Entry-level jobs growth at US firms may have ended

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Entry-level jobs at US firms last summer were flat, a new study suggests, which may mean that growth has ended.

More than half of law firms responding to the National Association of Law Placement survey said that they had made fewer associate offers than in the previous year – the first time that’s been the case in four years.

“After a period of considerable volatility marked first by a prolonged slowdown in law student recruiting volumes following the recession and then a rapid escalation in recruiting volumes for two years running, we have seen the recruiting market stabilize this year,” said James Leipold, NALP executive director.

“Recruiting volumes remain at a very high level, but the numbers were mostly flat compared to last year, and in some cases we saw some contractions, suggesting that the most recent period of growth has ended, or at the very least slowed,” he said.

The median number of offers marginally decreased to 11.5 from 12 across all surveyed firms. This is still above the seven median reported in post-crisis 2009, but below the 16 reported in 2005. Another indication that the market for entry-level jobs at US firms was flat is the drop in interview-to-offer ratios to 53.3% from 53.8%.

Nonetheless, the NALP has good news for upcoming law grads amid the flat market. It said that graduating classes will continue to shrink through at least 2019.

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