Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

97 Percent of 2018 Summer Associates Offered a Full-Time Job

Attention law students: the ticket to your dream job will likely be punched in June, July or August.

In 2018, a record number of summer associates – a whopping 97 percent, in fact – were offered full-time jobs by the firms where they’d worked. Eighty-eight percent of those associates accepted the offers.

Both of those numbers were all-time highs, according to the National Association for Law Placement. The hiring trend is expected to continue in 2019 and 2020.

“Law firm recruiting activity in 2018 was brisk, with offer rates coming out of summer programs reaching an historic high,” the NALP said in this press release. “Law firms varied in their recruitment efforts. About 31 percent of law firms reported visiting more campuses in 2018, while 29 percent visited fewer campuses. Similarly, 49 percent of law firms made more job offers for summer associate positions, while 40 percent made fewer offers.”

For the third year in a row, the average size of summer associate programs remained at 14, according to the ABA Journal. Most law offices had only one associate.                                                           

Read the full 2018 Law Student Recruiting Report here.

8 Facts About 2018 Summer Associates

Here are some other summer associate statistics:

  1. One-quarter of summer programs in 2018 consisted of one or two associates. In 2008, by contrast, only 16 percent of summer programs consisted of one or two associates.
  1. Seventeen percent of summer classes had 20 or more associates. Six percent had more than 50.
  1. Many of the larger programs were at firms in New York City.
  1. The aggregate offer rate for summer programs had been flat for three years at just about 95 percent. In 2018, it jumped to 97 percent.
  1. The acceptance rate on these offers had hovered between 84 percent and 86 percent for seven years in a row. In 2018, it jumped to 88 percent, also a historic high. Pre-recession acceptance rates were 73 to 77 percent.
  1. Office location is a major factor for 2Ls who are deciding on firms where they will apply for summer positions.
  1. When making a choice between competing for offers or callback interviews, 2Ls said the deciding factor was the person who interviewed them.
  1. More than 350 employers provided information on recruiting activity. More than 78 percent of responses were from firms of more than 250 lawyers.


About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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