Summer associate competition?

February 4, 2009
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There are still a few months before summer associates begin their jobs at firms this summer, but I wanted to hear from you on how your search for a position has gone.

With all the talk of cuts at law firms, summer associate programs must be taking a hit. It’s a program that can easily be scaled back to trim costs. Firms that may have hired 20 associates in the past now may be looking at bringing on 10 or fewer.

Competition for summer associate positions may be heating up just as the economy continues to cool down. We’ve even heard that law students from schools outside Indiana who may not have thought about pursuing a summer associate position here are now looking at Indianapolis because larger firms in bigger cities are cutting back.

And then there’s the issue of whether you’d be hired at the firm you just spent months working at as a summer associate (that’s if you want to work at that firm). Are you worried your chances of being offered an associate position are a little slim this year?

I’d like to hear from our law student readers about your experiences in getting a summer associate position for 2009. Did you have more trouble than you did in 2008? Was there more competition for fewer jobs? Did you expect to get an offer and then not receive one, or perhaps have your offer rescinded? If you’re reading this on Facebook, comment on our blog at http://firstimpressions.theindianalawyer.com. We’d just like to know what it’s like to be a law student right now.
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  • Those that have an offer, which is few and far between, are ecstatic to have it and are especially tight lipped about it this year (so as to not be rude to the less fortunate). The mood is somber. This has to be one of the worst times in American history to be a 2L or 3L.
  • Forget about summer associate woes - what about those of us who are about to graduate without any hint of a job on the horizon?
  • I only know one or two 2Ls that have offers from the larger Indy firms. I know that the bigger firms have scaled back their summer associate classes big time. I know many students at the top of the class with no summer prospects yet. We are a bit nervous, but the economy is bound to recover at some point.
  • I definitely think things have been extremely competitive for summer employment this past year. Personally I had around 25 screening interviews and 8 callbacks and only ONE offer (I interviewed with every large firm and a few medium firms in Indy and had callbacks with several). I also know many many classmates that do not have summer employment and things are looking bleak. This is coming from a 2L out West by the way that was planning on trying to get back home. The situation is difficult out here as well. Each firm I interviewed with had cut their summer program in half. It is also true that people who normally would have been just fine finding a job have not been able to pick up work. So this is affecting folks in all regions from what I can tell. I really hope that the market picks up for the sake of my friends.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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