Recruiting Activites During Fall of 1997 Increase

The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) has collected data on fall 1997 recruiting activities from law schools and legal employers by means of three surveys during the recruiting season. The findings shed light on the patterns and trends of the fall recruiting season from the perspectives of both sides of the equation.

Nationwide, the median number of schools at which employers recruited was eight, and about 40% of respondents visited more schools in 1997 than in 1996. Over half of the largest firms increased the number of schools at which they interviewed in 1997, while firms of 50 or fewer attorneys were least likely to have changed the number of schools they visited. Nearly all law schools (89.2%) reported an increase in the number of employers on campus in fall 1997 compared with fall 1996. On-campus interviewing accounted for the vast majority -- 85.1% -- of second-year students receiving callback invitations and almost two-thirds -- 65.2% -- of third-year students receiving callback invitations.

Most schools participated in one or more job fairs and well over one-quarter participated in seven or more job fairs. Responding employers were relatively evenly split between those who participated in no job fairs (36.1%), those who participated in one job fair (28.8%), and those who participated in two or more job fairs (35.1%).

This year's report is the first to provide city-specific information. These analyses reveal wide variations. For example, employers in Boston reported by far the highest level of activity in callback invitations and interviews of second-year students, making an average of 91 offers to second-years for summer 1998. Boston employers also reported the highest number of callback invitations and offers extended to third-year students. Acceptance rates to offers for summer employment ranged from 22% in New York City to about 40% in Atlanta, Houston and Phoenix. Phoenix and Houston also had the highest rate of acceptances of offers for permanent employment.

These are among the findings recently published in NALP's Perspectives on Fall 1997 Recruiting, an annual review of selected aspects of fall season recruitment activity and experiences of both legal employers and law schools. Among the additional findings:

  • Firms in the Northeast were most likely to participate in job fairs; firms in the Southeast were least likely to do so.

  • The median class size for summer programs was eight. Firms in Boston and Atlanta reported the largest summer classes, with 28 and 23 summer associates respectively.

  • Most summer program participants -- 88.2% -- received an offer for an associate position and 60% of these offers were accepted.

  • Employers issued a median of 54 callback invitations each to second-year students. Nationwide, most of these callback invitations were accepted. Just over half of callback interviews resulted in an offer, with a median of 24 offers per employer. Overall, just under one-third of offers were accepted.

  • Recruiting of third-year students not previously employed by the employer was reported by 277 employers. The median number of callback invitations was 11, and nearly all of these callback invitations were accepted. Just over one-third of these interviews resulted in an offer.

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