Our Summer Associate Program offers law students meaningful legal experience, professional development, connections with attorneys across the firm and a glimpse into what it is like to work at Pullman & Comley as a full-time associate attorney. Our goal is for each of our summer associates to gain the essential skills for a long and successful career.
Pullman & Comley's 2L Summer Associate Program offers second-year law students the opportunity to work closely with our accomplished attorneys in a wide variety of the firm's practice areas. Summer associates research and write legal memoranda, attend administrative and court proceedings, help write articles for publication, assist in drafting motions and briefs, analyze new legislation and participate in closings and document reviews. Our summer associates have frequent exposure to our clients and perform work with a direct impact on their matters.
Summer associates spend 10 weeks in our Bridgeport and Hartford offices. Work projects are carefully selected and distributed to maximize exposure to the various departments while accommodating individual preferences where possible. Summer associates are trained in state-of-the-art office technology, legal writing and substantive areas of practice. Through various office events, summer associates meet the attorneys in all of our office locations.
Mentorship is the cornerstone of the program. Each summer associate is assigned an associate mentor and a partner mentor to answer questions and offer advice on assignments and any other issues. They also meet regularly with the program's director to help them acclimate to their new schedule and environment. Weekly reviews and a comprehensive mid-summer and end of summer evaluation give summer associates the progress assessments they need to guide their professional development.
Attorney Steven J. Stafstrom (left) with Pullman's 2023 Summer Associates (middle) and Governor Ned Lamont (right).
Early Career Initiative
Pullman & Comley values the diverse communities in which we live and work and believes that a team of lawyers with different backgrounds and approaches enables us to better advise and serve our clients. As part of our commitment to employing outstanding lawyers, Pullman & Comley participates in the Early Career Initiative (ECI), an interview program designed to afford first-year law students from communities that have been traditionally underserved, or whose perspectives have been historically underrepresented in a wide variety of representations and contexts, the opportunity to interview with participating law firms in hopes of gaining employment as a summer associate. The ECI program is coordinated by the UConn School of Law Center for Career Development, although students from all law schools are encouraged to apply to the program. By participating in ECI, Pullman & Comley gains access and exposure to the rising class of talented and diverse practitioners.
Pullman & Comley offers a 1L law student a paid 10-week program that includes five weeks as a summer associate with Pullman & Comley followed by five weeks with the in-house legal department of a corporate client of the firm. During their five weeks at the firm, the ECI Summer Associate participates in the same activities and performs the same type of legal work as the participants in Pullman & Comley’s 2L Summer Associate Program. This work includes researching and writing legal memoranda, motions and briefs, attending administrative and court proceedings, analyzing new legislation, working on articles and participating in closings and document review.
Frequently Asked Questions: Summer Associate Program
How can I apply for a Summer Associate position?
For 2L Summer Associate Program Candidates:
Pullman & Comley conducts on-campus interviews at several law schools, which is the preferred method of application. Candidates also can send a résumé and cover letter to our Recruiting Committee co-chairs Kelly Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org and Steven Stafstrom at email@example.com by early July for consideration for interviews, which will take place in late July/early August. Callback interviews are usually scheduled within weeks of the initial OCI date. Hiring decisions are made on a rolling basis and applicants can expect to be notified within two to four weeks.
For ECI 1L Summer Associate Program Candidates:
Please submit your cover letter and résumé in late November for consideration for interviews, which will take place in January, to:
Human Resources Coordinator
Pullman & Comley, LLC
850 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06601-7006
What are the objectives of the 2L program?
Our 2L Summer Associate Program is designed to provide law students with a true picture of what it is like to practice law as a full-time associate at Pullman & Comley. As part of the Summer Associate Program, law students work closely with attorneys, participate in day-to-day activities and make important contributions to projects involving a variety of practice areas.
In addition to working closely with attorneys, 2L summer associates assist in assignments outside the office, including trials, hearings, depositions and real estate and corporate closings. Summer associates also participate in the same training programs and department meetings as full-time associates. Every effort is made to give summer associates an authentic law firm practice experience.
How is the Summer Associate Program organized, and what will I work on?
