Shrinking BigLaw Summer Programs Down By As Much As 50%
Posted Mar 26, 2009 2:44 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
That shrinking feeling that many law students are now feeling is based on reality.
Jobs for summer associates at some BigLaw firms are down this year by as much as 50 percent, reports the Shark.
This data, of course, does not include the law firms that have simply eliminated their summer programs entirely. In a recent article, Texas Lawyer reports that 2009 summer programs "survive" at 17 of the state's 25 biggest partnerships.
Compiling law firm employment data recently released by the National Association for Law Placement into a chart format, the Shark notes some drastic reductions in the expected size of the summer programs this year at the top 10 firms both nationally and in California.
The biggest downsizing, percentagewise, among the national top 10 is at White & Case. It will have only 92 summer associates this year, down by 49 percent from last year's 181 summer associates.
Next on the shrinking summer program list are Latham & Watkins, whose 158 summer associate class this year represents a 39 percent decrease from last year's 259, and Mayer Brown, whose summer associate contingent is down almost 38 percent from last year's 175, to 109 in 2009.
In California, the sharpest decrease is at DLA Piper, which will have only 13 summer associates in California this year, down from 28 in the state last year. That is a drop of over 53 percent, the Shark reports.
And these numbers, of course, don't include the human cost, the law blog notes. "These charts beg the question: What's a law student to do? Where's a law student to go?"
As discussed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, a number of well-known law firms have also reduced the length of summer programs this year, reduced summer associate pay or even entirely eliminated their summer programs.
ABAJournal.com: "All the Dismal News for Law Students Now In One Place"
ABAJournal.com: "Big Law Firms’ Predicament: Committed to Hire More Lawyers than Needed"
ABA Journal.com: "Atlanta Firm Cuts 6 Incoming Associates; Nixes Summer Program to Save Jobs"
ABAJournal.com: "Luce Forward Pink-Slips 2Ls and 3Ls"
ABAJournal.com (2008): "Arnstein & Lehr is Latest to Drop Summer Assoc. Program"
Time: "Law-School Grads See Promised Jobs Put On Hold"
Updated at 8:20 p.m. to include information from Texas Lawyer.