Anonymous User wrote:BB 2013 offer rate (in Texas offices): 93%
V&E 2013 offer rate (in Texas offices): 88%
Source: http://www.law360.com/articles/458866/t ... iate-slots
This may get taken down because of C/R. . . but for the greater good for those w/o access.
Here is the article:
Law360, Dallas (August 23, 2013, 4:41 PM ET) -- Though Texas continues to be a bright spot in the U.S. legal market, its big firms continue to carefully limit summer associate class sizes as client demand for young attorneys remains below pre-recession levels and job offers are accepted at sky-high rates.
Despite an energy boom that’s driving the state’s economic growth and serving as a major engine for Texas firms, hiring partners say they don’t expect summer class ranks to return to the heydays of 2006 and 2007, but to instead stay pegged closely to their projected needs. Competition for summer associate slots remains high, drawing top-tier candidates from across the country, and some firms say they’ve seen increased interest from out-of-state students who are attracted to the stability of the Texas market.
Jadd Masso, a litigation partner and member of the recruiting team at Strasburger & Price LLP, said having a smaller, more focused summer program has worked for the firm because the associates are concentrating on getting their work done instead of fighting with each other for limited positions.
“We’re very clear about our intent — we don’t hire 20 clerks with the expectation to give 10 offers,” Masso said. “It eliminates that element of competition.”
Firms are adding to their energy practices and overall say they’re hiring summer associates for perennial heavy-hitting practice groups like general litigation and corporate mergers and acquisitions. But the firms are relying more than ever on data and work projections for years down the road, keeping summer classes tightly tied to actual client demand, they say.
With acceptance rates from law students sky-high at the state’s largest firms, hiring partners say it’s crucial they can walk into on-campus interviewing rounds with detailed projections for what their hiring needs will be across the offices and practice groups two years down the road, when the students interviewing would join the firm full-time.
“The math has shifted,” said Van Beckwith, hiring partner at Baker Botts LLP, which had a 2013 summer class including 46 second-year students in Texas and a 93 percent offer rate.
Beckwith said the firm takes a holistic look at its needs and factors in how many summer associates might split their summers with another firm and how many summer hires will delay joining the firm to spend a year in a judicial clerkship. The result is that the firm is able to better evaluate its summer classes, as clerks handle real assignments for real clients, he said.
“If they do what we expect, we want to say in return we’re going to be able to tell them about their future at Baker Botts,” he said.
Strasburger & Price LLP had a Texas class of 12 summer associates and an overall 75 percent offer rate this year, and Masso said the firm’s “slow and steady” growth strategy has served it well during the economic downturn.
For Vinson & Elkins LLP, which had a summer class including 56 2Ls in Texas and an 88 percent offer rate, the class sizes are partly a function of declining client demand for the kind of work young associates typically handle, said Doug Bland, the firm’s hiring partner. The firm has seen more companies handle in-house what was traditionally considered “first-year work” or use smaller firms that charge lower rates for those jobs.
“It’s harder in the business world to justify carrying associates when client demands for new associates are somewhat softer than they would be,” Bland said. “It’s pushing the numbers down somewhat of entry-level people, which is to the detriment of the students.”
But the relative strength of the Texas market has made it an attractive choice not just for students at the state’s nine law schools, but firms say they’re also drawing more applications from all over the country as Houston, Dallas and Austin build their reputations as destination cities for legal work. The increased talent pool has many Texas firms saying they’re seeing better resumes and drawing more top-tier students than ever before.
At Locke Lord LLP, which had a summer class including 25 2Ls in Texas and an 88 percent offer rate, recruiters are fielding higher interest in the firm’s three Texas offices from students outside of the South, spokeswoman Julie Gilbert said.
“We have historically interviewed at top law schools across the country, but this year we have had stronger schedules and more interest in folks wanting to return ‘home’ as well as those who want to move to Texas for the strong legal market,” she said.
Andrews Kurth LLP, which had a class including 30 second-year students in Texas and a 95 percent offer rate, and Munsch Hardt Kopf & Karr PC, which offered positions to seven of its nine summer associates, said they have seen more interest this year from out-of-state students and schools than in the past.
As competition for summer class positions grows, hiring partners say high acceptance rates from their clerks are contributing to the shrinking summer class size, especially among the firms that have limited their summer programs to the first half of the term instead of offering a second-half program, meaning fewer options for students who want to split summer work.
“More students are accepting offers,” said David Schulte of Thompson & Knight LLP, which hired 17 summer associates in Texas and had a statewide 70 percent offer rate. “That’s a function of today’s legal landscape and the atmosphere for law students.”
Thompson & Knight is one of the handful Texas firms that now offers summer associate programs only in the first half. The shift means students have to decide in the fall of their second years which firm to join, forcing them to do their homework early on to figure out where they want to end up after graduation, instead of making that choice after spending their summers working at several different firms.
At Vinson & Elkins, split summer rates have dropped sharply as law firms trimmed their summer classes and eliminated second-half programs. The firm says that while in 2007, 94 percent of its summer associates split the term with another firm, that number had fallen to 65 percent in 2010 and this year was only half of the summer class.
“The really top students still are able to split and to get a choice,” Bland said. “Some of the others might not have an attractive second choice.”
Bland said the firm will have a slightly smaller summer 2014 class, as it corrects from several years of higher-than expected acceptance rates, which since 2010 have consistently been above 80 percent compared with the firm’s previous average of about 60 to 70 percent acceptance.
--Editing by Jeremy Barker and Sarah Golin.