The extravagance of Big Firm summer associate programs is old news. But an article in Slate recently offered an interest critique of an increasingly popular twist to these programs. See Fifteen Dollars Worth of Smug. According to Slate these Big Firms are allowing their summer associates to agree to be wined and dined at less expensive establishments. In return, the Firm will donate the difference to charity. Is this a common sense way to give some money to a worthy cause? Or, as Daniel Gross opines is it a cynical example of a corporate tendency to “undertake publicity-generating good works that don't require them to spend extra money or change the way they do business.” Either way, it’s a thought provoking article and an interesting glimpse into the way Big Law Firms operate.