Several Law Firms Plan to Increase Hiring; Law Schools Jockey for Placements

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The hiring outlook may be slightly better for law students this year.

Several large law firms are planning to increase hiring over the previous year, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. They include Bingham McCutchen, planning to increase summer associate hires by almost 29 percent, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, planning to increase hires by more than 66 percent.

Law schools jockeying to land jobs for their students are increasingly moving up on-campus interviews to August, the story says.

October was once the traditional month for summer associate interviews. The newspaper offers evidence of the change. In 2000, only seven law schools scheduled August on-campus interviews. This year, more than 100 are conducting August interviews, according to Mark Weber, assistant dean for career services at Harvard Law School.

Two holdouts in 2008 were Harvard and Yale law schools, which “went essentially last” in the recruiting season, according to James Leipold, executive director of NALP. “Their students did get hurt, and got fewer offers,” he told the newspaper.

David Van Zandt criticized the earlier interviews last year when he was dean of Northwestern Law School. He speculated that the hectic schedule and quick decisions are contributing to high associate attrition rates at large law firms.

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