US summer associate numbers drop

February 12, 2013 A new report published by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) shows a drop in the summer associate recruitment figures in the fall of 2012, continuing a four year trend.

The NALP report said: ‘Law firms continue to bring in small summer classes, with median and average class size barely increasing from recession-era lows. Offer rates coming out of summer programs remained high, but fell by more than a point from the previous summer, and, perhaps not surprisingly, acceptance rates for those offers set another record for an historic high. For the fourth year in a row, few firms ventured back into the 3L market, and thus, students with offers from their summer program found few competing offers on the table.’

James Leipold, NALP’s Executive Director, said: “I would expect flat and faltering to be characteristics of the entry-level law firm hiring market going forward, at least for the short and even medium term. Multiple experts have made the case that the legal market is not likely to return to pre-2007 levels, and the recruiting environment reflects that reality.”

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