Yesterday, we mentioned a NALP “glitch” that allowed users to get a sneak peak at the organization’s 2009 statistics about law firms. The problem, whatever it was, was fixed soon after we alerted NALP to the problem. Here’s the quick statement we obtained from NALP:
Legal employers provide this data to NALP each winter. NALP is pleased to be able to publish this free online searchable database each spring once the data submissions are finalized.
Excellent. It’s a great resource.
The moderately surprising fact is that this next batch of firms didn’t decrease their overall summer associate offers as much as the Vault top ten. Looking at the firm’s New York offices, there was a 14% decrease in offers to 2Ls, compared with a nearly 20% decrease in the V10.
But, one firm really does skew those numbers. More details after the jump.
As many commenters pointed out once the results went live, Debevoise & Plimpton showed a 55% increase in the size of its summer class. If you take that firm out of the equation, the other nine firms in the V11 – V20 showed a net drop in summer class size of 22%.
Many of our commenters wanted to know what happened at Debevoise. One commenter said:
Debevoise offered like it was a normal year and Cravath, Simpson, S&C, Latham, etc. would take many of their offerees. Not the case. So everyone rushed to accept Debevoise.
We reached out to Debevoise about the size of its summer class. The firm furnished Above the Law with the following statement:
The firm’s 2009 summer class is in keeping with the firm’s historical norms, with last year being among the smaller of our classes in recent years. We look forward to engaging all of our summers in a variety of challenging and diverse assignments.
Many of our commenters saw that argument coming:
The 2008 class was much smaller than Debevoise wanted and it consciously sought to increase the size back up to normal levels – typically 90-100 summers.
Another commenter offered this analysis:
The flip side of the Debevoise numbers is that Debevoise is in the fortunate position of having an unusually small incoming class for fall ’09, compared to both historic levels and to its peer firms.
There were some other highlights from this batch of firms. White & Case significantly reduced the size of its summer program, there are 48% fewer summers scheduled to be at the firm this year.
But leading the move towards smaller summer programs is Shearman & Sterling. According to NALP, the Shearman is looking at a 58% drop in the size of its summer class.
1Ls, of course, remain totally screwed. I don’t know what they are doing this summer, but working at a top law firm does not a appear to be an option.