Why are you recruiting? Time to rethink your approach to new lawyers

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In his new book Failing Law Schools, Washington University law professor Brian Tamanaha cites a remarkable statistic. American law schools, he reports, produce 45,000 new graduates each year; but recruiters expect only 25,000 job openings annually through 2018. Leave aside for a moment the implications of this mismatch for the legal education industry: what should your law firm do with this information?

 

The traditional response would have you rubbing your hands in anticipation: a glutted market oversupplied with new associates should drive down starting lawyer salaries for years to come. More likely, however, this imbalance will soon self-correct with smaller classes and fewer law schools; and in any event, first-year associate compensation hardly follows normal market rules. The larger question is: why are you still recruiting from law schools at all?

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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.

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