Decrease in SA spots

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Nickg415
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Decrease in SA spots

Postby Nickg415 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:42 pm

It seems like there has been a significant decrease in SA this year. I am just curious about how we can interpret this fact. While its obviously not good that firms are lowering the number of SA they are taking on isn't it true that it is not indicative of a poor market as long as the % decrease in SA is not greater than the % decrease in the # of students enrolled?

swoozie
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Re: Decrease in SA spots

Postby swoozie » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:47 pm

I'd like to see the SA numbers, can you point me to where you find them?

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Re: Decrease in SA spots

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:48 pm

I think its speculation at this point. I know Stroock told me at my school that their class was going to be smaller. I'd like to hear what interviewers have told other people to be able to make a blanket statement that all class sizes are decreasing.

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Re: Decrease in SA spots

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:55 pm

It is the result of a poor market, don't kid yourself.

It's not that things are that much worse than last year or the year before, it's just that they didn't get better like everyone expected. It's still ITE...

Also, the only enrollment that matters is T14 enrollment. Is it down ~5%? I don't think so, but i could be wrong.

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Nickg415
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Re: Decrease in SA spots

Postby Nickg415 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It is the result of a poor market, don't kid yourself.

It's not that things are that much worse than last year or the year before, it's just that they didn't get better like everyone expected. It's still ITE...

Also, the only enrollment that matters is T14 enrollment. Is it down ~5%? I don't think so, but i could be wrong.


Definitely I have already resigned myself to the fact that the market isn't going to return to its pre-recession state but it seems that as long as there aren't as many students competing for SA spots (decrease in enrollment), and assuming firms aren't going to dip lower into a given schools class ranking, a decrease in SA numbers doesn't necessary mean things are getting worst. Instead it could be interpreted as the legal market acclimating to the supply of graduates (given that the decrease in SA is less/equal to the decrease in enrollment.

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sundance95
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Re: Decrease in SA spots

Postby sundance95 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:40 pm

Nickg415 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It is the result of a poor market, don't kid yourself.

It's not that things are that much worse than last year or the year before, it's just that they didn't get better like everyone expected. It's still ITE...

Also, the only enrollment that matters is T14 enrollment. Is it down ~5%? I don't think so, but i could be wrong.


Definitely I have already resigned myself to the fact that the market isn't going to return to its pre-recession state but it seems that as long as there aren't as many students competing for SA spots (decrease in enrollment), and assuming firms aren't going to dip lower into a given schools class ranking, a decrease in SA numbers doesn't necessary mean things are getting worst. Instead it could be interpreted as the legal market acclimating to the supply of graduates (given that the decrease in SA is less/equal to the decrease in enrollment.

anon's point is that the overall decline in law school applications doesn't matter, because the schools that are experiencing declining enrollment never produced students that were competitive for SAs.

anon is correct; the fact that there are fewer overall law school applications doesn't alter the fact that there are the same number of SA-competitive law students competing for fewer SA positions.

09042014
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Re: Decrease in SA spots

Postby 09042014 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:48 pm

Was 2013 worse than 2011 or 2010?

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guano
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Re: Decrease in SA spots

Postby guano » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:53 pm

Nickg415 wrote: it could be interpreted as the legal market acclimating to the supply of graduates (given that the decrease in SA is less/equal to the decrease in enrollment.

This is flawed logic. Firm demand for JDs are not affected by the supply. An increase in supply doesn't affect the quantity demanded, but rather the price necessary. In this case it means that firms could pay less. For reasons specific to the insurance industry, biglaw associate pay won't go down, but under the circumstances it certainly won't go up any time soon. Midlaw and boutiques, which don't have the same pressures, can decrease starting salaries. Taking a quick look at NALP buying power index, associate pay in Atlanta, for example, dropped significantly from 2010 (when Atlanta was ranked in the top 5) to 2011. (Someone please link, I'm on my phone)

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Nickg415
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Re: Decrease in SA spots

Postby Nickg415 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:04 pm

guano wrote:
Nickg415 wrote: it could be interpreted as the legal market acclimating to the supply of graduates (given that the decrease in SA is less/equal to the decrease in enrollment.

This is flawed logic. Firm demand for JDs are not affected by the supply. An increase in supply doesn't affect the quantity demanded, but rather the price necessary. In this case it means that firms could pay less. For reasons specific to the insurance industry, biglaw associate pay won't go down, but under the circumstances it certainly won't go up any time soon. Midlaw and boutiques, which don't have the same pressures, can decrease starting salaries. Taking a quick look at NALP buying power index, associate pay in Atlanta, for example, dropped significantly from 2010 (when Atlanta was ranked in the top 5) to 2011. (Someone please link, I'm on my phone)


I guess what I'm saying is that the firms will take less people because they will hold to their cut offs so if a firm normally looks at the top 1/3 of a given school for their SA and that school has decreased its class size, there will be less people that the firm will look at. I think Sundance brings up a good point though. Even if overall enrollment has gone down, most of this is due to drastic cuts in class sizes in the lower ranked schools which place the top 10% or so students in competitive SA positions (complete estimation). Relatively the top schools haven't changed their class sizes much so their SA numbers shouldn't change that much.

09042014
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Re: Decrease in SA spots

Postby 09042014 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:10 pm

Firms don't have dogmatic cuttoffs like that. It's not how it works.

2011-2013 is just the new normal.

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guano
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Re: Decrease in SA spots

Postby guano » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:12 pm

A firm will hire as many associates as a firm needs. Firms are much pickier now than they were 10 years ago. Firms don't publish their cutoffs (even if they claim to hire only top X on their websites). Blah blah scooped blah blah

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Icculus
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Re: Decrease in SA spots

Postby Icculus » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:15 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Firms don't have dogmatic cuttoffs like that. It's not how it works.

2011-2013 is just the new normal.


This. People need to realize that law firm hiring is not the same as law school admissions. Firms are far more flexible and there is no way a firm that wants 15 associates is only going to hire 12 because of a decline in admissions.




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