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White & Case Churns Out More Partners; Summer Associate Scene in Texas is Subdued; Students Flock to U Mass Law School

Vivia Chen

May 27, 2010

Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Many already are heading out of town, others of you might be resigned to spending the weekend with that antitrust memo your assigning partner is waiting for.

One thing's for sure--no one is in the mood for a long rant about the legal profession. So today I'm passing on a few bits I've culled from around the Web and my e-mail inbox. 

White & Case Anoints More New Partners

White & Case announced six more partner promotions this week, with lawyers in Abu Dhabi, London, Moscow, Prague, and New York getting bumped up (the lawyer in New York will be relocating to China). I found it interesting that lots of the action seems to be happening internationally--what does that say about where the business, and the priorities, are? Aside from this, naming new partners is fairly routine stuff, except that White & Case has been churning them out recently at a pace we can hardly keep up with--the firm promoted 33 associates just this past January. I reached out to the firm to ask if naming partners midyear is unusual for White & Case, and if more announcements will come in 2010. Firm spokesman Nick Clarke, in an e-mail response, says the firm "expect[s] to add more in the weeks and months ahead" (either through promotions or lateral hires). "We base our partner promotions and lateral hiring primarily on the needs of our clients and our business, and we typically announce our partner promotions at the end of each year," he writes. We'll be interested to see what the tally will be at year end.

Fewer Summer Associates--Even In Texas

Energy work is hot, hot, hot, and big Texas firms--along with others who've moved into the Houston market this past year--are dominating in this area. Still, those firms remain cautions about hiring, reports Texas Lawyer, a sibling publication. Baker Botts has hired 51 summer associates in all of its Texas offices, a drop of 37.8 percent from the number of summers hired last year (82), Texas Lawyer says. Another biggie, Vinson & Elkins, will bring on 82 summer associates this year, down from 120 in 2009.

"We're definitely wanting to make sure we stay aligned with our needs," Vinson & Elkins hiring partner Cristina Rodriguez says. The paper notes that most of the state's largest firms are staying aligned with their business needs by bringing in fewer summer associates for 2010.

Read Texas Lawyer's full report here.


UMass Law School Swamped With Applicants

The rumors that law is no longer a top career choice are exaggerated, if law school enrollment is any indication. According to a report in the Boston Herald, The University of Massachusetts School of Law says it received over 400 applicants for its inaugural class this coming September; 127 have enrolled. And all indications are that those numbers will only increase going forward--according to the Herald, the school says it has received more than 1,000 inquires from prospective students interested in enrolling in September 2011. That's pretty good for a law school that doesn't even figure in the national rankings.

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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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