To prove that I'm not always Miss Doom and Gloom--some sort of Nouriel Roubini of the legal profession--I'm delivering some happy news for a change. Listen up, because I'll be back over at the dark side before you know it:
• Summer hiring for 2011 seems to be bouncing back at some major firms, reports The Am Law Daily: Cravath, Swaine & Moore will increase its summer class size from 23 to about 75 next summer. That's a big jump, though not the summer class size of 123 that the firm had back in 2009. Am Law Daily also reports that Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is expected to hire about 100 summers next year, as compared with just 79 this year.
• The season's not even over, but some summer associates are already sitting pretty: Both Latham & Watkins's Washington, D.C., office and Pepper Hamilton's Philadelphia office just gave their summer associates a really nice going-away present: offers for everyone. (Above the Law)
• Covington & Burling is unfreezing associate salary in its D.C. office. According to ATL, it signals "that firms are starting to notice that associates have some options about where they work."
There's also joy at Sheppard & Mullin, where the starting salary has rebounded back to $160,000 after dipping to $145,000, reports ATL.
• Decent if not quite good news from our neighbors in New Jersey. "Members of the class of 2009 at Seton Hall and
Rutgers law schools were hired at a rate of 90.6 percent as of February 15,
the fifth-best performance of any state in the country," according to NALP, reports New Jersey Law Journal.
But don't pack your bags for Snooki's home state just yet: New Jersey 2009 graduates also "earn the fourth-lowest median salary of reporting respondents--$46,000 a year--ahead of only South Dakota, Vermont, and Montana." Yikes--those are some pretty off-the-beaten track destinations. "That compares to a national median salary of $72,000 for 2009 graduates working full-time. And it's well behind the national leaders, New York and Massachusetts, which each offer $160,000."
• Finally, I'm proud to be a Texan again. As you might recall, I had a post about the University of Texas dormitory that was named in honor of William Stewart Simkins, a UT law professor and Ku Klux Klan leader. Recently the regents of UT unanimously voted to wipe Simkins's name off the dorm, which is now called Creekside Dormitory.
Hook 'em Horns!
Do you have topics you'd like to discuss or tips to share? Email The Careerist's chief blogger Vivia Chen at VChen@alm.com.