Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

American Lawyer Survey of Associates

Story here; an excerpt:

Here's the state of associate life.

  • Associates aren't miserable, except perhaps in certain high-pressure New York precincts. The average satisfaction score hit a record high this year: 3.81 on a five-point scale....
  • Associates don't plan on staying. Despite the high level of job satisfaction, only 44.9 percent of the respondents predicted that they would be at their firms in five years, and only 11.7 percent expected that they would become equity partners at their current firm.... 
  • There may not be enough lawyers to feed the hiring appetite. According to our survey of summer associate hires, Am Law 200 firms expect to bring on roughly 10,000 associates next fall. That astonishing number equals about one-quarter of all the students who will graduate from U.S. law schools next year. To put it another way, the top 20 law schools will only produce about 6,500 graduates.

    What do these four facts mean? For law firms, at least three things. First, in the short run, the war for talent will become more ferocious. Second, the cost of talent will only increase. And third, the need for firms to differentiate themselves will become apparent even to the hidebound.

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