FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

We know you probably have a lot of questions.  Here you should find the answers that you're seeking. If you don't, please send us an email using the Contact Us link above, and we'll respond directly and perhaps add your question (and the answer) to the list below.

Applying

Our Culture

Our Practice

Summer Program


Applying

What does Foley Hoag look for in Summer and New Associate candidates?

We look for individuals who have excellent interpersonal skills, demonstrating the ability to relate well with clients and colleagues, as well as individuals with motivation, initiative, creativity, a willingness to take on responsibility, and an enthusiasm for the practice of law. We look for outstanding academic credentials, excellent written and oral expression (sometimes, but not always, demonstrated by law review or other writing experience), and previous work experience.

What should I expect on the day of my callback interview?

First, you'll be greeted by a member of our Legal Recruiting Department, who will provide information on the lawyers with whom you will interview and answer any last minute questions that you might have. You should expect to meet with four or five Foley Hoag lawyers during your interview day. Based on feedback we have received from our prior Summer Associates, we generally do not schedule a lunch as part of your callback day. At least one of your interviewers will be a member of our Hiring Committee, and that member will have responsibility for reading your writing sample, gathering the views of your other interviewers, presenting your candidacy at the Hiring Committee meeting, and following up with you throughout the hiring process. 

What should I bring as my writing sample?

Ideally, you should provide a document demonstrating your legal writing ability (that is, the ability to analyze the law and apply it to a set of facts), of about eight to twelve pages in length. It should be your own work and so a law review note, for example, which has gone through an editorial process is not as useful. If you are submitting a jointly authored document (such as a moot court brief), please let us know which part represents your work, and don’t cut out the jointly written "facts” section because that will give us the context to understand your analysis. We do take the writing sample seriously – it will be read by a member of the Hiring Committee before the Committee considers your candidacy. 

On what basis are decisions made?

Each candidate is considered individually. The Hiring Committee has thirteen members, Associates and Partners, from various practice areas within the firm. The Committee makes its decisions based on a balanced consideration of several factors – your interviews, your academic record and other information from your resume, your prior experience, and your writing sample – and may look to references or other information as well. 

Our Culture

Is there a mentor program for entry-level Associates?

All departments provide new Associates with the support of mentors and advisors to ease their transition to practice. New Associates who join the Business Department, for example, are teamed with a Business Partner mentor, from whom the new Associate will receive the majority of his or her work assignments in the first six to twelve months, and who will take responsibility for providing hands-on guidance. The mentor gives one-on-one training, feedback and advice. In other departments, new Associates receive support and training from mentors chosen from the ranks of the senior Associates and Partners. 

What is the firm's billable hour expectation for Associates?

We expect that an Associate on a typical (full-time) schedule should bill between 1850 and 2000 hours annually, including time billed to pro bono matters. 

Does the firm permit part-time work arrangements?

Yes, we recognize that despite a strong commitment to the practice, a lawyer may find that family concerns or other circumstances make it desirable to reduce the amount of time devoted to practicing law. The firm therefore makes available to lawyers the opportunity to work on a part-time basis and has appointed a partner to review requests for reduced schedule arrangements and to serve as a resource to those working on such schedules. If you’d like a copy of our leave and reduced schedule policies, just let us know and we'd be happy to send them to you. 

What is Foley Hoag's dress code?

We have adopted a "flexible" business casual work environment. Flexible means that lawyers should dress appropriately according to their schedule for a particular day. Suits or traditional professional attire should be worn to court and to meetings with clients when business casual is inappropriate. Lawyers must always be prepared for impromptu client meetings or court appearances. 

What is the management structure of the firm?

Policy-making responsibility rests with Foley Hoag’s Executive Committee, five partners elected by the partnership to serve four-year terms. Their terms are staggered to provide both continuity and innovation. William Kolb and Adam Kahn currently serve as the firm’s Co-Managing Partners. Our practice is structured into a number of departments, each with a Department Chair and one or more Deputy Chairs who are responsible for departmental operations and the delivery of legal services to our clients. The firm has a number of more specialized practice groups, many of which are interdisciplinary (in the sense that they involve practitioners from several traditional departments.) 

What benefits are provided to Associates?

The firm offers comprehensive medical, dental, life and disability insurance benefits. All lawyers are entitled to four weeks of vacation annually, and Associates are eligible to enroll in the firm's 401(k) plan after approximately one month at the firm. The firm pays all registration fees and dues for those state bars and professional organizations in which a lawyer remains active, as well as for continuing legal education costs and conference expenses as approved by the department chairs.

What is the starting salary for Associates?

Our 2015 First Year Associates are being paid an annual salary of $160,000, and will be eligible for a bonus at the end of their first year based on several factors, including quality of work, level of effort and other contributions to the firm. The firm has announced that our first-year associate salary will increase to $180,000 on January 1, 2017. 

What is the culture like at Foley Hoag?

At Foley Hoag, our culture is one of the most valuable assets we have, combining intellectual rigor and creativity with a commitment to diversity and community. We think that our Mission Statement says it best: "Within a tradition of collegiality, civility and mutual respect, the firm has a track record of success in taking on the most challenging matters and producing extraordinary results for its clients." 

What programs are in place to ensure that lawyers have an appropriate work-life balance?

We recognize that parenting and work-family balance issues are not faced exclusively by women, and so Foley Hoag offers all lawyers a combination of paid and unpaid parental leave, a dependent care assistance plan and access to an emergency day care center. We also offer a flexible reduced work schedule policy and a telecommuting policy to assist our lawyers who are raising children or caring for family members. With the encouragement and support of the firm, lawyers at Foley Hoag are able to successfully balance practicing at the highest levels of their profession while enjoying active family and social lives outside of their careers. 

