Law Firm Associate Hiring Still Lagging

The National Law Journal (NLJ) has just published its annual report on the 50 law schools that NLJ 250 law firms relied upon the most to fill their first-year associate classes during 2011.  This report also includes information on the law schools that saw the most alumni promoted to partner at NLJ 250 firms in 2011.  This is captioned “The Go-to Law Schools” because it details the law schools that are the most popular in terms of hiring for the NLJ 250.  However, some of you are going to take the bait and look at it as the “Do Not Go to Law School” report.  I think that would be an overreaction, and here is why.

This report, see the link below, is worthy of your reading time.  However, you do not have to have a bottle of your favorite spirit handy to get through it.  Yes, the news is not that good, but maybe what this really means is that law students and recent law grads must be a little more introspective about what they really want to do with law degrees.  That would be preferable to the former knee-jerk reaction to go to law firms for the money.  I recently blogged about the various good reasons for going to law school, and I hope you saw it.  (If not, you can find it in the archives dated 2-4-12.)  Now, would-be lawyers may be forced to address the alternatives earlier rather than later.  But, that is not a bad thing.

If this reminds you at all of the bad break up you had because you waited too long to face the music about you and your significant other, it should.  Take stock early and when you see the troublesome signs—-whether they are coming from you or from circumstances, as in the case of the recession and current law firm hiring practices—and act accordingly.  You will be saving yourself time, disappointment and even heartbreak in the long run.

Take a look at the NLJ article, and I will have some other observations about it later this week.  And, feel free to keep a bottle of that favorite spirit handy.  On second thought, you might find it helpful!

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