Summer Associate Program
The application process for the 2024 Summer Associate Program is now closed.
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 program is on appellate-level representation before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and includes document review, legal research, and legal writing. CCK looks for individuals who are genuinely interested in working on behalf of disabled armed service veterans. We seek individuals who are capable of working independently, but who can also work cooperatively with others in a collegial, team-focused environment. The Summer Associate position is a 10-week, paid program with the potential for a full-time employment offer.
Weekly salary is $1,400.
Life as a CCK Summer Associate
CCK Summer Associates are regarded, treated and compensated like starting attorneys. Each associate is assigned a small case load and learns our process from start to finish –reviewing records, doing legal research, drafting memos, and eventually writing a brief. Summer Associates are integrated members of the team and thus attend team meetings, as well as trainings on different areas of the law, new legal precedent, and legal writing tips.
Meet a Few of CCK’s Past Summer Associates!
Spencer Borden, Summer 2023
Roger Williams University School of Law, graduating May 2024
University of Massachusetts Amherst majored in Political Science and Philosophy.
Spencer’s experience as a CCK Summer Associate:
“The CCK Summer Associate Program begins with several training sessions that highlight common issues that arise in veteran law and how we will argue these issues on behalf of our clients. These trainings are immediately put to good use once you receive your first case and begin to identify the legal and factual errors to serve as the basis of the appeal. While not every scenario can be covered in these training sessions, there are plenty of attorneys around who will gladly help you with any situation you run into.
During my time as a Summer Associate at CCK, I worked on several matters that directly benefited our clients. While most of this work was done independently, each draft in the process was reviewed by an attorney who provided feedback. This feedback was not only in regard to substantive law but also on how to become a more effective appellate writer. This was valuable for me to not only better assist the clients I represented at CCK, but beyond that, it has also made me a stronger writer in general. Within a few weeks of the program, you start to feel as if you are a full attorney. Working at CCK as a Summer Associate was a great experience and made me feel confident and prepared for my legal career after law school.”
David Braga, Summer 2022
Candidate for Juris Doctor May 2023 Roger Williams University School of Law
Bachelor of Arts, History, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MA
David’s experience as a CCK Summer Associate:
“Prior to starting law school, I worked full-time at CCK as a claims advocate for three years. I was a summer associate at CCK the summer after my 2L year. Despite having years of experience at CCK prior to being a summer associate, I still gained invaluable experience and continued to learn more about veteran’s law.
As a summer associate I gained extensive experience with appellate writing and research. I drafted and submitted numerous memoranda to the legal staff of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and VA Office of General Counsel staff prior to our Pre-Briefing Conferences. I participated in multiple Pre-Briefing Conferences, some of which resulted in a fast and favorable outcome for our client. I was truly able to work on a case from start to finish during this process. I also drafted a brief, which was submitted to the Court, in support of a Veteran’s appeal. All of this helped improve my appellate writing and research over the summer. I worked closely with multiple attorneys who provided constructive feedback on how to improve my drafts. I know this experience will immediately help me during my third year of law school as my writing has become clearer and more concise and my research abilities have become more precise. If you want real, hands on, and gratifying legal work, I would highly recommend being a summer associate at CCK. Everyone, the paralegals, the first-year attorneys, the more senior attorneys, and partners were all welcoming, encouraging, and a pleasure to work with.”
Audrey Kirkley, Summer 2022
Candidate for Juris Doctor May 2023 Boston University Law School
Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy, Denison University, Granville Ohio
Audrey’s experience as a CCK Summer Associate:
“During the summer that I spent as a Summer Associate at CCK, I felt like I was working as a full attorney. The program allowed me to work independently, taking on clients and writing memos, while simultaneously providing me with an abundance of support. I received frequent feedback from a reviewing attorney, weekly check-ins, trainings on veteran’s law and legal writing from experts in the field, and was included in a Microsoft Teams chat with junior attorneys doing the same work. With CCK, I was able to thrive in a truly collaborative environment driven by care and passion for the work that we were doing. Now that the program is over, I feel that I’ve grown as a writer and advocate, and have gotten a taste of a healthy and supportive office environment. I cannot recommend this program enough!”
