The 2008-2009 recession didn’t just translate to thousands of layoffs, it also meant the scaling back of training by lots of the large firms. For the first time since late 2008, last month was the first sign of positive job growth in the legal sector, albeit with a paltry 300 jobs (compared to 22,200 lost during the recession), and no one quite knows the quality of these jobs, either.
Despite the modest bump in jobs, however, large firm summer associate programs still remain non-existent, cut by about 80% due to the recession — and large firm clients still remain unwilling to pay for the legal work done by law student summer associates, making summer associate programs even more expensive for firms across the country.
Cutting jobs AND cutting training opportunities, however, may be the golden ticket for law grads as the recession abates and work picks up, especially with mid-level and senior level associates looking to escape from big firms. AbovetheLaw recently posted a great overview of the possible upcoming legal staffing shortage, available here.