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 Did you expect to get an offer and then not receive one, or perhaps have your offer rescinded?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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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