The director of the Summer Associate Program oversees all projects and events, regularly monitors progress and meets with each summer associate on a weekly basis. This allows the director and the summer associates to gauge workflow and ensure that a summer associate is exposed to as many of the firm's major practice areas as possible. In addition, if the summer associate has an interest in a specific area of practice, the director will make accommodations to allow for a concentration in that practice area where possible. Work assignments are carefully supervised, and the importance of the assignment is fully explained by the assigning attorneys. We pride ourselves on our friendly atmosphere, and all of our attorneys are happy to speak with summer associates about their assignments or any concerns they may have.
What kind of training will I receive?
Each summer associate is assigned an associate mentor and a partner mentor who are available for guidance on everyday questions and can act as a sounding board to address concerns. Our associate mentors are junior to mid-level associates who provide guidance on individual projects and firm dynamics, while our partner mentors give broader advice on professional development strategies. Summer associates join in departmental and section meetings, in-house continuing education seminars for attorneys and one-on-one training in substantive legal developments, cutting-edge office technology, and effective advocacy techniques.
What kind of feedback can I expect?
We recognize the importance of regular, clear feedback for summer associates. To that end, the firm provides weekly informal feedback sessions through meetings with the Summer Associate Program director. In addition, the leadership of the firm's Recruiting Committee meets with each summer associate at the mid-point of the Summer Associate Program to provide a more formal, comprehensive review. Exit interview and assessments are conducted at the end of the program, and by the conclusion of the summer, each summer associate will have a clear understanding as to how his or her work was evaluated.
Where will I be based?
Our Summer Program runs for ten weeks, and time will generally be spent in our Bridgeport and Hartford offices. Summer Associates also may spend additional time in other offices on an as-needed basis.
As a regional law firm, Pullman & Comley draws attorneys from a broad area. Whether summer associates are from the New England area or beyond, the firm assists in the settling-in process. Summer associates will find that the firm's offices are situated in dynamic settings, from the state's capital to urban locations on Long Island Sound just a few minutes from beaches and a train ride to New York City. The attorneys go out of their way to introduce our summer associates to the amenities and surroundings that each of our offices and communities has to offer.
Our offices are situated in and near some of the most attractive places to live in the region. Our Bridgeport-based attorneys make their homes in the lively Black Rock section of Bridgeport and in the beautiful surrounding towns of Fairfield, Westport, Stamford, Easton, Milford, and beyond. These communities offer easy access to nightlife, beaches, shopping, and restaurants.
Our Hartford-based attorneys live in the downtown area of Hartford, and in the surrounding communities including West Hartford, Farmington, Simsbury, Avon and Glastonbury. These areas offer fine dining, a variety of music and entertainment and access to the Connecticut and Farmington Rivers. In addition, several of our attorneys have called New Haven home over the years, opting to take advantage of the “town and gown” atmosphere provided by Yale University.
What social activities can I expect?
Pullman & Comley's Summer Program is designed to introduce our summer associates to every office and practice area in the firm. Most importantly, we want our summer associates to meet as many of the firm's attorneys as possible. Obviously, this cannot be done through work assignments alone, which is why our summer program also offers diverse social activities that provide opportunities to interact and to meet informally with attorneys, and learn about Pullman & Comley and our various offices.
Our goal is to make our summer associates feel comfortable and welcome within the Pullman & Comley community. Prior summer social activities have included:
- Trips to the General Assembly to meet with key legislators
- Trips to the Connecticut Supreme Court to meet with select justices
- Various firm receptions and organized events
- Community service outings
These events allow us to get to know our summer associates better and allow them to get to know us. In addition to being a great deal of fun, these events are critical to the success of our Summer Associate Program.
Will I be hired as an Associate? When can I expect to receive an offer?
By the conclusion of the 2L Summer Associate Program, summer associates have an in-depth view of what it means to practice law at Pullman & Comley and should be able to tell whether this is the right environment for them.
Hiring decisions are usually made within two weeks after the Program ends, and offers are usually held open for acceptance within a reasonable time.
For more on our firm and how we work, view our annual report.