Law Firms

Associate offer rates reach record high; how do 2Ls pick law firms?

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Law firms offered jobs to nearly 97 percent of associates coming out of summer programs last year, a historic high, according to the National Association for Law Placement.

Eighty-eight percent of those associates accepted their offers, which was also a high, NALP said in a press release and report.

Law firms varied in their recruitment efforts. About 31 percent of law firms reported visiting more campuses in 2018, while 29 percent visited fewer campuses. Similarly, 49 percent of law firms made more job offers for summer associate positions, while 40 percent made fewer offers.

The average size of summer associate programs remained at 14 for the third year in a row. The most common summer class size for a law firm office consisted of just one associate, followed by classes of two. But 17 percent of summer classes were larger than 20, and 6 percent were larger than 50.

NALP surveyed second-year law students who interviewed with law firms for summer associate positions in 2019. The survey found:

• Office location is a major factor when students are deciding on firms where they will apply for summer positions.

• When making a choice between competing offers or callback interviews, law students said the people they met during an interview was the primary factor in their choice.

NALP executive director James Leipold commented in the press release. “If there is a takeaway from the student surveys that were completed,” he said, “it is that who you send to campus really matters.”

More than 350 employers provided information on recruiting activity. More than 78 percent of responses were from firms of more than 250 lawyers.

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