US BigLaw starts summer recruitment with high hopes

August 18, 2011 The recruitment drive for associates for the class of 2013 has begun in earnest, with recruiting partners coming on campus to assess the current crop for coveted BigLaw positions.

And keen second year law students have reason to be upbeat, as firms report stable or increased recruitment targets. Steven Sletten, chair of the hiring committee at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, reports that his hopes to hire 10 to 15 per cent more associates than last year’s cohort, which numbered 117. Weil, Gotshal & Manges hiring commmittee chair Robert Carangelo plans to increase his firm’s summer associate pool by 54 per cent, from the 65 students this year to 100 in 2012. Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy also wants a "materially larger" class than this year’s 39-associate group, and to that end the firm is increasing the number of schools and job fairs its recruiters visit from 15 to 31.

Some firms are happy to maintain the stable recruitment numbers: Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton will again hire around 108 summer associates; Shearman & Sterling is looking for between 40 and 45 recruits; and White & Case, is aiming to recruit 60 summer associates.

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