Did the Market for Law Firm Associates Peak 25 Years Ago?

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Explore:  Big Law

Based on the chart below, which reflects 35 years of large law firm data, the answer appears to be yes. The chart enables us to compare two very simple trendlines: the percentage of lawyers in NLJ 250 law firms who have the title of Associates versus the percentage with the title of Partner.

The chart above was generated by my colleague, Evan Parker-Stephen, who is Director of Analytics at Lawyer Metrics. I asked Evan to crunch these data after some of research I was working on revealed a 50% decline in Summer Associate hiring between 2002 and 2012 at the ~600 law firms listed in the NALP Directory (11,302 to 5,584). In other words, 2008 is the wrong reference point. See Sea Change, NALP Bulletin (Aug 2013). Something more substantial was (is) happening.

Please see full article below to view charts and for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© William Henderson, Indiana University | Attorney Advertising

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