An Improved Job Picture for Upcoming Law Grads

An Improved Job Picture for Upcoming Law Grads

NALP Reports "Small Bounce" in New Attorney Hiring

A positive sign for soon-to-be law school graduates.  The National Association of Law Placement study,  Perspectives on Fall 2010 Law Student Recruiting,  notes a small increase in new lawyer job recruiting during the summer and fall of 2010.  The number of summer associates who were offered full time jobs jumped to 87% in 2010 after a dismal 69% in 2009.  The report begins with the positive proclamation that "We are now somewhere in the aftermath of "the Great Recession" and there are many signs that the legal economy is gaining strength.  The report does acknowledge the slowness or the recovery and the Bureau of Labor Statistics finding that there was a loss of jobs in the legal sector in early 2011.

But the good news is that there is movement upward.  After the lowest recorded recruiting levels ever in 2009, this modest increase in law student hiring in late 2010 is encouraging. In 2009 only 3% of firms reported that they conducted recruiting interviews.  That figure jumped to 15% of firms in 2010.  2 L's interviewing for summer associate jobs did better than their counterparts the previous year. The NALP report also notes an increase in the number of 2L callback interviews for summer associate positions rose slightly over 2009 as well. Law firms were cautious about the size of their summer programs in 2010 after being caught with more prospects than most firms could use in 2009, with the recession in full swing. 

This upward trending does not return entry-level hiring to pre-recession rates, but indicates movement in the right direction.  NALP sees this news as a positive sign for the future law student hiring, concluding with the observation, "While law firms continue to approach all hiring extremely cautiously, these numbers suggest that firms are returning to the entry-level hiring market with more confidence than exhibited in the depths of the recession."

The NALP surveyed 119 law schools and 260 law firms for this report.



NALP Study: Perspectives on Fall 2010 Law Student Recruiting


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