of healthcare law with Yujin, Emma, and Olivia as they share their summer associateship experiences at Jackson LLP and offer advice for future participants.
Jackson LLP’s summer associate program aims to offer law students real-world, hands-on law practice experience. For eight weeks, the firm’s attorneys mentor the summer associates as they work full-time to complete diverse and meaningful projects. Below, the 2023 participants recounted what they learned, how they collaborated with the attorneys, and what they enjoyed most about their time at Jackson LLP’s headquarters in Evanston, Illinois.
Yujin spent her summer associateship diving into all things health law. She helped prepare informed consent forms, state-specific addenda to intake forms, and employment agreements. Yujin sharpened her legal experience through various research projects for client/prospective client matters. Her projects included addressing paid time off laws, business succession, and employment by professional corporations. Additionally, she wrote blog articles on owning vs. renting office spaces, dual eligible special needs plans, hospital-at-home programs, and the COVID-19 vaccine mandate at work after the end of the public health emergency.
While Yujin’s work was primarily independent, she says she received excellent guidance from the attorneys, who offered plentiful feedback, both positive and constructive. “The attorneys always let me know that I was doing a good job even after providing constructive criticism, and this reassurance helped me not to be anxious about my work. The attorneys always asked for my input and valued my perspective.”
Yujin’s favorite aspect of her summer at Jackson LLP was the ease of asking attorneys for help. She felt the attorneys were highly approachable and encouraged summer associates to absorb as much knowledge as possible. Yujin noted that teachings in law school had given her the expectation that law firms would be intimidating and challenging to navigate. However, she found that Jackson LLP provided a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Yujin offered this advice for future summer associates:
Take it one day at a time! The first day felt daunting because everything was completely foreign, but the days passed quickly as I familiarized myself with the work and got into a rhythm. Now I can’t believe how much time has gone by, and I am so much more knowledgeable than I was two months ago.
On a typical day as a summer associate, Emma worked on a mixture of client and general research tasks, including business documents such as good faith estimates, operating agreements, and certificates of incorporation. Additionally, the summer associates tracked all business documents filed for clients.
Emma loved contributing her knowledge and ideas, making the work fulfilling and open to more feedback. While most of the summer associate work was independent, Emma found many opportunities for feedback and discussion of assignments. She appreciated how the attorneys were always willing and happy to chat in person or on a quick phone call if she had questions, and she felt encouraged by the attorneys to offer her own ideas and perspectives.
Emma explained, “I appreciated the amount of feedback I received on each project! Whether I was drafting an email response to send to a client or creating a legal document, my supervising attorney always provided a thorough explanation of why they would write or analyze an issue differently.”
Emma’s favorite thing about working at Jackson LLP was the weekly attorney lunches, which allowed her to learn more about the attorneys on a personal level, discovering more about their own experiences in Evanston and at Jackson LLP. Plus, the firm typically held the lunches in the courtyard, allowing Emma to enjoy the warm and sunny summer days.
Emma gave this advice for future summer associates:
Do not be afraid to find new interests! I started the summer with specific health law interests and thought I would want to take on projects related to topics I already had experience in. However, some of the most rewarding assignments were on health or employment laws that I had never heard of before. My mentor and other attorneys encouraged me to attend client or prospective client calls about anything I was curious about. This helped me challenge myself and learn that there are even more opportunities in health law than I first thought!
Olivia worked on the winding-up process of the dissolution of a company, prepared a memo regarding state corporate practice of medicine considerations relating to a client’s practice, and drafted other memos, intake forms, operating agreements, employee contracts, and bylaws, as well as initial resolutions for clients. Olivia also performed research and drafted responses to client questions on topics ranging from modifications to LLC membership, employer health insurance, and subpoenas.
Olivia received extensive feedback from the attorneys, whether it was working directly with them on projects or having conversations on a typical day. “Once I submitted my version of a project, the attorney returned their version with responses to my questions, their own questions, comments, and other feedback. The back-and-forth continued until there was a finished project. I also felt very comfortable asking questions and discussing my thought processes with the attorneys.”
Olivia’s favorite thing about working at Jackson LLP that summer was the diversity within the projects she worked on. Olivia gained “wonderful practical experience in so many different parts of health law.” She gained confidence as she headed into her final year of law school, feeling almost ready to take on the real working world post-law school.
Olivia’s one piece of advice for future summer associates: “Don’t worry about what you don’t know! No one expects you to be an expert on anything, just that you will put the effort in and try your best. You will be surprised at how much you learn by the end of the program.”
Celebrating Success and Looking Ahead
Jackson LLP’s attorneys recognized and appreciated the valuable contributions Yujin, Emma, and Olivia made during the program. The attorneys were also thrilled to witness the summer associate’s significant professional growth as their time with the firm unfolded.
“The eight weeks that comprise our summer program are my favorite of the year,” said Principal Partner Connor Jackson. “Law students bring new ideas, perspectives, and knowledge to the firm. They each have an associate mentor, but we learn from them too. We always feel the loss of their considerable contributions when August arrives!”
Managing Partner Erin Jackson added that, “the firm is buzzing with good energy during the summer program, and the excitement that the attorneys have about mentoring and collaborating with the summers is palpable.”
Law students seeking an enriching summer experience that bridges the gap between theory and practice should consider the summer associate program at Jackson LLP. We’re excited to welcome aspiring legal minds and shape the future of healthcare law together! If you would like to participate, we encourage you to stay tuned to our career page for updates on how to apply.
This blog is made for educational purposes and is not intended to be specific legal advice to any particular person. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between our firm and the reader. It should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.