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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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A Good Summer to be a 2L, oh wait…. I’m not a 2L

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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In kind of a reverse-faustian bargain, the apparently hellish conditions that are driving seasoned associates out of the biglaw grind in droves is precisely what makes those firms in need of fresh meat. Enter the 2L… BigLaw will be on its best (as in least soul-obliterating) behavior his summer.

Wall Street Journal Law Blog: 2007: More Hours, More Revenue, Lots More Associates

Managing partners are bullish on revenues, with most expecting revenues to increase by at least five percent. The revenue, according to the study, will come from — surprise! — more billable hours. Eighty-five percent of the respondents foresee an increase of total hours billed in 2007.
….
Despite the higher salaries, law firms reportedly won’t shy away from hiring associates. Most responders said they’ll be increasing their associate ranks

Wall Street Journal Law Blog: Good Times for 2Ls

Law Blog readers, we put it to you: Has there ever been a better time to be a second-year law student?

Why do we ask? According to an article in the National Law Journal, several of the nation’s top law firms are hiring more summer associates for the upcoming season, with a few bringing aboard significantly greater numbers of would-be lawyers than in years past.

Take Kirkland & Ellis. The firm is boosting its summer associate ranks by 19.9% in 2007, to a total of 229 students, says the NLJ. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, the 1,915-attorney New York firm, says it’s expecting 292 summer associates, an increase of 35.2% compared with 2006. “We had a great recruiting year, we have lots of work and there’s room for everyone,” said Carol Sprague, legal hiring director at Skadden.

I’m still undecided whether I think the dismal retention rate is a real problem in the profession or something that’s perhaps necessary. Since a J.D. does not, as yet, immediately confer much if any of the practical skills necessary to be a lawyer, a case can be made that the firms are a boot camp of sorts – not something anyone would gladly tolerate in the long term but a rite of passage both enabling and making necessary the churn-and-burn mentality that eventually sends seasoned associates elsewhere.

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