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Time for 2Ls to Panic? Open Thread on How You’re All Screwed

In these pages, we alternate between sensationalistically fanning the flames of greed (NY to 190!) and despair (Nationwide Layoff Watch!).
Today, despair. From the ATL mailbag:

You should do a thread on worried 2Ls. I am one of them. I have a summer associate job at a Vault 100 firm, and so do lots of my friends. But we hear through the grapevine that new-ish associates at many firms don’t have tons of work and will not meet their billables targets.

Are we 2Ls seriously in danger of getting major no offers at the end of the summer? What was it like for 2L summers in other legal market downturn times (I guess around 2001 was the last one)? What should we expect?

screwed bar exam Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgAt last month’s APALSA conference, we attended a very interesting panel on law firm partnership. One of the panelists mentioned that she was a summer associate during a prior downturn. Out of her summer class of thirteen (13), only one (1) received an offer of full-time employment. As soon as she mentioned the grim 1-out-of-13 statistic, one could feel the chill of fear in the audience. [FN1]
One out of 13 may be a bit extreme. But are the days of 100 percent offer rates over? Quite possibly. Last fall, there was anecdotal evidence of firms being more stingy with offers than in the past. Since then, of course, the economy has worsened significantly, with several firms announcing layoffs of full-time associates. So perhaps the trend of no-offering SAs will continue.
Some unsolicited advice for 2008 summer associates: work your tails off; keep your heads down; and don’t threaten to knife anyone, get slugged by a local lass at a bar, or steal firm-provided Swiss Miss.
Good luck and Godspeed.
[FN1] The panelist was the one summer associate who got an offer. Now she’s a partner — at an even bigger and more profitable firm than the one she summered at. Some people were just born to be Biglaw badasses.
Earlier: Fall Recruiting Open Thread: No-Offer Factories

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