Hiring at entry level still limited at law firms, NALP survey says

Despite improvement in the legal economy, law firms are still taking a wary approach to hiring summer associates.

“Rather than exhibiting the slow and steady recovery that might be hoped for,” says a NALP press release, a number of law firms “seemed to put the brakes on in 2012.”

Despite two years of gains after a 2009 nadir, both median and average number of summer associate job offers to second-year law students for summer associate positions this year dropped, a recent NALP report (PDF) found. The percentage of interviews that resulted in job offers also fell.

Executive director James Leipold of NALP says the lackluster hiring trends reflect issues in the broader legal economy.

“If you read the client advisories coming from some of the private banks that are involved in law firm financing, it’s clear that 2013 is not likely to be dramatically better,” he says in the release. As law firms battle for market share and compete within a global marketplace that is driving the price of legal services down, law firms continue to be cautious about bringing in more lawyers than they can confidently keep busy.”

Reuters also has a story.

Related coverage: “Which City’s New Associates Get the Most Buying Power for Their Pay?”

Updated on Feb. 12 to link to Reuters article.

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