On campus recruitment by U.S. law firms showed modest gains during the late summer and early fall of 2011, according to the National Association of Law Placement. It was the second year in a row that law firms recruited on the nation’s law school campuses in somewhat greater numbers, “reflecting some growing confidence by law firm leadership,” according to NALP.
This is one of the key findings of their just released Perspectives on Fall 2011 Law Student Recruiting report.
For members of the Class of 2012, who were summer associates in 2011, the offer rate for entry level positions climbed to a very encouraging 91.4 percent. This is an indication that the firms want to “follow through with their stated intent to make offers to the majority of their summer associates when they can,” according to NALP.
In fact, the 91.4 percent rate is the second highest in more than 17 years. This is in sharp contrast to the offer rate in 2009, which had plunged to a low of 69.3 percent .
While the report clearly indicates that 2L summer associate hiring is improving, the news for 3L’s seeking law firm offers is not as bright.
”For the third year in a row, few firms ventured back into the 3L market, and thus, students with offers from their summer program found few competing offers on the table,” according to NALP.
The class sizes for summer associates remain relatively small; thus the competition for 2L summer associates spots will “remain keen,” the report concluded.
NALP’s Executive Director James Leipold also cautions that despite the growth in law firm recruiting, we are definitely not back to pre-recession times.
“This is not a hot recruiting market,” Leipold said. “But this sort of modest growth may well represent the best we can hope for with year on year comparisons going forward. I would anticipate volatility in the recruiting market for some time.”
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