Baker Botts’ hiring partner Van Beckwith of Dallas says he savors the time he gets to spend working with law students in the firm’s summer associate program.
“I love it,” Beckwith says. “It’s a breath of fresh air. It will keep me young, like my children do. You really do get to know what some really, really talented law students are thinking about the law and the practice of law, and develop some great friendships.”
James “Jamie” Ribman, hiring shareholder for the Dallas office of Looper Reed & McGraw, agrees.
“It’s a lot of fun having them around,” Ribman says. “I think part of being a more senior attorney is having the opportunity to spend time with younger associates and law students. Folks around here really like training and mentoring and look forward to that opportunity.”
Steven Pfeiffer, executive committee chairman of Fulbright & Jaworski since 2003, says he met the man who, years later, would become his successor during one of the firm’s summer programs.
“I first got to know Ken Stewart when I was in Houston and he was a summer associate back in 1978,” says Pfeiffer of Washington, D.C.
The firm recently announced that Ken Stewart, partner-in-charge of the firm’s Dallas office, has been elected executive committee chairman effective Jan. 1, 2013.
Firm policy requires Pfeiffer to step down from the position because his 65th birthday is this year.
Summer associates are “very talented, interesting people and it’s fun to be around them,” Pfeiffer says. “Even though I’m rather ancient now, I remember being a summer associate like it was yesterday.”
-- Jeanne Graham
Editor's note: This week, Texas Lawyer publishes its special focus report on law schools and legal education. Check our website, www.texaslawyer.com, for stats on who's hiring and from which schools, plus features on a summer associate who served in Iraq, the amount of debt Lone Star law grads carry, a student's plea for change in legal education, and attorneys' thoughts on whether they'd do it all over again.