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Scaling Down Summer Associate Program Activities

May 29, 2009

For many firms, this week after Memorial Day Weekend marks the beginning of their respective Summer Associates programs.  Of course, things are a little bit different from the last few years.  For one thing, several medium to large firms in Philly have completely opted out of having Summer Associates this year.  Understandably, it’s tough to justify the expense of courting law students when folks are being laid off and others are told that their employment will be deferred for a year.  Other firms have drastically reduced their class of summers to 1/3 or 1/4 of what it may have been in the last couple of years. 

Those firms that still have Summer Associate programs are also seeking to reduce costs and perhaps downscale their events.  Somehow, it just doesn’t seem appropriate for firms cutting expenses to still set up excursions to Atlantic City or fly summers to London for the heck of it.  So, in the spirit of reducing expenses, here are some possible suggestions for summers, associates involved with the program and program coordinators on “lower cost” alternatives:

  • Old Activity – Pricy dinners in Restaurant Row
    New Activity – Center City Sips

    One of the great innovations during the summer in the city has been the advent of Center City Sips, the Wednesday happy hours throughout the city.  Some of the best restaurants and bars, including XIX, Chifa and Davios, present tremendous happy hour specials, including $4 cocktails, $3 wine, $2 beers and half-priced appetizers.  It’s a great way to experience some restaurants and bars without breaking the bank.
  • Old Activity – Going golfing
    New Activity – Philly Mini Golf
    Instead of excluding non-golfers from participating in golf outings, get everyone involved in a fun but competitive mini-golf outing at Franklin Square’s Philly Mini Golf.  It’s a mini-golf course right at Franklin Square (Race and 6th/7th), complete with Philly-themed holes.  Maybe the only drawback is that the website says that “children” must be accompanied by a responsible adult, so I’m not sure if that applies to summers as well. 
  • Old Activity – Lunch or dinner at Le Bec Fin for Bastille Day
    New Activity – Have a petit dejeuner or dejeuner at Parc
    Among Philly restauranteur Stephen Starr’s most recent openings was Parc, a large and roomy restaurante on Rittenhouse Square that is a pretty good facsimile of a Paris bistro, from the outdoor sidewalk seating to the authentic looking interior.  And the menu, while not cheap, is a heck of a lot more reasonable than LBF (the gold standard for fine dining). 
  • Old Activity – Dining in South Philly
    New Activity – Go out for cheesesteaks or roast pork sandwiches
    You can’t skip out what Philly is perhaps best known for: cheesesteaks (and, to a lesser extent, roast pork sandwiches).  Don’t mess around with the tourist traps (e.g., Pat’s and Geno’s).  Just go to those that are among the best: John’s Roast Pork (Front and Snyder) or Tony Luke’s (Front and Oregon).  There are vegeterian options there too (never tried them though).  

Enjoy the summer!

One Comment leave one →
  1. FCipriano permalink
    June 2, 2009 1:17 pm

    Geno’s and Pat’s are tourist traps huh, growing up in that neighborhood I can testify that if you go to Geno’s during the week, you are a-ok.

    One other note, Tony Luke is good, but for further academic research one should try Dolce Carini (between 19th and 20th and Chestnut). It certainly does not have the ambiance of other more famous cheesesteak places, but bite for bite, it is positively delicious.

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