With jobs after law school in short supply for prospective lawyers, law schools have pushed law firms to begin their recruiting process in August rather than waiting until October. About a quarter of last year’s graduating law class (including classes from all law schools…not just the highly selective ones) landed gigs at big law firms. This statistic was at 33% in 2009, according to the National Association for Law Placement as reported by the “Wall Street Journal.”
According to the “Wall Street Journal” article on law school job prospects, “Law firms follow an unusual tradition of recruiting the lawyers they eventually plan to hire two years in advance. For example, they are interviewing second-year law students now for summer associate positions that start in May or June 2012. At the end of the 2012 summer, the firms expect, they will then invite almost all the summer hires to work full-time as junior lawyers, likely starting in September 2013.”
In 2008, Harvard and Yale law students interviewed last with the big law firms and this hurt their job prospects. So top law schools like Harvard and Yale aren’t making that mistake again. These schools will be interviewing first…as in right now in August. These schools, after all, produce the most coveted new lawyers to big law firms.