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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What's in store for the Future of Entry-Level Hiring?

Tuesday was the last day of classes here at FSU, so you would think that hiring of entry level prawfs at most schools would be over at this point.  Indeed, if you cruise over to Larry's List-o-Prawfs, you discover that over 140 people have been hired at around 93 schools. 

But here's what you may have missed: out of the top 24 schools (based on recent USN), only 7 have so far posted a hire (UVA, Vandy, Columbia, Georgetown, Minn, GWU, and Wash U), while eighteen have not yet posted a hire (harvard, yale, chicago, stanford, nyu, penn, michigan, boalt, duke, northwestern, cornell, ucla, usc, texas, bu, emory, iowa).   Now, I've heard that at least one more candidate out there has offers at a few of the top 10, but only one school will land that person. I'm guessing there are probably a few more like that, but I don't know. Does it seemodd that the wealthiest and "best" law schools have in such large measure refrained from (successfully) hiring this year?

As one friend put it in an email to me earlier, the explanation might be "(1) no hires at all, (2) no hires yet because they all gave really late deadlines for deciding, (3) hires but no announcements.  If it's (3), would this just be indifference on the part of top 20 schools and hires, or is there some new policy in effect?"

Another thought: if the answer is basically (1) no (or fewer hires generally), it might suggest that more schools are trying to go the so-called Yale route of chiefly hiring junior or senior laterals.  (Of course, Yoshino, Listokin, Markovits are exceptions in recent years.)  But the last couple years, it definitely seemed like the top 20 hired a bunch of juniors, so it's probably unlikely that this year's pattern would have suddenly emerged.  But maybe my memory is faulty, and maybe it is still early (relatively speaking) in the hiring season for the decisions at the top 20 to have shaken out.  If it turns out this year marks a greater reluctance to hire entry-levels, what do you think the significance might be, if any, for the broader profession of prawfs?

Posted by Administrators on April 18, 2007 at 12:17 AM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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Tracked on Apr 17, 2007 10:24:08 PM


Thanks Matt. I certainly wouldn't draw any conclusions in particular about Penn, and now, after this post went up, I have heard from various sources that there are some offers outstanding at some of the other top schools though not all of them: e.g., NYU, Boalt, Chicago, Michigan, Virginia, Fordham, Emory have offers outstanding or that were made earlier and were declined. That said, even if those schools and others have offers out, at least in some cases it is only a few candidates with multiple offers, which might still mean there was less "successful" hiring this year. Obviously, it's a tentative conclusion, which, if true, may signal an emerging subtle trend. I've heard from others who were on the market that they discerned a preference among some people/schools for junior lateral hiring over entry level juniors.

Posted by: Dan Markel | Apr 18, 2007 4:22:20 PM

I'm not sure how much I'd read in to one year. Penn (the only school I know much about in this area) hired two entry-level people last year, one the year before, and has pretty regularly hired one or two most years. I'd be surprised if they didn't hire someone next year. I guess I'd want to see something more consistent for a few years before I'd take it as a trend.

Posted by: Matt | Apr 17, 2007 9:15:49 PM

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