The End of Summer (Programs)

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3 Responses

  1. Andrew Lund says:

    Good post, Michael. I’m skeptical of the “permanency” of any of this, though. In my experience, few people thought that summer programs were anything other than a way to induce talented law students to pick Firm A over Firm B. In that way, summer programs were really a form of signing bonus.

    It stands to reason that, as the associate labor market has turned to a buyer’s market, summer programs – like all other forms of associate compensation – have taken a hit. But none of this is irreversible assuming, as you (correctly, I think) do, that the market will rebound. We might as well say that significant year-end bonuses will never return.

    I agree that 3L hiring might make more sense if firms could be certain that none of their competitors would defect. You say as much in your post, but that’s unlikely to be the case, right? Rightly or wrongly, the big firms are extraordinarily sensitive to marginal gains or losses in whatever criteria (grades, school, etc.) they use for hiring purposes. Unless firms stop caring whether their first-years were in the top 10% at Harvard vs. the top 75%, I’d expect that the only thing stopping lavish summer programs will be extraordinary economic downturns.

    Best,
    Andrew

  2. USD Law Student says:

    speaking as a 2L looking for a job its not fun right now. I dont really treat any of the jobs that im looking for as some type of compensatory incentive to choose firm a over firm b. I look at them as a way to develop useful skills that make me better as a future lawyer and more marketable as a job applicant. no one i know, even at the top ranker schools, is finding an employees market right now.

  3. Maryland Law Student says:

    I’m currently a 2L participating in OCI, and the biggest concern that students have in my year is that the economy WILL bounce back and firms will return to their traditional practices for summer programs, but too late for our year. So, the students in years after us will be locked into summer programs/more or less guaranteed offers while my year will constantly have to explain “Well, I was Class of 2011 so it was much harder to find a summer associate position during our OCI” and we will be scrambling to find jobs after graduation that may only be available for the deferred students of Class of ’09 or ’10 or will not be there at all due to firms accommodating their traditional 2L summer programs.
    I’m not sure if that would be the case, but it increasingly feels like Class of 2011 will be the Lost Generation.