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Virtual Summer Program

Our first priority in designing our first (and now second) virtual summer program was to replicate the strengths of our standard live program however possible. We knew that technology would play an integral role, and in addition to equipping the class with Firm devices, recruitment adopted a unique platform where the clerks were able to access their scheduled meetings, trainings and events all from one central hub. We also held a number of pre-summer virtual meet ups hosted by associates and our former summers so our clerks had the chance to "meet" in advance. Mentors and virtual office mates were carefully matched, our clerks got involved in real client work, and participated in our Automation Academy: working in groups to identify a real firm problem and then designing a 'bot' to solve the issue. 

Finally, we made sure that our clerks got to know the larger network; in addition to working on matters with attorneys across the globe, last year's virtual switch led to the creation of our first virtual summer book club: "Cliff Notes" hosted by attorneys in our US, London and Hong Kong offices.

Summer Video Challenge

Every year, we challenge our summers to create a video that documents their experience at the Firm. Normally, these are filmed from locations around our global network against some pretty awesome backdrops.

This year's program required our summers to get a little more creative. Watch four of our summer stories below.


Argjenta was drawn to the Firm after hearing about our culture and international strength from a mentor who summered with us last year. The sincere conversations she had during her interview process and the emphasis her interviewers placed on growth and mentorship confirmed her choice. "I really felt like I could grow and be comfortable at Clifford Chance," she said. Argjenta's advice to future classes is keep an open mind and try to be a sponge. "Do not take for granted all the learning you can do from the people around you."

Enjoy Argjenta's video: "Come along with me for a summer in New Jersey"


Joanna had a positive impression of the Firm from her first interviews. "You could just feel the energy and how genuine everyone was, which is incredibly hard to do over a virtual interview," she said. She also liked the idea of a close-knit community of people in New York with access to resources all over the world. When it came to remote working, Joanna was pleasantly surprised by how fun and engaging the virtual events could be. "After a long year of zoom classes, I really appreciated speakers that encouraged participation and made me want to pay attention."

Enjoy Joanna's video: "Snapshots of a Summer"


Kia chose Clifford Chance because she knew the Firm was a powerhouse in international cross-border work, but also prioritized work/life balance. "I could tell my interviewers had a life outside of the Firm, and wanted me to as well," she said. Kia cited her work with pro bono partner My Sisters' Place as a summer program highlight – both the pro bono work and her experience creating a legal tech bot for the organization through the Automation Academy. She loved the opportunity to experience big law and non-profit work in the same summer.

Enjoy Kia's video: "Summer in the Capitol"


Reflecting on virtual working, Rob said he was surprised how normal meetings felt, with communication just as natural and meetings just as productive as when in person. His biggest piece of advice to future summers? Don't underestimate yourself. "I came in thinking, I'm a summer. There's only so much I can do here. But I had enough tools at my disposal to really contribute, especially with guidance from the partners and associate mentors," he reflected. "Don't go in with the mindset that you're 'just a summer.' You're part of the team now."

Enjoy Rob's video: "Me and my Paisanos"