Sunday, August 14, 2011

BigLaw will offer more jobs this year and start recruiting earlier

That's according to the Wall Street Journal. As the result of pressure from law schools, many BigLaw employers will begin recruiting T25 2L's in August this year. This is allegedly in response to increasing pressure to ease the anxiety of debt-laden students that a job awaits them next summer (which used to be a slam-dunk guarantee of a job upon graduation as long as you didn't barf on a partner during the big summer outing).

By forcing the big firms to recruit in August, rather than as late as the end of October, as in previous years, law schools are hoping to give their students an edge in the competition. "There was a race to the front of the line by law schools," said Keith Wetmore, whose title is chair of Morrison & Foerster LLP, which is sending partners to 28 campuses this month to recruit students for its 2012 summer associate class

The other bit of good news is that some employers expect to increase substantially the number of positions they need to fill. From the WSJ:

There are a few signs of improvement in the legal jobs market. But the outlook could change suddenly amid market turmoil of recent weeks.

Several major law firms said they are planning to increase the size of their 2012 summer associate classes, including Bingham McCutchen LLP, which plans to hire almost 29% more students than it did than last year, according to Ari Katz, director of legal recruiting.

"It's going to be a little crazy in the next couple of weeks," said Carol Sprague, director of associate and alumni relations and attorney recruiting at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, which has 2,000 lawyers globally. The firm intends to increase its 2012 summer associate class by more than 66% to at least 150. But that's still half the number in its 2007 summer associate class.

Best of luck to this year's OCI participants. After a tough couple of years, you deserve some good breaks for a change.

Hat tip to the ABA Journal.


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