Miller & Martin's Summer Associate Program Featured in Hamilton County Herald
June 19, 2023
The Hamilton County Herald featured Miller & Martin's Summer Associates Program in its story entitled "Lessons Passed to a New Generation: Clerkships Offer Opportunities for Firms, Students," outlining the benefits to the prospective lawyers and the firm alike.
Miller & Martin's Chairman Scott Parrish, who first joined the firm himself as a summer associate more than 30 years ago, explains that the summer associate program at Miller & Martin is as much about introducing the clerks to the attorneys on a personal level through social aspects as it is about introducing them to legal work across a variety of practice areas. The interaction and exposure serve a dual purpose allowing the firm to vet potential hires but also giving the clerks an opportunity to immerse themselves in the firm's environment, gain practical experience and get exposure to potential colleagues and practice areas.
Kristen Brown, a 2023 Miller & Martin summer associate who is a 2L at Georgia State University, shared that her experience in the summer program has allowed her to test the waters with different practices since she is still undecided about the type of law she wants to practice. She's explored intellectual property projects where she was initially interested but has also exposed herself to litigation work. She said, "If you express an interest in something, the firm will foster it. And when you're not certain about what you want to do, the ability to diversify your experience is helpful."
Many former summer associates make up the current roster of associates and partner-level members at the firm. While some receive offers and start with the firm immediately after law school graduation, others go on to clerk in the court system to further expand their knowledge and gain additional experience. One such success story is Erin Steelman, a litigation associate who participated in the firm's 2018 and 2019 summer programs. Following graduation, she served as a judicial law clerk in U.S. district court for two years before joining Miller & Martin full-time in 2022. She says it was the relationships formed during her summer clerkships, as well as exposure to the firm's culture, civil law practices and commitment to invest in their people, even while she explored other avenues, that led her back to private practice at the firm.
Parrish reiterates that Miller & Martin's summer program is as much about serving the participating students as it is about feeding the firm's employment pipeline. The firm's attorneys aren't only evaluating summer clerks as new hire candidates. They are also educating and providing constructive feedback and encouragement that enriches the student's development and confidence as a lawyer whether or not they receive or accept an offer of employment.
The firm's 2023 Summer Associate Program is comprised of 11 law school students (including both 1L and 2L students) from Emory University, George Washington University, Georgia State University, the University of Georgia, the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, and Washington & Lee University.