Interest in Summer Jobs at Top Firms Cools Down (

Leigh Jones
The National Law Journal

Tom Nosewicz interviewed with about 15 top law firms during Stanford Law School’s recruiting season last fall. He heard promises of big money, engaging work and a shot at full-time employment once he completed his law degree.

“I did so many interviews it was sort of ridiculous. I felt like a salesman,” said Nosewicz, who just finished his second year at Stanford.

Later this month, he’ll head to New York to begin that summer job. But he has decided against filling a slot at one of the big firms that courted him last fall. Instead, he has taken a job without pay at the federal defender’s office, where he said he’ll get “on-the-ground training” not available as a summer associate at a megafirm.

Nosewicz, 26, is part of a faction of law students at top schools whom associate-hungry law firms are salivating over, but who nevertheless are rejecting big firms’ advances for what they say are more meaningful summer jobs.

Although the majority of law school graduates continue to take jobs in the private sector, the percentage of jobs at private firms — particularly large ones — has declined each year since the class of 2001. At the same time, the number of attorney jobs across all sectors has increased, according to NALP, a Washington-based nonprofit that tracks legal employment. In addition, the number of graduates has remained at about 40,000 for several years. (more. . .)