Hiring Process and FAQs

We seek talented and motivated individuals who share our well-known commitment to excellence. We assess candidates for summer associate positions based on an overall evaluation of their background and strengths. This evaluation includes, but is by no means limited to, academic distinction in law school and undergraduate education. We also look for students with strong motivation and initiative, the ability to take on responsibility, and enthusiasm for private law practice. The firm has long been committed to the highest standards of the profession and public service, and we look actively for new lawyers to continue in that tradition.

Each August, the firm conducts interviews with law students on many law school campuses, and also routinely considers applications from exceptional students attending schools at which we do not conduct campus interviews. Applicants are requested to provide a current resume, law school transcript, legal writing sample, and lists of references (including faculty and past legal employers, if any). We strive to include students from a number of different law schools in our summer program. This means that we often are unable to give summer offers to as many students from a given school as we would like.

At Covington, we strive to maintain the highest standards of integrity to ensure the commercial success and reputation of our firm. One means by which we do this is through conducting routine background checks, which is a requirement of joining Covington. The standard pre-employment background checks we may conduct on prospective partners, lawyers, and employees include checks relating to public social media presence, criminal records, education and employment history. Additional checks may be undertaken appropriate to the requirements of the role. All background checks are conducted in accordance with applicable local laws.

Why does Covington request references?

Our goal in speaking with an applicant's references is to develop a more complete and detailed understanding of the candidate and his or her qualifications. Thorough inquiries of an applicant's references are a distinctive and crucial element of the firm's hiring process for potential summer associates. This allows us to look beyond the candidate's paper record or relatively brief campus interview. We ask every candidate for summer associate positions to provide two to three references who can speak to the candidate's qualifications, including analytical and writing ability, judgment, maturity, and collegiality.

Who are appropriate references?

For a candidate who has worked in a legal position previously (typically during a summer or externship), we ask to speak with a lawyer or judge who is familiar with the candidate's legal work. A prospective applicant should not be dissuaded from applying to the firm for this reason, and we frequently rely on references from non-legal employers, faculty, and other sources.

What is the size of the summer program?

For the size summer program in each U.S. office, please refer to the NALP forms, including current and past as they may vary by year.

Does the firm permit split summers?

We encourage summer associates to spend the entire summer with us. However, we do allow summer associates to split their summer, provided that they begin their summer at the firm and remain with us for a minimum of eight weeks.