Summer Program and Fall Recruiting Outcomes: The Big Picture

NALP Bulletin, July 2013

As summer programs wind down and legal employers gear up for recruiting the next summer class, most employers have a good sense of what the outcomes of their summer programs and fall recruiting are likely to be. But how do these expected outcomes compare with national benchmarks or with a more narrowly constructed group of peer firms, such as those of similar size or in the same geographic area? Asking and answering such questions allows legal employers to put their own results in a larger context — and, more broadly, allows both legal employers and law schools to gain a clearer picture of the legal employment market as a whole and how it tracks with the overall economy.

NALP provides an annual report that answers just these kinds of questions. In fact, NALP has been monitoring summer and fall recruiting activity in some manner for over 20 years and has collected information on summer program outcomes and fall recruiting since the early 1990s by means of a yearly survey of employers. The findings are published annually in Perspectives on Fall Law Student Recruiting.

Key findings from the six most recent reports, as well as some information not previously compiled, are shown in the table accompanying this article. It is evident that key indicators changed substantially during the recession, and that many have not returned to the levels of 2007, just prior to the recession. For example, offer rates from summer programs, while recovering from their 2009 low, remain below the 2007 level, even as class size has decreased. Acceptance rates for offers from summer programs and of offers for summer programs remain higher than pre-recession levels. It remains the case that about 17% of callback interviews for summer associate positions result in an accepted offer.

A sampling of large employment markets shows a great deal of variation on all measures. For example, acceptance rates from summer programs are typically higher in Chicago, while offices in New York need the most interviews per accepted offer for summer associate positions.

Interested in a city other than those shown here? Much more information can be found in the full reports posted on the research portion of NALP’s website at www.nalp.org/perspectivesonfallrecruiting. Not seeing information for your city in the full report? That is because not enough surveys were received from your city to support a city-specific analysis. You can change that going forward! Look for NALP’s 2013 Survey of Legal Employers on Fall Recruiting later this year after fall recruiting is completed. Complete the survey and encourage others in your area to do the same. You hold the key to making this NALP report (and indeed all NALP research) relevant and useful to you!

Previous NALP Bulletin columns on summer program outcomes appeared in August 2008, April 2006, and August 2005.


Outcomes of Summer Programs and Fall Recruiting — 2007–2012

  SUMMER PROGRAM OUTCOMES FALL RECRUITING OF 2LS FOR UPCOMING
SUMMER PROGRAMS
   Median Class Size % Receiving Offers % of Offers Accepted Median # of Offers % of Offers Accepted % of Callback Interviews Resulting in Acceptance
2007 Overall 6.0 92.8% 76.8% 15.0 29.1% 17.5%
New York 22.0 99.0 79.5 87.5 23.5 15.8
Washington, DC/Northern VA 9.0 94.7 71.9 29.0 24.1 14.5
Chicago 9.0 95.3 81.7 34.5 25.3 16.1
Los Angeles 5.5 91.0 77.6 10.0 27.6 16.1
2008 Overall 6.0 89.9 79.7 10.0 32.5 15.1
New York 14.0 97.2 82.4 52.0 27.1 13.7
Washington, DC/Northern VA 10.0 90.7 71.0 22.5 27.0 13.3
Chicago 10.0 89.3 78.2 26.0 26.5 14.6
Los Angeles 5.0 90.0 84.1 8.0 30.6 13.3
2009 Overall 6.0 69.3 84.5 7.0 42.8 15.6
New York 19.5 86.3 86.5 29.0 33.7 12.3
Washington, DC/Northern VA 6.0 72.8 72.8 7.0 37.4 14.6
Chicago 10.0 74.7 85.3 14.0 32.9 12.8
Los Angeles 4.0 78.5 76.7 7.0 37.6 13.7
2010 Overall 4.0 87.4 82.7 9.0 40.4 16.2
New York 8.0 95.9 83.5 29.5 32.3 13.0
Washington, DC/Northern VA 5.0 83.2 68.6 14.0 38.6 16.3
Chicago 5.0 91.8 84.6 11.5 28.9 13.8
Los Angeles/Orange County 3.0 94.0 92.1 10.0 33.2 13.0
2011 Overall 5.0 91.4 85.0 10.0 37.1 17.2
New York 11.0 98.0 89.1 24.0 29.3 14.4
Washington, DC/Northern VA 6.0 91.0 76.9 22.0 28.7 14.9
Chicago 4.0 98.2 85.2 12.0 32.7 17.6
Los Angeles/Orange County 3.0 96.8 80.3 5.0 40.9 14.9
2012 Overall 5.0 90.2 85.5 8.0 38.2 16.9
New York 10.0 98.2 87.3 28.5 30.3 14.8
Washington, DC/Northern VA 6.0 92.9 72.8 16.0 31.6 17.4
Chicago 5.5 89.3 92.0 11.0 31.9 16.2
Los Angeles/Orange County 4.0 91.6 89.5 7.5 38.3 14.3

Note: Figures at the city level may include offices that included an adjacent suburban location in their survey. They generally do not, however, include offices in those cities which reported composite figures to include multiple or all offices nationwide.

National Association for Law Placement, Inc.® (NALP®), 1220 19th Street NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20036-2405, (202) 835-1001 info@nalp.org, © Copyright 2019 NALP

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