The summer of 2012 brought a great deal of worry for Biglaw’s summer associates. Would they receive offers of permanent employment after all of their hard work? (And by “hard work,” we of course mean completing work assignments amid multiple forays into the world of being wined and dined.) In fact, this year’s summers were so anxious about whether they’d get an offer that their average “worry level” was higher than it had been since the height of the recession.
But as it turns out, all of their worry was for naught, because nearly all firms indiscriminately doled out offers like they were going out of style. According to the American Lawyer’s Summer Hiring Survey, responding firms hired 15.5 percent more summer associates this year than they did in 2011. That said, while things seem to be looking up, that doesn’t mean that all firms handed out offers like candy.
When we last spoke about summer associate offer rates, we wanted to know which firms had low offer rates. Now, thanks to Am Law, we’ve got some dirt for you. Which firms fell below the 100 percent mark?
Am Law Daily informally polled 24 Biglaw firms about their summer offer rates. Check out the results:
All told, 21 firms responded to The Am Law Daily’s inquiry, and 1,314 of the 1,361 of their summer associates, or 96.5 percent, received job offers. For those 21 firms, the 2012 rate is virtually identical to last year’s, when 1,234 of 1,280 summer associates, or 96.4 percent, were offered jobs.
Back in early August, Lat wondered what had happened to selectivity in the hiring process. Given these numbers, apparently it has gone out the window, in favor of giving the appearance that all is well (despite reports that these are “uncertain times” for Biglaw). But not all firms were able to get on board with that idea.
Before we get to the firms with low offer rates, we’ll add to the list of firms with 100 percent rates. Here’s the list from our last summer associate offer rate round-up:
- Alston & Bird (New York)
- Gibson Dunn & Crutcher (D.C.)
- Hogan Lovells (New York)
- Kasowitz Benson
- Kramer Levin (New York)
- Latham & Watkins (Houston, Los Angeles)
- Mayer Brown (New York)
- Milbank Tweed (New York)
- Quinn Emanuel (Los Angeles and San Francisco)
- Schulte Roth & Zabel
- Weil Gotshal & Manges (New York)
- Willkie Farr & Gallagher (New York)
We can now add the following firms to that list: Cleary Gottlieb; Hughes Hubbard & Reed; Jenner & Block; WilmerHale; and White & Case. Not to be forgotten are the firms that fell just below the 100 percent mark (with more then 95 percent of summers receiving offers): Akin Gump; Bingham; Covington & Burling; Fried Frank; Goodwin Procter; Kirkland; O’Melveny; Reed Smith; and Simpson Thacher. (Vinson & Elkins and Jones Day fell slightly below that threshold, extending offers to more than 90 percent of their SAs.)
Out of the 21 firms that responded to Am Law’s informal survey, just four reported offer rates of less than 90 percent. There’s a handy-dandy, interactive chart available over at Am Law Daily where you can see how these four firms measure up against the competition.
Pillsbury, the home of on-shore outsourcing, had an offer rate of 89.7 percent. Baker Botts is next, with an offer rate of 87.2 percent. Over at Greenberg Traurig, where capital calls are no big deal, the offer rate was 86.7 percent (less than the firm’s offer rate in 2011, which was 92.3 percent). Last, but not least, was Crowell & Moring, with an offer rate of 81.8 percent (down from last year’s rate of 85.7 percent).
When we asked about firms with unusually low offer rates in August, we arbitrarily defined that as something under 66 percent. But given that nearly all firms have offer rates at or above 90 percent, those hovering around the 80 to 85 percent mark look just a little strange. Perhaps they’re practicing selectivity, but perhaps something else is going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about yet. With that in mind, we’d like to hear from you about these firms. Please email us if you’ve got any insider information, and we’ll try to investigate. Thanks.
P.S. If you’re one of the 47 summers who got no-offered this year, don’t worry. You may have a bright future ahead of you stocking shelves at the local grocery store!