Outcomes of Summer Programs

NALP Bulletin, August 2005 

The end of summer programs marks the beginning of an annual wait for legal employers — the wait to determine summer program yields. Most employers doubtless have a good sense of what the acceptance rate from their summer program will be. However, a look at the broader picture and the trends over time provides not only a perspective against which to compare one's own results but also a better understanding of the larger market — whether it be the city, firms of the same size, or nationwide.

NALP has been monitoring summer and fall recruiting activity in some manner for more than 15 years, and has collected information on summer program outcomes since the early 1990s by means of a yearly survey of employers. The findings are published annually in Perspectives on Fall Law Student Recruiting. A compilation of results from the six most recent years is shown in the tables below. Some of the most notable findings include:

  • Generally, about 90% of summer associates receive an offer for employment, but the figure was notably lower for summer 2002. In recent years, about three-quarters of these offers have been accepted, but in 1999 and 2000, acceptance rates were somewhat lower.

  • The major markets for summer employment are by no means homogeneous, and annual differences in the size of the summer program are not surprising, with medians for summer 2004 programs ranging from 5 in Los Angeles to about 15 in Philadelphia and New York. In other years, the median has been highest in Dallas, Houston, or Boston.

  • Cities also differ with respect to offer and acceptance rates. For example, typically firms in Boston and New York make an offer to nearly all of their summer associates. Acceptance rates in these cities tend to be higher as well. Dallas and Houston tend to be below average with respect to both of these measures. Firms in Washington, DC are about average with respect to offer rates but below average with respect to acceptance rates.

The four most recent Perspectives on Fall Law Student Recruiting reports are posted under Research & Directories > Recruitment & Hiring. In addition to more detailed information on summer program outcomes, these reports also offer information on fall recruiting for summer programs and on third-year recruiting, including numbers of callback invitations and offer and acceptance rates nationwide, by firm size, and by city and region.

 

Summary of Summer Program Outcomes — 1999-2001

 

 


1999 2000 2001

Median Size
of Summer
Program
% of
Participants
Receiving
Offer
% of
Offers
Accepted
Median Size
of Summer
Program
% of
Participants
Receiving
Offer
% of
Offers
Accepted
Median Size
of Summer
Program
% of
Participants
Receiving
Offer
% of
Offers
Accepted
Nationwide 8.0 88.9% 65.2% 8.5 89.7% 65.8% 6.0 84.2% 72.8%
By size of firm:
50 or fewer 3.0 69.1 68.1 4.0 79.7 65.8 2.0 63.3 72.6
51-100 6.0 84.8 73.2 5.0 83.0 75.4
101-250 8.0 88.5 64.9 10.0 85.0 71.0 8.5 81.8 73.2
251-500 9.0 90.0 70.3 11.0 90.2 64.4 11.0 82.8 73.3
501+ 10.0 91.4 60.1 10.0 93.4 64.6 8.0 89.1 71.8
By city:
Boston 19.0 97.4 73.5 14.5 98.4 64.1 21.0 88.2 82.5
New York City 18.0 97.6 70.3 17.0 99.1 68.7 12.0 95.0 78.5
Philadelphia 10.0 90.3 63.4 18.5 85.8 67.8 11.0 73.8 87.2
Washington, DC 8.5 90.2 59.7 9.0 89.1 60.3 7.0 88.9 66.0
Atlanta 13.5 90.8 62.3 11.0 93.5 64.2 9.0 85.2 70.8
Dallas 22.0 75.3 39.3 17.5 88.0 60.7 17.0 79.5 55.1
Houston 21.0 89.9 49.7 9.0 85.4 50.4 10.5 79.2 60.7
Chicago 14.0 91.7 70.1 14.0 93.1 70.2 9.0 86.4 71.9
Los Angeles 6.0 86.9 66.3 6.0 91.7 53.0 6.0 88.3 69.9
San Francisco 5.0 91.7 59.1 7.0 89.2 64.9 7.0 85.1 67.2

Source: NALP's Perspectives on Fall Recruiting reports for 1999-2004.

 

 

Summary of Summer Program Outcomes — 2002-2004

 

 


2002 2003 2004

Median Size
of Summer
Program
% of
Participants
Receiving
Offer
% of
Offers
Accepted
Median Size
of Summer
Program
% of
Participants
Receiving
Offer
% of
Offers
Accepted
Median Size
of Summer
Program
% of
Participants
Receiving
Offer
% of
Offers
Accepted
Nationwide 5.0 80.9% 74.0% 5.0 87.0% 77.0% 5.0 91.0% 72.4%
By size of firm:
50 or fewer 2.0 63.8 76.5 2.0 64.5 75.6 2.0 68.2 79.4
51-100 5.0 72.1 68.2 4.0 74.8 77.3 5.0 83.1 70.6
101-250 7.0 79.2 78.8 6.0 80.0 77.8 8.0 87.8 77.0
251-500 9.5 75.6 77.1 5.0 85.8 81.7 5.0 87.2 75.0
501+ 7.0 87.0 71.7 7.0 91.9 75.4 7.0 95.3 70.4
By city:
Boston 8.5 95.3 80.5 14.0 93.2 78.9 7.5 98.0 81.8
New York City 13.0 93.3 78.2 18.0 96.4 78.5 15.5 98.0 75.0
Philadelphia 11.0 75.3 86.6 14.0 93.8 86.7 15.5 89.7 86.7
Washington, DC 6.5 78.0 67.1 6.0 84.9 68.4 7.0 94.3 58.6
Atlanta 12.0 81.3 78.4 12.0 86.8 72.0 11.0 88.2 66.2
Dallas 20.0 71.6 60.4 8.0 73.3 68.2 13.5 82.2 61.8
Houston 8.0 76.3 49.6 5.0 82.1 62.3 7.0 79.5 64.8
Chicago 10.0 90.5 67.5 9.0 90.7 79.4 9.0 94.4 78.3
Los Angeles 6.0 82.5 78.8 5.0 88.6 82.1 5.0 93.3 70.9
San Francisco 5.0 81.7 78.6 5.0 84.9 86.1 6.0 90.4 68.8

Source: NALP's Perspectives on Fall Recruiting reports for 1999-2004.

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