TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Law Firms Plan To Increase First Year Associate Hiring By 22%; Average Salary Is $68,000

One-Quarter Of Law Firms To Expand First-Year Associate Hiring:

Newly minted associates may see employers extend more job offers, research indicates. Nearly one-quarter (22 percent) of lawyers recently interviewed by Robert Half Legal said their law firm plans to increase its hiring of first-year associates in the next 12 months, while 67 percent indicated no change in hiring activity and 7 percent plan a decrease.

Not only are law firms recruiting new associates, they are also investing in their professional development. Aside from salaries and bonuses, lawyers who were surveyed said that their law firm spends an average of $12,000 recruiting and training each first-year associate hired, while respondents among the largest law firms (250-plus employees) said their organization spends $62,000 on average. ...

"Job opportunities for recent law school graduates are on the rise as firms look to expand legal teams to support high-growth practice areas, such as litigation, commercial law and real estate," said Jamy Sullivan, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "New associates who were ranked at the top of their law school class and possess in-demand attributes such as technology proficiency, business acumen, interpersonal abilities and team collaboration skills are highly marketable."

Research conducted by Robert Half Legal for its 2018 Salary Guide revealed average starting salaries for first-year associates at the midpoint of $68,000 in the United States and $62,750 in Canada.

American Lawyer, First-Year Associate Jobs Set For Slight Rise, Survey Finds:

The results broadly coincide with those of a report released earlier this summer by Citi Private Bank, which found an overall rise in confidence among U.S. law firm leaders and a likelihood of increased associate roles across the market.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/09/law-firms-plan-to-increase-first-year-associate-hiring-by-22-average-salary-is-68000.html

Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

Baby boomers retiring? I suspect that is one major factor.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Sep 25, 2017 5:29:14 AM

Good stuff. Of course like all legal headhunter firms Robert Half doesn't actually work with first year lawyers (aside from ~$25/hour doc review gigs). They are quite open about telling you to go back to your career services office if you say you are a new graduate. And I just combed through their most recent 250 legal job postings nationwide and found all of two (2) for attorneys, both of which want mid-career professionals. The other 248 listings were primarily for legal secretaries. And it would be interesting to know the breakdown of size and location of those 175 law firms Robert Half surveyed...

"New associates who were ranked at the top of their law school class and possess in-demand attributes such as technology proficiency, business acumen, interpersonal abilities and team collaboration skills are highly marketable."

The common denominator being that these are skills entirely untouched by the Langdellian model of legal education.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Sep 26, 2017 10:15:59 AM