Sea Change in the Legal Market, NALP Bulletin (Aug 2013)

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This article examines the change in the entry level legal market over the last ten years and concludes that a sea change is in progress. This conclusion is based on three core findings. First, between 2002 and 2012, the level of associate hiring by firms in the NALP Directory of Legal Employers has been cut in half, plummeting from 11,300 (in 2002) to 5,600 (in 2012). Second, corporate law firms appear to be migrating to new form of leverage that relies much more heavily on senior lawyers. Third, although the ranks of women and minority partners has increased over the last decade, the pipeline of up-and-coming diverse associates has actually gotten smaller. This portends significant challenges for diversity for the years ahead.

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