Starting your legal career and interested in IP? Find out what life is like for entry-level attorneys at Sterne Kessler in our summer program.

The world’s most innovative companies trust Sterne Kessler with their most complex intellectual property matters. We are passionate about innovation and technology, and committed to our clients and our culture. While we are proud to receive numerous industry awards each year, we measure our success by the success of our people and our clients. The Sterne Kessler summer associate program is a primary source of our entry-level attorney class each year. The program provides assignments, evaluations, training, and team structure—all designed to reflect what life is like for entry-level attorneys at the firm.

Summer associates participate in an engaging experience that includes skill building, enhancing technical experience in IP, and professional networking as well as memorable social events.

Our people are our greatest asset, and we offer unmatched training and development opportunities in an inclusive, collaborative environment. You will work with and be trained by lawyers who have directly influenced patent law, and you will have the opportunity to explore whether Sterne Kessler is the right place for you.

The annual Loyola Patent Law Interview Program is our largest student recruiting event. In July 2024, the program will be held virtually. We encourage students interested in IP law to participate in the program.

There’s a lot of appreciation for the variety of backgrounds people bring, which affects how people interact – I have friends at all levels of the firm.

Associate comments Chambers Associate

Lots of the patents we handle are filed in China and Europe, so we’ll develop the US strategy then work with foreign associates to make sure it’s aligned across the globe. I like getting to see different views of the law!

Associate comments Chambers Associate

Directors often show concern for me as a person. I’ve had offers from other firms which pay more, but I just don’t want to leave Sterne Kessler.

Associate comments Chambers Associate

The Sterne Kessler Summer Associate Experience

We’re not your average IP firm. We are passionate about IP and our lawyers are highly sought-out for their expertise as thought leaders and strategic advisors. We are committed to developing a team that strives for excellence, both in the quality of work and client service.

From week one, summer associates work closely with directors and associates on real client work.  Our program not only offers challenging responsibilities and opportunities but also allows you to experience our collegial firm culture. In addition to engaging in client work, our summer associates participate in a variety of firm social activities and group outings, including DC area sporting events, cooking classes, city and museum tours, happy hours and other firm social events, and more.

We are consistently given high marks in annual, anonymous surveys from leading industry publications The Vault and Chambers Associate for our work-life balance, culture, quality of work, training, and diversity.

Our Cutting-Edge Clients

Sterne Kessler works with some of the most innovative companies in the world across a wide range of industries. Our clients are making discoveries, building brands, and creating inventions that impact our daily lives. If working with companies like 23andMe, AstraZeneca, BioNTech, Thule, SAP, and Volkswagen—to name a few—sounds interesting, you’ve come to the right place.

Training & Professional Development

At Sterne Kessler, you never stop learning. We have training programs for all levels, and our course roster is always evolving to keep up with legal and technical developments. This ensures our IP professionals have a robust menu of training content to support them as they learn and cultivate their specialties.

Summer associates receive direct mentoring and coaching from Sterne Kessler directors and associates, in addition to mid-point and end-of-summer evaluations that allow you to see how you have progressed during your time with the firm. In addition, summer associates have access to all the resources and training available across the firm, such as:

  • Introduction to patent prosecution
  • Introduction to district court and ITC litigation
  • Introduction to PTAB litigation
  • Presentation and writing skills training
  • Client service training
  • Time management and productivity skills training

How to Apply

New in 2024, we will open our direct Summer 2025 applications on April 1. Check back here for the link to apply for Summer 2025 at Sterne Kessler. We will keep applications open through the Loyola Patent Law Interview Program in July 2024 and through on-campus interviews (OCIs) at select law schools.

The annual Loyola Patent Law Interview Program (PLI) in Chicago is our largest student recruiting event. In July 2024, the program will be held virtually.

If you are a current law school student interested in IP law, we encourage you to apply through the program. Student registration occurs the winter prior to the event, and students should check with their career services office about participation after the first semester of law school.

In addition to meeting candidates at PLI and at OCIs at select law schools, we also review applications submitted in response to our current openings.

Applicants who need assistance submitting an application for employment to Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC, may contact us at 1.202.371.2600, or through our TTY line at 1.202.772.8948, or at (legal positions) or (administrative positions). It is our policy to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities with advance notice of need. Sterne Kessler is an equal opportunity employer.

Find out what life is like for entry-level attorneys

We’ve been voted “Top Workplace” in the Washington Post and “Best Place to Work” in the Washington Business Journal. Learn more about our summer associate program and decide if Sterne Kessler is a good fit for you.

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