Jenner & Block

Michael J. Wadden

Why did you choose Jenner & Block?

I chose Jenner & Block because of the firm’s excellent reputation for litigation and its longstanding commitment to pro-bono work. I also liked the New York office’s manageable size and office culture. It felt like the kind of place where I would have the opportunity to get to know many of the attorneys over the course of the summer and get a realistic feel for firm life. I really liked every attorney I met during my interviews.

What was the interview process like?

I had a brief interview at my law school’s fall internship program, then a callback interview at the Jenner & Block office in New York. During the callback, I met with a number of attorneys of both the partner and associate level. It was a streamlined process, but also relaxed and very friendly. By the end of it, I felt like I had gained a real sense of the office.

What did you enjoy most about your summer experience?

I focused on litigation and worked on a range of different matters. I got to try out everything from criminal defense, to copyright work, to a number of different pro-bono cases. I wrote memos, drafted sections of briefs, and attended a client interview, among other things.

Describe two things you learned during the summer.

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work on small teams and interact with partners. Additionally, it was great getting to know Jenner & Block lawyers at the various summer events. I also really liked my class of summer interns and had a great time with them during our trip to the firm’s annual gathering in Chicago.

I learned a lot about the process of handling a real case and clients. Getting to work with veteran attorneys and see how they dealt with complex matters and legal issues was eye-opening for me. I also got a lot of great feedback on my writing, which I feel really improved over the course of the summer.

What will you tell others about your experience at Jenner & Block?

I had a very good experience. I learned a great deal, and really felt I was a part of the Jenner & Block community. I performed substantive work on interesting projects and learned from some top-notch attorneys.

What would you say to someone thinking of applying to the program next summer?

I had a terrific time at Jenner & Block and recommend it highly. Particularly if you’re interested in litigation, and looking for a smaller New York summer program experience, Jenner & Block is a great place to summer.

Lindsey A. Lusk

Why did you choose Jenner & Block?

I chose Jenner & Block because I wanted a firm that was committed to pro bono work and would provide me with a lot of opportunities to learn and grow. Every person I met from the firm had pro bono work that they were passionate about, and many of the junior associates had already had the opportunity to work on exciting cases.

What was the interview process like?

The interview process was actually a lot of fun. I’d done a number of interviews beforehand and they were all exhausting. But at Jenner & Block, my interviewers seemed very interested in getting to know me personally. The interviews were fun and flew by. You could see how passionate everyone was about the firm and the work they were doing. I walked out of my callback and knew that Jenner & Block was where I wanted to work.

What kind of work did you during the course of the summer?

I had the opportunity to do a large amount of trial preparation work, which was perfect because I knew I wanted to work in litigation. I conducted research, drafted complaints and motions, sat in on depositions, and worked on an actual innocence petition. My favorite assignment involved representing a media company against a city that was wrongfully denying the company’s public-records request.

What did you enjoy most about your summer experience?

I really enjoyed the diverse opportunities and autonomy I had. Later in the summer, I requested the opportunity to draft a larger motion. The partners not only readily gave me the assignment, but they also gave me a lot of autonomy in drafting it. They trusted me and then provided me a lot of feedback after my initial draft Jenner & Block also made sure the summer associates had a good time outside of work—doing an “Escape the Room” with my co-workers was one of my favorite events of the summer.

Describe two things you learned during the summer.

First, I learned that you can’t be afraid to communicate with partners. Whether you have a question or you want more responsibility, it’s important to be open and honest. You also shouldn’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Everyone wants you to succeed and feedback is the best way to grow. Second, I also learned everything that goes into litigation. From filing complaints to the final motions before trial, I got to see everything up close. It really reaffirmed my desire to litigate.

What will you tell others about your experience at Jenner & Block?

My summer experience was incredible, and I cannot imagine working for any firm but Jenner & Block. The firm’s dedication to pro bono work is second to none, and the work environment is exactly what I was looking for—sharp and kind people who are passionate about their work and encourage the development of younger associates.

What would you say to someone thinking of applying to the program next summer?

You won’t regret it. Jenner & Block gives its summer associates real, substantive work. You get to contribute to actual cases and transactions, and you receive feedback that helps you grow. The firm also encourages you to try as many groups as you want; they want you to find work that you enjoy. Lastly, they make sure you have a lot of fun outside of the office too!

Jing Xun Quek

Why did you choose Jenner & Block?

Jenner & Block was my first choice from the very beginning – a litigation powerhouse with a reputation for amazing people and a real commitment to pro bono.  I was tremendously impressed with all of the lawyers I met and was especially struck by the true passion they have for their work, whether billable or pro bono.  Jenner is special in that it actively encourages and supports these passions, rather than just tolerating them.

What was the interview process like?

I participated in a screening interview during OCI, followed by a string of four callback interviews, and lunch with two associates.  Every interview felt more like a conversation than a series of questions, and I got the sense that the attorneys actually cared about hearing my story, rather than just checking boxes.  Everyone made an effort to render an innately stressful situation as relaxing as possible.

What kind of work did you during the course of the summer?

I spent my summer with the Patent Litigation group, working on one major case.  I engaged in a variety of legal and non-legal research to shape our understanding of the case and prepared several memos summarizing my findings.  I also worked on a pro bono case where the firm represented a student-athlete and got the first-crack at drafting a reply brief.

What did you enjoy most about your summer experience?

I most enjoyed interacting with the amazing people at Jenner & Block.  Everyone I met seemed genuinely excited to be there and to do the work that they did.  The firm looks to hire good people, and it helps to like and get along with your co-workers.  That, plus Whirlyball and “Escape Rooms.”

Describe two things you learned during the summer.

