Aqualibrium wrote:million dollar question...
Perhaps if they're only six weeks, firms get to double their selection at the same cost. If so, that's a much better method than relying on grades and callbacks. I wonder why bigger firms haven't looked at this.
Bham firms hire clerks for 6 weeks, most everyone splits. Bham SA salaries are also much lower than other markets (1,300 is "market" for 2Ls). Thus, the firms spend less on salaries and time commitments, yet get to look at twice the number of people. For law students, you get to look at two firms each summer, so it may be easier to find a good fit (assuming you get offers at both places).
As far as salary progression goes, it is very compressed. You start at 110 but don't get much higher until you make partner. The difference is that partnership track is 7 years and it's not as difficult to get there. I think it's a pretty fair shake, honestly. Associates get a lot more hands-on experience here. There are several BigLaw (NY, DC, etc.) laterals I've worked with this summer, and they've all reported that they came in below class-year because they just don't have the experience that the other mid-levels do here. Burning through doc review and due diligence for two straight years doesn't give you any transferable skills.