Skip to main content
For Immediate Help: 800-544-9144
CCK News

Day in the Life of a Summer Associate

Robert Chisholm

June 12, 2023

Updated: November 20, 2023

A Day in the Life of a Summer Associate

Are you wondering what a day in the life of a Summer Associate at a law firm looks like?

Why Choose a Summer Associate Program in Veterans Law?

Veterans Law is an area of law dedicated to advocating for legal and policy changes that will better serve the veteran population.  It also encompasses representing disabled veterans in pursuit of earned VA disability benefits before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the federal courts.

The law firm of Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD (CCK) is a private firm in the public interest sector that helps veterans navigate the claims and appeals process for VA disability compensation.  Essentially, we help disabled veterans secure their rightfully earned benefits.

What Do Summer Associates Do?

Our Summer Associates work within the Veterans Law practice assisting veterans and their families with their claims for VA disability benefits.  The primary emphasis of the CCK Summer Associate program is on appellate-level representation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and includes document review, legal research, and legal writing.

Day in the Life of a Summer Associate at CCK

Let’s briefly run through the 10-week summer associate program at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick:

  1. Training: Summer associates receive extensive training on substantive law and case management. This includes reviewing the types of cases they will work on, the legal issues they will cover, relevant law, how to argue cases, and best practices on drafting assignments.
  2. Working with a Supervising Attorney: Each summer associate is assigned a reviewing attorney who serves as a resource and reference point. They have weekly one-on-one meetings with their supervising attorney to check in and discuss ongoing work.
  3. Meetings: In addition to the check-ins with their supervisor, summer associates participate in full department court team meetings every other week. Here they receive additional training, department updates, and can ask questions.
  4. Cases/Memos: Summer associates are assigned cases on a rotating basis. Here they develop and write .  This process includes preparing a case map, reviewing records, researching case law, preparing case strategy (with approval by a supervisor), and drafting arguments (for review by supervisor).

Summer associates have the opportunity to sit in on phone conferences with the opposing VA counsel, listen to the VA attorneys give their position on the case, ask questions, and discuss the case to reach an agreement.

A summer associate will produce about six to 12 memos during the 10-week program.  Cases are reassigned based on completion and ability to take on additional work.

  • Formal Brief for Court: Associates also prepare a 20-to-30-page detailed, formal brief to submit to the Court, which includes a full statement of the facts. The supervising attorney reviews the brief and offers notes.
  • Oral Argument: Summer associates are given a moot fact pattern at the beginning of the program. They will write a brief about the issue and argue in front of a panel of three attorneys at the firm.  This gives associates the opportunity to practice oral advocacy.
  • Summer Activities: The CCK team also hosts fun outings for summer associates, including dinner at a classic restaurant in downtown Providence.

This is a small glimpse into a day in the life of a Summer Associate at CCK.  Learn more about the position and read testimonials from our past summer associates here!

Also, if you are interested in learning more about our team at CCK and what we do, check out our about us page.

About the Author

Bio photo of Robert Chisholm

Robert is a Founding Partner of CCK Law. His law practice focuses on representing disabled veterans in the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and before the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a veterans lawyer Robert has been representing disabled veterans since 1990. During his extensive career, Robert has successfully represented veterans before the Board of Veterans Appeals, Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

See more about Robert