Lucas Sylvia, Summer 2020
Lucas’s CCK Bio
Roger Williams University School of Law, Bristol, RI
Bachelors in Political Science and American History, Stonehill College, Easton, MA
Lucas’s experience as a CCK Summer Associate:
“My time as a Summer Associate was eye-opening and gave me a small snapshot of what being an attorney in VA law is like day-to-day. Before I made the jump to law school, I worked in another part of the firm as a Paralegal. While I was aware of the “Court Side” of the practice, I rarely had an opportunity to see what it was like to be an attorney in VA law. After my first year in school, I spent a summer interning with Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson from the First Circuit Court of Appeals. While that internship gave me an appreciation for how the federal court system works on a macro level, working at CCK provided me with a glimpse of how the federal government on a micro level within one administrative agency, VA. I truly felt and was treated as part of the ever-growing team. It goes without saying that everyone I interacted with was patient, kind, and knowledgeable, particularly in light of our COVID-19 world. I worked hands-on with a senior attorney on each memorandum and brief, often exchanging multiple drafts until I (hopefully) figured it out. While the appeals process is too slow to allow someone entering into the program to see a case from start to finish, the firm gave me a good taste of what case management is like by giving me assignments from different points along the litigation timeline.”
“All in all, I found it to be a great experience. The firm strikes a good balance between not only supporting you when you have questions but also making sure that the responsibility is on your shoulders. It was refreshing to know that the people our team was advocating for were real – not some hypothetical created by a law school professor. Further, almost every written piece of work I completed was either reviewed by an attorney, with the VA, or would eventually go before a judge. The sense of fulfillment that I received when I won my first few cases is hard to describe. Because of the SA program, I feel better prepared to finish up my last year of law school and return to the working world.”
“I will be starting my third year of law school, remotely, at Roger Williams University School of Law.”
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are some of the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of a CCK Summer Associate?
Day-to-day responsibilities of a Summer Associate include: reviewing clients’ medical records to gather evidence for their disability claim, drafting memos to submit to opposing counsel for out-of-court settlement negotiations, drafting briefs on client matters that opposing counsel does not negotiate, submitting online appeal filings, and attending all-team meetings and trainings.
Will I receive training on Veterans Law and CCK’s legal process?
Yes! The first two weeks of the summer consist of various training sessions to help prepare you for any work you encounter. These sessions are often conducted by other attorneys in the firm that you will interact with on a daily basis.
Will I be interacting with clients?
Not directly, but you will interact with opposing counsel and mediation attorneys to negotiate settlements based on memos you draft.
Will I start handling client matters immediately?
Yes. Within your first week you will be assigned a case to research and work. The workload starts off at a steady pace so you can learn hands-on with the support of your team, then quickly progresses to keep you busy and engaged.
How often do summer associates interact with attorneys?
CCK attorneys support summer associates throughout the summer. Our goal is to foster an environment that encourages our Summer Associates to ask questions, push themselves, and truly feel like a member of our Veterans Law practice group.
Will my work be reviewed by other attorneys?
Yes. In the first week, you will be assigned one or more supervising attorneys who will be your primary person(s) of contact throughout the summer. They will help you manage your workload and answering any questions you have.
How are cases assigned to summer associates?
Team leadership determines which cases need the most assistance. We also welcome input from our Summer Associates as to which types of cases interest them the most.
What sets CCK’s Summer Associate Program apart from similar programs at other law firms?
At CCK, we aim to keep our Summer Associate program small so we can provide individualized guidance and mentorship to our Summer Associates. A smaller number of Summer Associates ensures that each person has ample opportunity to work closely with experienced attorneys and receive personal feedback on all of their work.
Is there anything I should do to prepare for my time as a summer associate with CCK? Ex. Readings, Research, etc.
Yes! To prepare for your summer with CCK, we will provide a list of reading materials before your arrival which include relevant VA case law and articles. In addition, we recommend reading articles from our blog and watching the videos found in the resource library on the CCK website. Prior to your start dated, we will communicate a calendar of events, send monthly newsletters about life at CCK, and the form we need you to complete to be admitted to the CAVC as a non-attorney practitioner.
If I re-locate or commute to Providence for the summer, what is it like living in this city and what are some things to do in the area?
Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but it has so much to offer that you will fall in love with the area in no time! Poised at the head of Narragansett Bay, the small city of Providence is both historical and trendsetting. You can experience an affordable urban lifestyle while also having access to local sandy beaches and vibrant New England nature within close proximity – no need to drive for hours!
Learn more and stay up to date with all things Providence at Go Providence.