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Law Students

Baker Donelson's Summer Associate Program is the primary channel through which we grow the Firm. This comprehensive program is designed to give interested law students a realistic view of what we do and the culture of Baker Donelson. You are our future.

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Baker Donelson's Summer Associate Program
Working at Baker Donelson: Matt Leonard

Our summer associates experience substantive, challenging assignments across a wide range of practice areas. They can expect structured, personalized feedback throughout the assignments, and they have the opportunity to attend trials, hearings, depositions, negotiations, and client conferences. Our summer program is designed to replicate, as closely as possible, the experience of being a Baker Donelson associate.

The Firm assigns a shareholder and associate mentor to each summer associate to ensure individual attention and instruction, and to encourage positive growth on personal and professional levels. Our summer associates are invited to all practice group trainings that take place throughout the summer. Professional development begins the moment our summer associates start with us and continues throughout their time at the Firm. The training received during the summer lays the foundation for their legal career. In addition, each office plans a number of social and community-minded events to give summer associates the opportunity to interact with attorneys in a relaxed and informal setting. Building relationships with Baker Donelson professionals is an essential part of one's growth and development as a summer associate and young lawyer.

We typically hire forty Summer Associate firmwide. While our primary source of growth is through our summer associate program, we do not hire more summer associates than we believe we will be able to accommodate as associates. In the past, we have made offers to an overwhelming majority of summer associates. We typically require six-week clerkships. Salaries range from $2,296 – $3,258 per week depending on the office.

Baker Donelson participates in on-campus interviews (OCI) and job fairs. To view our OCI schedule please click on the On-Campus Recruiting Schedule link. Although our 2024 2L summer associate program is full, we will have 1L summer associate programs in our Baltimore, Birmingham, Charleston, Chattanooga, Fort Lauderdale, Jackson, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, and Orlando offices. If you are a current 1L attending a law school where we do not conduct OCIs and you wish to apply for a position for our 2024 Summer Associate Program, please send your resume, a cover letter indicating your office of interest, and a copy of your first semester law school transcript to Rachel Mims by Friday, January 19th.

Baker Donelson is deeply committed to advancing diversity in the legal profession and strengthening the legal pipeline by expanding the number of opportunities for diverse law students. The Firm annually awards three recipients the Baker Donelson Diversity Scholarship. This scholarship provides diverse law students a salaried 2L summer associate position and up to $20,000 to help defray tuition costs of the third year of law school. The Firm also hires diverse 1L law students as part of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Scholars Program and has been a member of the LCLD Scholars Program since its inception in 2009.

Baker Donelson created a 501(c)(3) fund to provide resources and support to Black college students pursuing law education, and we are expanding our participation in minority job fairs, the Lavender Law Career Fair sponsored by the National LGBT Bar Association, and the LCLD Scholars Program, as well as partnering with and actively recruiting at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) and Hispanic-serving institutions (HIS).

Family I've Grown Up In: Scott D. Carey


"Baker Donelson is a family I've grown up in, starting as a runner while in college. I clerked each summer during law school and then became an associate. I recently completed a eight-year tenure as the Nashville office managing shareholder and feel very fortunate to be part of this great group of people."

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