Pierce Atwood has a long tradition of hiring law students as summer associates. Many of our current associates came to us through the summer program, so we believe it is an integral part of our recruiting efforts. Because we use the program to recruit for associate roles, the size of the program varies from year to year, depending on our associate hiring needs. Our summer program aims to expose summer associates to the breadth of the firm's practice and to its lawyers, and to assess the ability of our summer associates to contribute to our practice as full-time lawyers.

The Work

By furnishing summer associates with challenging, hands-on client work and the opportunity to interact with the attorneys and staff firmwide, we seek to provide a realistic view of the firm and the essential information necessary to reach an informed decision about joining Pierce Atwood after graduation. Projects range from research assignments that allow us to evaluate legal analysis and writing skills, to attending negotiations, closings, trials, and depositions. Summer associates observe our attorneys dealing with clients and other counsel and see first-hand the collaborative, team effort we foster at Pierce Atwood.

Feedback Evaluation Mentoring

Feedback is critical to a summer associate’s development and training, which is why we encourage all attorneys who have worked with our summer associates to provide them with informal feedback on their assigned projects. Additionally, at mid-summer, the Chair of our summer program provides each summer associate with a formal evaluation of the work he or she has performed to date. Each summer associate also has an associate mentor, who is available to assist with the transition from studying at law school to practicing law , to answering questions, and providing guidance as necessary.

Social Events

We provide summer associates with an opportunity to socialize with members of the firm in a more relaxed, informal setting. Each year, we hold a number of social functions such as softball games, gatherings at attorneys' homes, kayaking around Casco Bay, attending Boston Red Sox games, and hiking in New Hampshire's White Mountains. We also encourage all attorneys to join summer associates for lunch throughout the summer.

Pierce Atwood's compensation and benefit plans are among the very best in our market.

Summer Associates

Summer associates at Pierce Atwood receive competitive pay based on the location of the summer program.


Our first-year associate salary is a competitive package of base pay and a bonus based on performance. All associates are eligible for a bonus based on the associate's overall contribution to the firm during the prior year. Benefits are an important part of our total compensation package. Each attorney's work and family situation is different, so we have designed our package to be flexible to the unique needs of each attorney. First-year associates receive the following benefits:

Health Benefits

  • Medical plans (self, family, and domestic partner)
  • Dental insurance (self, family, and domestic partner)
  • Vision plan (self, family, and domestic partner)
  • Pre-tax dependent care and health care spending accounts
  • Annual flu vaccines
  • Wellness program and funding for wellness related activities

Insurance Benefits

  • Employee life insurance
  • Short and long-term disability
  • Insurance accidental death and dismemberment option
  • Business travel accident insurance
  • Supplemental life insurance option
  • Identify theft insurance

Work/Life Benefits

  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Generous paid time off and holidays
  • Pre-tax parking and transportation accounts
  • Emergency back-up child and adult dependent care
  • Paid parental leave
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Employee assistance program
  • Computer discount purchase program
  • Bereavement leave
  • Employer sponsored 529 College Savings Plan
  • Adoption assistance

Retirement Benefits

  • 401(k) retirement savings plan
  • Firm discretionary profit sharing contributions

To apply to our 2025 summer program based in our Portland, ME office, please submit your cover letter, resume and law school transcripts to Heather Higgins at hhiggins@pierceatwood.com

Pierce Atwood provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. The firm complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the firm has offices. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, and transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.