Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Big Law Recruiting Rush Puts More Pressure On Diverse Students

Bloomberg Law, Big Law Recruiting Rush Puts More Pressure on Diverse Students:

Big Law’s race to snatch up summer associates poses hurdles for diverse students.

Leading firms are now urging students to apply for coveted summer jobs before they finish their first year in law school, often as they’re juggling classes and preparing for finals. Several give candidates as little as two weeks to decide on offers that can chart the course of their careers.

The accelerated recruiting process gives students less time to adjust to the rigors of law school, let alone consider what they want to do after graduation. It forces firms to vet candidates based on just one semester of law school performance.

That’s particularly bad news for students who are the first in their families to attend law school, and who may be less prepared for what to expect in law school early on. ...

More than half (53%) of all Hispanic law students are the first in their families to attend law school, according to a survey by Indiana University. The share of first-generation students is also higher among Black (36%) and Asian (28%) students than their White counterparts (21%).

Bloomberg  Big Law

The new challenges for diverse students is one byproduct of Big Law’s accelerated competition to identify and lock down the best and brightest young lawyers as early as possible. It could end up backfiring and diminishing what gains they have made in diversifying junior talent, especially if firms don’t expand the pool of candidates.

“The playing field is not level,” said Dru Levasseur, director of DEI at the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association. “If we continue to just do what we have done in the past, we’re just going to get who was already in Big Law and we’re going to miss out on talent.”

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