Paul L. Caron

Friday, June 12, 2020

NALP Survey Quantifies COVID-19 Impact On Summer Programs, Recruiting, And OCI

NALP, Survey Quantifies COVID-19 Impact on Summer Programs, Recruiting, and OCI:

NALP 2The National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP) has released the results of two short “pulse” surveys about the impacts of COVID-19 on U.S. legal employers, law schools, and JD students. The surveys, conducted in May, were designed to quantify the rapidly evolving changes in the legal profession and the industry as a result of the pandemic. NALP is following up with a second set of surveys to members in the coming weeks.

Key findings for legal employers include:

  • The overwhelming majority of offices (86%) that originally planned to host a 2020 summer program still plan to do so.
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of offices reported that their 2020 summer programs will now be 5-6 weeks in length, a considerably shorter period than in recent summers. In 2019 the most commonly reported length was 10 weeks (71% of offices).
  • The majority (55%) of offices intend to host a 100% virtual 2020 summer program, 40% intend to host a hybrid model if possible (e.g., a combination of in-person and virtual), and a small number (5%) intend to have an entirely in-person program. 100% virtual programs were most popular in the Mid-Atlantic (66%) and Northeast (65%) regions.
  • For those 2020 summer programs that will be fully or partially remote, nearly half (47%) of offices have not yet determined the anticipated number of hours per week that summer associates will work during the remote portion of the program. For those that have decided, three-quarters (75%) anticipate that summer associates will work 31-40 hours per week remotely.
  • For offices that have canceled their 2020 summer programs, 86% reported that they made offers to at least some 2Ls who were originally going to summer at the office to return after graduation for full-time employment as associates.
  • Overall, 11% of offices reported furloughs or layoffs for at least some of their talent, recruiting, professional development, or diversity and inclusion staff.

Key findings for law schools include:

  • Overall, about half of schools (51%) have established 2L OCI dates for recruiting the Class of 2022 for summer 2021 programs. Public schools were more likely to have already established their OCI dates (60%), as well as those in the Mid-Atlantic region (68%), and those with a JD enrollment size of over 750 students (75%).
  • Of those schools that have established 2L OCI dates, the vast majority (85%) have changed their OCI dates.
  • For those schools that have changed their OCI dates (which were all originally scheduled to begin in July or August 2020), most (71%) are now scheduled to begin in January 2021, with February 2021 being the second most highly reported start month (21%).
  • Nearly all schools (95%) reported that they provided their students with additional opportunities to obtain practical skills due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with research opportunities (89%) being the most frequently reported.

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