Our Practice

How do Associates receive work assignments, and how much responsibility is given to Associates?

Each department's Chairs allocate work assignments. The Chairs monitor Associates' workloads to promote balance and diversity, and thus to enhance their professional development. We encourage Associates to take on more responsibility as they develop the necessary skills, and staff transactions and litigation matters leanly to foster this development. Thus, in some matters, you will be the only Associate working with the partner on a transaction or case, while in others you will be a member of a team of several lawyers. It all depends on the size and complexity of the matter. All Associates, however, have direct contact with clients and take an active role in developing strategy for their cases. 

What is Foley Hoag's approach to and involvement in pro bono work?

Our pro bono program has been a hallmark of the firm since our representation of the plaintiffs in the original lawsuit to desegregate the Boston public schools. We encourage our lawyers to engage in direct pro bono work and to participate in the community through other avenues such as board involvement and charitable organizations. In a typical year we handle more than 100 matters in and contribute approximately 20,000 hours to our pro bono program. Likewise, our Summer Program includes numerous opportunities for Summer Associates to perform pro bono work. 

Foley Hoag has been described to me as "academic." What does this mean?

We get this question a lot, and we have found that it means different things to different people. Does it mean that you will be working with and learning from some of the brightest legal minds in the country? Certainly. Does it mean that our lawyers are inquisitive and enjoy discussing legal concepts with and teaching and mentoring their more junior colleagues? Without question. Does it mean that a number of our former colleagues have taken teaching positions in law schools across the country? Absolutely. We achieve better results for our clients, and find the practice of law much more rewarding, because of these attitudes and experiences. 

What kinds of training and development programs are available to Associates?

The firm takes the development of Associate talent seriously. New Associates begin work with a multi-week training curriculum to introduce them to the knowledge and skills necessary to their chosen areas of practice. In addition, firm wide and departmental training programs are scheduled monthly for more advanced lawyers to address practice-specific and cross-departmental issues, and we encourage our lawyers to attend outside seminars to supplement their skills and knowledge in substantive specialty areas.

Summer Program

What type of work is given to Summer Associates?

Our Summer Associates become involved in real work for real clients – not "make-work." We give Summer Associates work that would be appropriate for First and Second Year Associates, including legal research, drafting legal memoranda, court papers, corporate or transaction documents, participating in a range of activities in connection with corporate transactions or litigation matters, assisting with discovery or due diligence, and a variety of other projects. 

How are work assignments allocated?

A supervising lawyer who wishes to involve a Summer Associate in his or her case or transaction will submit a written description of the proposed assignment to Erin Wallace, our Legal Recruiting Manager. Summer Associates meet with Erin whenever they are ready to take on new work and are given the freedom to choose their assignments from the online folder of all available assignments. Summer Associates often say that this freedom in the selection of their work and the opportunity to thus shape their summer experience is one of their favorite aspects of our Summer Program. Summer Associates who wish to try all areas of practice may do so; or they can limit their summer experience to just a few areas. If a Summer Associate is interested in a practice area for which there is no available assignment, we will actively seek assignments from lawyers in that practice group. 

How do Summer Associates receive evaluation of their work?

Summer Associates receive regular feedback from their supervising lawyers, as the project is ongoing. In addition, each Summer Associate has a mentor who will review all of the work over the course of the summer, give his or her own detailed feedback on each project, and provide an independent overall evaluation. Also, Summer Associates receive both an informal mid-summer review from their mentors and an end-of-summer review from the Chair of the Hiring Committee. 

Do I have to choose one particular practice area in which to focus my summer work assignments at Foley Hoag?

From your first day as a Summer Associate, to the day as a Partner that you decide to expand your practice into a new and developing field of law, you will have the ability make choices. Our Summer Program participants are never bound by a rigid work assignment or rotation system; rather, they select their own assignments from across the firm. Some choose to experience one practice, some several, and many have left with a new-found interest in an area of practice they had never considered. Summer Associates will also have the opportunity to go to court, meet clients, participate in pro bono work, and do a business internship. 

What training will I receive as a Summer Associate at Foley Hoag?

In addition to a wide variety of assignments that provide invaluable "on-the-ground" training, our Summer Associates are provided with numerous educational opportunities throughout the Summer Program. Our 2016 Summer Associates received training in legal research and writing, corporate drafting and negotiations, working with regulatory agencies and communication skills, in addition to learning about Foley Hoag's pro bono initiatives and even firm operations. 

How similar will my summer experience be to that of a First Year Associate?

The work that you will do as a Summer Associate is similar to that of a First Year Associate, and so you will be drafting court papers, transaction and other corporate documents, and participating in meetings, conference calls and other events with experienced lawyers. Because a typical Summer Associate is here for ten weeks (which turns out to be a short time, as you will learn), we have designed the program to include not only work experience, but also opportunities to meet and get to know your summer colleagues and Foley Hoag lawyers and staff, and to attend training programs, orientation sessions with our various practice groups, and observation opportunities with more experienced lawyers. This is your opportunity to get to know the firm and our opportunity to get to know you – so we encourage all Summer Associates to take advantage of the full range of these opportunities, to participate in departmental and firm meetings, to work with a variety of lawyers, and to enjoy the social and other events. 

How many Summer Associates will receive offers to return as Associates?

We will make offers to every Summer Associate who demonstrates the ability to practice at the level of a Foley Hoag Associate. Indeed, we hope and expect to make offers to all of our Summer Associates. 

How much are Summer Associates paid?

Our Summer Associate salary for 2016 was $3,077 per week. We evaluate the salary each spring, shortly before the program begins.