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Summer Associate/Law Clerk - Trial Team

Washington, DC
Full Time
Pignatelli & Associates, PC seeks a Summer Associate/Law Clerk to join our Trial Team for the term of Summer 2021.

Why on earth would any law student, especially a well-educated and intelligent one like yourself, want to spend a summer in the middle of the rural midwest? Especially when with their education, training and experience, they could get a summer clerkship or associate position at a big firm in a big city?
We offer direct and intense experience throughout litigation but unlike other positions we uniquely emphasize trial preparation and trial practice.

Why is this opportunity different than the big firms with big names in big cities?
We think about you first. Many of our team are not so far out of law school that we have forgotten what it is like to be you. We know that you are taking a risk in taking a summer job. How much it matters. What it can mean for your career. We designed a summer experience that meets your needs. Because you're not looking for a summer job merely as a "dip your foot in the pool" or a surface-level "big name" resume builder, we made it more than that. We know you are making an investment in making this decision and we will make an investment in you.

When we were law students we know what you know now: even the best trial practice and trial advocacy programs at the best law schools won't make you into the trial lawyer you want to be. Sure, you've participated in practical courses and extracurricular practical experiences in deposition and trial advocacy. You need more because you know that your skills at persuasion, advocacy and litigation practice will be everything in your life, or determinately influence every aspect of it. How much you earn, where you practice, what your day-to-day career looks like, and what kind of exceptional outcomes you can provide for your clients -- it's all going to ride on how well you can workup a case and bring it before a judge or jury. And not all trial lawyers are created equally. They are built and it is not easy but it is extremely satisfying and often fun to work with good and highly skilled people on a good team.

So how does this position define itself from other opportunities you may have that aren't in Smallville?
We offer direct, hands-on practical experience as close to counsel's table as possible -- if we are in court, you are in court. You will see a lot of courtrooms in a lot of counties. We practice throughout the northern Illinois counties from Cook to Carroll. You'll get a good feel for different judges and clerks and systems of justice administration.

We attend conferences, CLE workshops and seminars and we have our own in-house exercises and programs to develop our talent. And as our summer associate, you will participate in professional and practical exercises and workshops with our lawyers. You'll be the only one of your fellow law students to come back having done actual exercises in voir dire over the summer, because we pay people to come to our office and let us ask them questions. How else would this work? You don't learn to plow by reading books.

But sometimes you have to read books. So a few of our team spent time as instructors in graduate school and they know it's not only what books you read but that there isn't enough time to read everything. We offer access to a highly curated and comprehensive library of incisively edited anthologies (from NITA, Trial Guides, and persuasion practice across discourses, including Rex Parris' and other trial lawyers’ reading lists), but also an in-house "YouTube" of seminars, training and other applicable content to assist you in developing your skills in persuasion and advocacy. Long after the summer is over you will still have the option to get something from these videos and anthologized texts.

While we're tired of Zoom meetings we now more than ever know that the unwise use of technology is a liability that none can afford and that technology can be strategically leveraged to create a competitive advantage. So we offer training on the use of cutting-edge applications of technology to prelitigation and trial practice (from the creation of your client file to the creation of your trial binder).

Hey, this isn't the typical posting: this isn't a "hands-on role that provides direct support to our Attorneys and Litigation Teams" where the "candidate must be able to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment, have excellent attention to detail, and superior communication skills".

That's right: that's big law, corporate speak. That's not us. We're small law trial lawyers. We're humans too. What separates us? A law degree and sitting for a bar exam. And you will make those things happen and soon be one of us: a young trial lawyer with a good education and an insatiable urge for the preparation for and performance of advocacy and argument. You will be a trial lawyer who wants to workup cases and bring them before a jury. You are as empathic as you are strategic. You care as much about what you're saying as how you're saying it. You care because it will mean everything for your client. And attaining an exceptional outcome for your client means more to you than almost anything in the world.

Sure, this all sounds great. But you don't live anywhere near that cornfield we affectionately call a city.

We know. So we have private summer housing opportunities that we provide no cost for our summer associate/law clerk. And we're not playing it up, that doesn't mean one of our junior associate’s sofas. We provide a real, and recently refurbished apartment so you don't have to worry about that. We know this is a tough and determinant decision. If you give us a chance we will invest in your development and continued success.

Want to know more about us and better understand how we could learn and work together over the summer to become better trial lawyers?
We cannot wait to meet you. Send us whatever materials in addition to your resume/cv and writing sample that you think will help us understand who you are, what you want from your summer and how we can work together in at least the summer months and perhaps much more than that.

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Hey Folks, Any Question or Suggestion?

You can find someone friendly immediately on (315) 316-1215 ( EST 9:00 to 14:00 ) or write us about your concern or suggestion at and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Call: (315) 316-1215