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Law School Campus Recruitment Shows Recovery – NALP Report
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On Wednesday, the NALP released a report that claims that though law firm summer-class sizes are remaining stagnant, recruitment has picked up through 2011 and students attending law firm summer-classes are more confident of being retained.

The report, named “Perspectives on Fall 2011 Law Student Recruiting” is an annual report based on surveys of fall recruitment activity.

The report found that for students, who were summer associates in 2011, the offer rate increased by four percent to 91.4 in stark contrast to 2009 rates of 69.3 percent. However “offer acceptance” rate remained at 85% compared to a comparable rate of 84.5% in 2009.

  
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The stagnant rates of “offer acceptance” despite an almost 30 percent increase in the number of offers over that of 2009 reflect what is happening elsewhere in other industries – employment is surging at the cost of rapidly reducing benefits and pay. Take that equation forward a bit more and there would be no unemployment at all if people could work for free.

Law firms have also changed their recruiting tactics and are sticking to smaller class sizes. As expressed by Bruce MacEwen, president of Adam Smith, Esq. “Firms have learned that bringing on board more summer associates than you need, and basically discarding some significant percentage of them, really gives the firm a black eye in the marketplace.”

However experts opined that the stagnant rate of “offer acceptance” still means an increased number of recruitments as the number of offers has increased to a level that is second highest in 17 years. The highest percentage of job offers for summer associates was 92.8 in 2007.

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In fact law firm strategists said the market was optimistic considering the amount of cutbacks law firms suffered during the recession.

However, the report underlined that students entering their final year at law school without a job are facing the greatest difficulties. Out of the firms surveyed, only 18 percent were ready to accept third-year law students and a full quarter of those failed to respond with a job offer.



James Leipold the Executive Director of the NALP said, “This is not a hot recruiting market, but this sort of modest growth may well represent the best we can hope for with year on year comparisons going forward. I would anticipate volatility in the recruiting market for some time. For instance, 2012 is off to a slow start economically for law firms, and we may see that reflected in the recruiting numbers this August.”



 

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