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No Gawker, Law Firm Hiring is Not Back to 2007-- It's Still Awful

By William Peacock, Esq. on February 25, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Chalk this up to a lack of careful reading and/or unfamiliarity with law firm hiring models.

This morning, my Twitter blasted across a happy headline via a tweet: It's 2007 All Over Again For Law Students. Could it be? Will things be better for my dear brother (class of 2017)?

Legal. Market. Recovery.

Except, no, not really. Follow the source link to The Wall Street Journal and you'll find the source of the confusion: law firms aren't subjecting summer associate classes to firing squads, and, indeed, they are offering long-term gigs in pre-recession percentages.


Life Still Sucks

If one continues to read the WSJ piece, they'd see this: "The hitch, of course, is that summer class sizes remain smaller than they were back in the boom years, so the overall number of job offers hasn't returned to pre-recession heights."

Hand me a light bulb please.

Instead of paying hundreds of useless law students exorbitant summer wages, firms are paying a few dozen, and not culling the leftovers. The only change to be found is a lack of false hope for those that would otherwise be non-offered after banking $10,000 in summer wages.

NALP Data: Yep, Still Screwed

NALP data is like a predictable tragedy: you know everyone is going to die in the end.

The WSJ cites some additional NALP data from a separate survey that says that 64.4 percent of 2012 law graduates (who bothered to respond to surveys) nabbed a gig that requires bar passage. That's the lowest it's ever been.

Another cheerful note: for those who don't land cushy summer associateships, only 16 percent of firms surveyed by NALP say that they're recruiting third-years that haven't previously worked at their firm. Last year, it was 19 percent. In 2006, before the lawpocalypse, it was 53 percent.

So yeah, BigLaw wishes and 160k dreams, much like hip hop since the arrival of Soulja Boy, are dead.

And Gawker, please, next time read the source material more carefully. You just toyed with the hopes of thirty-thousand unemployed law graduates.

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