Summer Associate Opportunities on the Rise

Fall 2010

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In what may be one encouraging sign of economic recovery, the number of law
firms interviewing students at Columbia Law School’s Early Interview Program
(EIP) jumped 17 percent compared to last year, said Petal Modeste, dean of
Career Services.

The increase in recruitment during the EIP, which provides second- and third-year students an opportunity to secure summer associate positions at leading firms, follows two consecutive years during which many large firms severely limited their hiring. Now, Modeste said, it seems as though these firms are once again looking to grow their legal teams.

“The market outlook appears to be better,” she added. “Based on what I’m hearing from firm partners, I get the sense that they expect business in a year or two to be at a high enough level where new hires will be kept employed and productive.”

This year, students took advantage of 8,780 interview slots, which marked an 8 percent increase over last year’s figure. Despite the increase in opportunity, competition for securing these summer positions remains fierce. “But, based on the strong turnout at EIP by both law firms and students,” Modeste said, “I’m optimistic that this will translate into more job opportunities.”

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