The firm truly believes in promoting pro bono.  It is one thing to say that the firm values pro bono commitments – almost every firm does this.  It is quite another to chat with a partner about how she spent 700 hours on pro bono over the past year and to hear the audible passion as attorneys talk about their 1983 cases and clients.  I also accompanied an associate during a one-day jury trial, which provided valuable litigation experience

What will you tell others about your experience at Jenner & Block?

It was amazing.  Everyone has time for you and wants to help you grow as an attorney and potential colleague.  Being around so many smart, passionate people, you just hope some of it will rub off on you.

What would you say to someone thinking of applying to the program next summer?

Do it.  There are good people here, doing great work they truly believe in.

Vaughn E. Olson

Why did you choose Jenner & Block?

I chose Jenner & Block for the opportunity to work on exciting and challenging litigation matters.  I also knew that I wanted to work at a firm that valued pro bono work.  More than anything, I wanted to work at a firm with genuinely nice people.  Having worked at Jenner & Block before law school, I had no doubt that this was the firm for me.

What was the interview process like?

The interview process started with an on-campus interview with two lawyers, and shortly after that, a callback interview consisting of four interviews and lunch.  I had done a few interviews beforehand and knew they could be challenging.  At Jenner & Block, each person that interviewed me was welcoming and the interviews were all very natural, more like conversations.  At the end of the process, I felt like I had gained a better understanding of the firm.

What did you enjoy most about your summer experience?

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to work on a wide-range of matters.  During my summer I was able to help prepare a case for a federal jury trial, conduct research for a Second Circuit appeal and work on a number of pro bono cases.  The partners I worked with took it upon themselves to ensure I was given interesting, substantive work on the cases.  That, plus getting to know more of the amazing people at Jenner & Block, certainly made for an exceptional summer.

Describe two things you learned during the summer.

First, I learned that when the firm says they are committed to pro bono, they mean it.  Every lawyer I met this summer was working on at least one pro bono matter, typically a few.  The passion with which they discussed their pro bono work was inspiring.  Second, I learned a lot more about the litigation process.  I was able to work on cases at varying stages of litigation including pretrial, trial and appeal.  

What will you tell others about your experience at Jenner & Block?

It was incredible.  I learned so much and got to work on unique cases with top-notch lawyers.  Moreover, mentorship is central to the culture of the firm.  From the first day of the summer it was clear that everyone at the firm wanted to help me succeed and grow as a lawyer.  Having formal mentors (both a partner and an associate), as well as informal mentors, made the transition to working at a firm much less intimidating.  

What would you say to someone thinking of applying to the program next summer?

Do it!  The lawyers at Jenner & Block truly care about mentorship and will go above and beyond to help you make the most of your summer.  If you want to work on real, cutting-edge cases alongside excellent lawyers, you should apply to Jenner & Block.  I can’t recommend the summer program enough. 

Leah M. Song

Why did you choose Jenner & Block?

When applying for a 2L summer associate position, I prioritized finding a firm with an active environmental law practice.  Jenner & Block was very receptive to my strong interest in environmental law and the firm had no issue with me working exclusively with the environmental group throughout the entire summer.

Also, I wanted to find a firm that had a serious commitment to pro bono.  During my initial interview, my interviewers and I spoke extensively about my own pro bono work. My summer experience made me realize that the firm's commitment to pro bono was genuine and this was an important factor in my decision to return to the firm.

What was the interview process like?

I had my initial interview with Jenner & Block at the Cook County Bar Association Minority Job Fair.  During my follow-up interview, Jenner allowed me the opportunity to speak with members of the Environmental and Workplace Health and Safety Law Practice and the Black Affinity Group. I really enjoyed getting different perspectives and learning more about the firm.  Overall, the process was very conversational and allowed me to truly connect with my interviewers.

What did you enjoy most about your summer experience?

I really enjoyed getting to know my fellow summer associates and attorneys at Jenner & Block.  From working in the office to volunteering at events, sharing the summer with these individuals made the experience that much better.  I’ll never forget Neighborhood Night in Pilsen and afternoon Firecakes runs with my peers.

Describe two things you learned during the summer.

One thing I learned was the importance of being proactive in seeking new assignments. Just by asking different attorneys what they were working on and if I could contribute in any way, I was able to work on a variety of cases I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.  Additionally, I realized how crucial feedback is to one’s professional development.  By receiving feedback even on the smallest of assignments, I was able to take my work product to the next level. 

What will you tell others about your experience at Jenner & Block?

My summer associate experience at Jenner & Block was a pivotal point in my legal career.  My colleagues took me in as one of their own and gave me countless opportunities to contribute to the firm.  The environment at Jenner & Block allowed me to confidently take ownership of assignments and thoroughly collaborate with the overall team.

What would you say to someone thinking of applying to the program next summer?

Definitely apply! If you are interested in a firm that gives you the freedom to pursue your own interests, whether that be a specific practice area or pro bono, then Jenner & Block is an ideal choice.   

MICHAEL J. WADDEN
Office(s):
New York
Law Schools(s):
Yale Law School
Started with firm:
2018
Summer Associate:
2016
LINDSEY A. LUSK
Office(s):
Chicago
Law Schools(s):
University of Illinois College of Law
Practice Area(s):
Litigation
Started with firm:
2017
Summer Associate:
2016
JING XUN QUEK
Office(s):
Chicago
Law Schools(s):
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law
Practice Area(s):
Litigation
Started with firm:
2017
VAUGHN E. OLSON
Office(s):
Chicago
Law Schools(s):
University of Illinois College of Law
Started with firm:
2019
LEAH M. SONG
Office(s):
Chicago
Law Schools(s):
University of Chicago Law School
Started with firm:
2019
Summer Associate 2018