Saturday, January 27, 2018

Summer associate hiring declines at nation's largest firms

The data is in from this fall's OCI hiring season and it shows that at the nation's largest firms (employing more than 700 attorneys), summer associate hiring is down for the first time since 2012. Of course time will tell whether this is temporary, relatively meaningless setback in terms of the overall strength of the legal job market or instead whether it portends a bigger problem yet to come. The American Lawyer has more details:

Summer Associate Hiring Slowed at Largest Firms

Law firms of 700 or more lawyers pulled back on summer associate hiring for the first time since 2012, according to new data from the National Association for Law Placement.


Fewer law students snagged associate jobs at the nation’s largest law firms last summer.


New data from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) shows that firms with more than 700 lawyers scaled back their summer associate classes in 2017—the first decrease since 2012, when large firms started rebuilding the summer associate programs they gutted amid the economic recession.


The average size of the incoming summer associate classes at those large firms last summer was 20, down from 22 in 2016. (Those figures are for each firm office, not the total for each firm.)


“This is a meaningful dip in recruiting at the largest firms,” NALP executive director James Leipold told the law firm recruiters and law school career services personnel assembled in New York Thursday for the the organization’s annual recruiting summit, where he revealed the latest figures. “For the last three or four years, we had this bump in Big Law recruiting as they regrew their summer classes. That has ended.” 

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