In the olden days – before the financial crisis and massive firm layoffs and the general realisation that daily $60 lunches were not a good idea, being a summer associate at a large law firm was the cushiest of positions.
Sure, summers were expected to write memos and attend hearings and ask partners relevant questions on the walk back from whatever law-related field trip they had attended. The day almost always included a three-course lunch and dinner at a well-reviewed restaurant and an open bar somewhere. It seemed excessive, of course, but it also just seemed to be the way things were. Top law students were in demand and there were more than enough spots to fill.
The gourmet meals and wine-tasting outings did not all come completely to an end, of course, but the days of an almost guaranteed offer are over, officially. The American Lawyer has completed it’s annual Summer Associates Survey and titled its entry Summertime Blues. According to the survey, almost half of this year’s summers were unsure whether they would get full time job offers (compared to 17% last year), though nearly three-quarters still expected to use Big Law salaries to pay off debts.
As always, the report includes a Zagat-style assortment of comments, such as, says the Daily: “For the love of God,” pleaded one Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher clerk in a typical comment, “please be more transparent about the offer process and outlook.”
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