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Frost Brown Todd welcomed a total of 37 law students at the end of May to participate in the firm’s 2024 Summer Associate Program, designed to provide students with first-hand exposure to the practice of law while building relationships that will be invaluable as they begin their legal careers. FBT’s 2024 summer associate cohort is the largest in the history of the program, encompassing a diversity of perspectives and life experiences.

This year’s increase in summer associates coincides with a period of significant growth for FBT following the opening of a new Denver office in April and its 2023 merger with California firm AlvaradoSmith, which added three offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Francisco, CA. For the first time post-merger, three incoming summer associates will be based in California. This is an important placement given FBT’s focus on bolstering its law student and lateral recruiting pipeline in a state where law firms are jockeying to attract top talent.

“Frost Brown Todd’s Summer Associate Program is an integral part of our broader recruiting and pipeline activities,” said FBT Chief Legal Talent Officer Morgan Smith. “And it’s only natural that the program’s growth parallels that of our firm, which is looking to expand even further in the years ahead. The demographic and geographic diversity of our 2024 summer class also underscores our commitment to building inclusive teams that will keep us relevant and enable our firm to better serve businesses in an increasingly intersectional economy.”

FBT’s summer program concludes at the end of July. During their stint at FBT, summer associates are paired with a partner and associate mentor and assigned a work coordinator to help identify opportunities for them to gain valuable experience in specific practice areas and industries. For instance, previous summer associates have toured client facilities, contributed to articles on emerging legal trends, and sat in on depositions, negotiations, and client consultations. They’re also able to connect with other summer associates and attorneys in different FBT offices during events and social activities held periodically throughout the summer.

“I’m enormously proud of our legal talent team for their responsiveness in communicating with candidates and the hard work they put into making this our largest summer associate class ever,” said FBT Legal Recruiting Manager Libby Naikelis. “The summer program is as much about investing in the continued growth and success of our firm as it is about investing in these associates, both as people and professionals. We’re excited to welcome them and provide a supportive platform to help them build a solid foundation, develop professional skills that might not be emphasized in law school, and ultimately advance their careers.”

By design, the FBT Summer Associate Program is a crucial touchpoint in attracting top-tier talent to the firm. Many former summer associates, upon graduating from law school, return to FBT to participate in the firm’s First-Year Associate Program. Established in 2009, the first-year program is based in part on the apprenticeship model. It consists of six core components including non-billable investment time for skill/knowledge development, a “Mini-MBA” program, and placement opportunities (or secondments) with longtime clients of the firm. Both the summer and first-year programs play an important role in fostering a culture of collaboration and practice excellence at FBT, while helping associates quickly rise to the level necessary to thrive as attorneys.

“Getting to host an exceptional group of law students over the summer is something our firm looks forward to every year,” said Law School and Student Relations Specialist Ian O’Donnell. “The program serves more than a recruiting purpose for us. Our attorneys and business professionals take a genuine interest in our summer associates, and while the program has its rigors, of course, it’s equally important that participants form strong relationships with their peers and finish the program with a strong support network that will pay dividends as they progress in their careers.”

Learn more about FBT’s Summer and First-Year Associate Programs.