We hire new associates to become the top litigators in the country. We offer them the opportunity to work with an unparalleled team of accomplished trial lawyers. Young lawyers are given significant stand-up opportunities before and at trial. They prepare and argue key motions and participate fully in decision-making about our cases and our firm. Our associates are given enormous responsibility and share in our financial success.
If you are interested in joining our firm of trial lawyers, please email the materials listed in the “Associate Application Materials” tab below to Kimberly Young at email@example.com.
Being a Lawyer at Susman Godfrey
Susman Godfrey associates handle important work on our cases at the onset. New attorneys hone their skills not by “shadowing” partners but by working directly with clients, taking depositions, arguing key motions, and helping try cases.
Susman Godfrey’s firm structure gives associates an equal vote on accepting new cases, hiring, and other important firm matters. The newest associate has the same vote as the managing partners. The firm meets weekly to discuss issues important to our practice, and all associates are encouraged to attend and participate.
Incoming Associate Compensation & Benefits
Susman Godfrey associates receive compensation that typically beats the market—and often shatters it.
Associate Salary Scale
Associate salaries are based on their graduation year from law school. Subject to adjustments for lateral associates, Susman Godfrey’s firmwide salary scale is the following:
Our year-end merit bonuses typically account for a substantial portion of an associate’s annual compensation and often exceed bonuses paid by our competitors—making headline news in leading legal publications and blogs.
Susman Godfrey requires that all incoming associates complete a federal judicial clerkship for an Article III district or appellate judge prior to joining the firm.
Associates who join our firm after clerking for one year receive a $125,000 clerkship bonus. Associates who join our firm immediately after clerking for two or more consecutive years at the federal district or appellate level receive a clerkship bonus of $150,000. Associates who clerked for a federal district or appellate court, worked at a different law firm, and then clerked again for another federal district or appellate court will be awarded a bonus for their second clerkship.
United States Supreme Court clerks receive an additional bonus consistent with market levels and credit toward partnership.
Susman Godfrey will advance up to $25,000 of an incoming associate’s clerkship bonus upon their acceptance of their offer of employment. The remainder will be paid when the associate starts at the firm. Additionally, Susman Godfrey will pay its incoming associates’ bar exam fees (including preparation courses), bar membership fees, and reasonable moving expenses.
Additional Compensation and Benefits
Susman Godfrey provides other significant compensation and benefits to associates. The firm encourages associates to participate in its 401(k) program, matches contributions made by its associates, and makes a substantial annual profit-sharing contribution to every associate’s 401(k) account.
We provide associates with unlimited, paid gender-neutral parental leave and unlimited paid vacation. (Yes, you read that right).
Business development isn’t just for partners. Each associate has his or her own individual business development budget. We encourage our associates to create and maintain professional relationships to help them generate business in the future.
How to Get an Interview
We interview second- and third-year law students on-campus at many of the top law schools. We also welcome resumes from top students at law schools where we do not conduct on-campus interviews as well as resumes from current federal judicial clerks who did not participate in our summer program.
To be competitive for an associate position at Susman Godfrey, candidates must display outstanding academic achievement and show the desire and ability to become a successful trial lawyer. Most of our attorneys were members of the law review or journal at their law schools.
Susman Godfrey is committed to diversity among our lawyers and other employees. The firm has created a number of diversity initiatives, including a summer Diversity Fellowship for 1L students and the Susman Godfrey Prize for 1L and 2L students of color. We seek to attract the brightest minds in the country to work here, drawing from a broad range of talent. The firm strongly encourages women and members of minority and other underrepresented groups to apply. Susman Godfrey does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, disability, or sexual orientation.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Susman Godfrey’s Diversity Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage our attorneys to participate in pro bono opportunities. We have handled substantial pro bono cases, often collaborating with legal services organizations or other non-profits. For example, we recently have worked on cases with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Civil Rights Corps, the Texas Fair Defense Project, Texas Civil Rights Project and the Next Generation Action Network Legal Advocacy. An associate’s time spent working on pro bono matters is counted as billable time.
All partners at Susman Godfrey are full equity partners. We typically consider associates for partnership after six years with the firm. Associates who clerked for the United States Supreme Court are generally considered for partnership after five years with the firm.
We do not adhere to any arbitrary quota for the number of associates who ultimately will become partners. Each associate is evaluated for partnership based on his or her own performance.
Susman Godfrey offers a unique, four-week summer program to 2L and pre-clerkship 3L law students. As a summer associate, you will gain meaningful experience doing real legal work on cases for the firm’s clients under the supervision and guidance of Susman Godfrey trial lawyers.
Our summer program is designed to give you a realistic look at what it is like to be an associate at Susman Godfrey. Unlike many other law firms, our summer associates do not receive make-work or “practice assignments.” Instead, you will play an important role as a member of our trial teams as we work up our cases, make arguments to judges, and prepare for trial.
We strive to make sure that our summer associates have the true “trial lawyer” experience. Our summer associates regularly observe Susman Godfrey lawyers in action at trials, depositions, mediations, and client meetings.
But it’s not just work—we want you to get to know our people, too. During your four weeks here, you will have the opportunity to get to know our attorneys through a wide range of social events.
As a summer associate, you will receive a brief yet realistic glimpse at the challenges, excitement, and unparalleled opportunities our associates experience on a daily basis.
2023 1L Summer Diversity Fellowship
As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity, Susman Godfrey seeks the brightest legal minds from all backgrounds who excelled in their first semester of law school and are interested in trial work. We strongly encourage women, racial minorities, LGBTQ students, and anyone from a group that is underrepresented in the legal profession to apply for our 1-L Diversity Fellowship.
Each fellowship recipient will spend two weeks doing substantive legal work alongside our summer associates and attorneys. Fellows will receive $5,000 (less applicable withholding taxes) upon completion of the program.
How to apply
We encourage you to submit an application as early as possible, as we may make offers on a rolling basis. The deadline for our Summer 2023 program is February 10, 2023.
Complete the fellowship application here. Applications must include:
- a cover letter indicating the Susman Godfrey office in which you want to work;
- a current resume;
- a law school transcript containing first semester grades and your undergraduate transcript;
- the name, phone number, and email address of at least two references—one of which should be a law school professor who can comment on the quality of your work; and
- a 500-word max statement about yourself—detailing your diverse background, how that has shaped who you are, and what you plan to do to increase diversity in the legal profession.
Please submit your application to Kimberly Young at email@example.com.
Associate Application Materials
If you are interested in working as an associate at Susman Godfrey please send the following information and materials to Kimberly Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A current resume listing your federal clerkship (a requirement for incoming associates).
- A law school transcript.
- A writing sample. The writing sample should be a piece of legal writing that is your own work and was not edited by others. Our preference is for persuasive writing, such as draft motions or briefs.
- An indication of which office (or offices) you want to apply to.