Law students encouraged by summer hiring spree

By James Barnes

26 September 2012 at 12:30 BST

Almost all law students who spent their summers working at major US firms were rewarded with offers of full-time employment, recent research has found.

Good times for summer associates

In what is a rare positive development in the US law graduate market, the combined findings from two American Lawyer surveys showed that – at the 21 firms which responded – 1,314 of the 1,361 summer associates (96.5 per cent) received job offers.

Conflicting findings

The 2012 rate has inched up from last year when 1,234 of 1,280 summer associates (96.4 per cent) were offered jobs. The majority of students who received offers will start at their respective firms next autumn.
The findings are at odds with the research from the Summer Associate Survey, where job anxiety hit a four-year high. However, law firm hiring partners have suggested that the upbeat results may not continue, as assessing staffing needs continues to be a challenge.

Delivering value

Bradford Kaufman, a senior lawyer at Miami-based Greenberg Traurig, commented: ‘When I meet with the leaders in each office, I’m constantly discussing with them, what are your needs? What practice areas are busy? As you can imagine, it’s a difficult process. [The summer associates are] all smart, they’ll all work hard, but are they going to deliver value?
‘What I recall, walking away from when I met all them, was a clear impression that I would never be adequate enough to get a job [today] as a summer associate.’


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