On-Campus Recruiting Picking Up Slightly as Firms Seek to Avoid Generation Gap

Several law schools are reporting small increases in on-campus recruiting after a dismal year for summer associate hiring.

Law firms are hiring because they want to avoid a generation gap after widespread associate layoffs, according to Jeffrey Grossman, national managing director with Wells Fargo Wealth Management. He told the National Law Journal that firms are “making sure there isn’t a void two years out.”

Law firms are also expecting more associate attrition as the economy picks up, said Jorge Juantorena, a hiring partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Attrition has been “artificially low for a year to 18 months, because there weren’t a lot of opportunities out there,” he told the NLJ. “As the economy starts to pick up, we’re projecting people will start to see opportunities and take them.”

The National Law Journal talked to several law schools reporting gains. They include:

• Columbia Law School, where interviews in its on-campus interview program increased by 8 percent for 2Ls.

• Harvard Law School, where the number of employers conducting interviews and the number of interviews increased 5 percent to 10 percent.

• New York University School of Law, reporting about an 8 percent increase in on-campus interviews for 2Ls and 3Ls.

Among the law firms expecting to increase summer associate hiring are Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; White & Case; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

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