CareersLaw Students

You’re about to become a lawyer: What kind of lawyer do you want to be?

We are a focused firm looking for recruits who share our passion for the work we do. We seek out students who have experience as innovators, entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists and business people, or who are simply excited about the prospect of working with startups, venture capital firms and within a practice that can’t be found at traditional biglaw firms.

Law Student Recruiting

Gunderson Dettmer recruits students who we think can and will become partners. As a Summer Associate, we’ll challenge you to think in ways that law school can’t teach and give you work assignments with direct client contact. We strive to make our Summer Program challenging, meaningful and fun by providing hands-on mentoring and substantive experiences. You won’t be stuck doing research projects or as the fifth person on the deal team. You will work with clients who will know your name and you will contribute to actual client work product while working with lawyers in our Corporate, Fund and Licensing, Strategic Partnering and Commercial Transactions practices.

Gunderson Dettmer is a career platform for the problem solvers and business-minded lawyers who work here. We love building futures.

Summer Program 2L Recruiting

We interview at OCI at various law schools and career fairs for our Ann Arbor, Austin, Bay Area, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Diego Summer Programs. Applications will reopen next summer for our 2025 Summer Program.

Gunderson Dettmer 1L Diversity Fellowship

Fellows will receive a paid 1L Summer Associate position in one of our US offices: Ann Arbor, Austin, Bay Area, Boston, Los Angeles, New York or San Diego.  As a 1L Summer Associate, you will participate in various trainings including mock transactional exercises; work with attorneys in our Corporate, Fund Formation and Licensing, Strategic Partnering and Commercial Transaction practices; and attend various social events to get to know your colleagues outside of the office in a more relaxed atmosphere. Upon selection as a Fellow, you will be assigned a mentor for the duration of your Fellowship experience. Fellows will also spend up to one week with a Gunderson Dettmer client as part of their 1L summer experience.

In addition to a paid Summer Associate position, Fellows will receive a scholarship of up to $40,000. The award will be paid in three installments: as you successfully complete your first summer with Gunderson Dettmer as a 1L Fellow, upon accepting and receiving an Associate offer as you successfully complete your full 2L summer and, ultimately, at the one year anniversary as a full-time first-year Associate. 

Selection Criteria

Success looks different for everyone, and we believe it should be evaluated holistically. We will consider your demonstrated interest in emerging companies and venture capital; your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; the quality of your personal statement; and your personal, professional, leadership, community and/or academic achievements. In short, we want to get to know you.

Interested 1Ls are encouraged to apply early as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 


To be eligible for the 1L Diversity Fellowship, you must:

  • be enrolled and in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school 
  • have an interest for a future career in venture capital and emerging companies
  • have an anticipated graduation date of 2025 at the time of application
  • be available to participate in our 2023 and 2024 Summer Programs

Diversity Fellows may not be a recipient of a diversity-related award from another law firm, may not be a client or an immediate family member of a Gunderson Dettmer client and/or employee, and may not be currently employed by Gunderson Dettmer.

Application Process

Our 1L Diversity Fellowship application deadline has been extended to February 13, 2023. We understand that first semester grades may not be available until early 2023, so transcripts can be submitted later via email to [email protected] once available. Initial interviews will be conducted virtually, while in-person callbacks can be accommodated depending on location. Recipients will be announced in April 2023.

Applications must contain:

  • Current resume
  • Undergraduate transcript (unofficial copy will suffice)
  • Graduate transcript(s) (if applicable; unofficial copy will suffice)
  • Law school transcript (once available; unofficial copy will suffice)
  • Two personal statements (see the prompts listed below), taking into account your personal, professional and/or academic experience and accomplishments, especially as they relate to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and contributions to your own personal growth or that of others; community service; demonstrated leadership and any other notable experience. In particular, please address the following two questions in your personal statements:
    • Why are you interested in emerging companies and venture capital? (250 words or less)
    • How has your interest in and experience with diversity, equity and inclusion influenced your personal, academic and/or professional goals and accomplishments? (1,000 words or less)

Applications are now closed for the 2023 Gunderson Dettmer 1L Diversity Fellowship. Applications for 2024 will open later this year.


If you have any questions related to the Gunderson Dettmer 1L Diversity Fellowship, please contact Legal Recruiting at [email protected].