BigLaw Hiring Stats: Good News for BC

Yesterday, the National Law Journal published its annual list of the “Go-To Law Schools.” Unlike many other publications, NLJ uses only one piece of data to order its rankings – percentage of the graduating class heading to a job with one of the 250 largest law firms in the U.S.

BC moved up two spots in the 2015 rankings, from 23 to 21. The Class of 2014 sent 66 grads into first-year associate positions, 13 more than the Class of 2013.

Screen shot 2015-02-25 at 10.46.19 AM

Columns, sorted from left to right: Rank, School, Number of Associates at NLJ 250 Firms, 2014 Grads, Percent of Grads at NLJ 250 Firms

While BigLaw is only one of many career paths to consider in the legal world, this is obviously great news for current and future BC students looking to break into the field immediately after graduation.

The most common path to a full-time offer is through a firm’s Summer Associate program – in fact, a full-time offer rate of 100% to a summer class is commonplace. Based on what I’ve seen and heard about this upcoming summer from my colleagues in the Class of 2016, I expect this upward trend to continue.

For example, this upcoming May, June and July, I’ll be working as a Summer Associate alongside 11 other members of my class at a large firm in Boston. To provide some context, BC Law 2016 is comprised of about 230 students, which means that over 5% of the class found summer employment at one office alone.

To my knowledge, that number is about double what it was at the same office for the Class of 2015. Obviously it’s only anecdotal evidence, but it definitely corresponds with two propositions the NLJ rankings seem to support:

  1. BigLaw hiring is trending upwards across the board, both absolutely and percentage-wise.
  2. BC is outpacing the field by both metrics.

I am currently in my fourth semester at BC Law and my second as a member of the Boston College Law Review. Feel free to contact me with questions about my experience, BC Law, or law school in general. Comment here or send me an e-mail at rossire@bc.edu, and don’t forget to follow the Boston College Law Students Association on Twitter @BCLSA.

7 thoughts on “BigLaw Hiring Stats: Good News for BC

  1. I am a recently admitted student to BC Law. As a prospective student, I’m trying to learn more about the job placement and return on the investment. What happens to folks at BC Law who end up in the bottom half of the class? Is it worth going at sticker price? Even though I’m sure I sound really skeptical BC seems like a great school. Thanks for your input.

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    • Hi Anne, thank you for reaching out. I think it’s a pretty pervasive myth about law school in general that people who don’t finish in the top half of the class after 1L aren’t able to find jobs. I know BC’s employment figures for the past few graduating classes are somewhere in the mid-80 to 90% range (http://www.bc.edu/schools/law/services/career/about_us/stats_full.html).

      In addition, starting my 1L year (2013-14), BC’s Law Student Association and Career Services Office have been running a year-long “Bootcamp” program aimed at teaching the first year students how to maximize their marketability to employers. One of the founders of the program repeatedly stressed to us how he was able to land a job with a BigLaw firm despite being right around the middle of the class rank. (Here’s a profile of him in BC Law Magazine – http://lawmagazine.bc.edu/2014/07/the-making-of-a-networker/).

      Of course I would be remiss not to mention BC’s tremendous alumni network – alums are always coming back to campus and so many are incredibly willing to do anything they can to help students with their job hunts. Hope that helps! If you have any more questions or would like for me to put you in contact with some fellow students or alums, feel free to email me at rossire@bc.edu.

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  2. Hi Anne,

    Great question. The honest truth? BC Law gives you the tools (see above, “Boot Camp”) via Career Services, a deeply committed team of faculty and staff, and an administration that want nothing more than to grow able-minded, employable lawyers and well-rounded critical thinkers.

    Have a look at my post from January: “A Welcomed Deja Vu,” – https://bclawimpact.org/2015/01/20/a-welcomed-deja-vu/#more-112

    I’m not in the top 50% of my class, but BC Law gave me the necessary tools, trained me in lawyering, yes, but among other things, networking, social prowess, and connectivity. Even without being top of my class I exited OCI (On-Campus Recruiting) with a summer-associateship at a top tier firm and was given a full time offer of employment for the fall.

    I am now an associate within that firm’s London law firm, finishing my BC Law degree through our 26-years-strong Global Practice Partnership with King’s College School of Law, helping a team leading corporate business restructuring, worldwide. With BC Law, anything is possible.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions, I’m more than happy to chat.

    Damon J. Quattrochi ’15
    quattrod@bc.edu

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  3. Hi Anne, Thanks for your question. I’m sure this is something a lot of people have on their mind before attending law school, especially since the financial reality can be daunting. It is something to think carefully about, and I would recommend talking to your parents or mentors from work or school about your options. Definitely weigh your scholarship offers and don’t be afraid to ask for more, especially if you are interested in public interest or if similarly ranked schools have given you different amounts.

    Rob and Damon touched on the big firm opportunities that are available, but I want to emphasize that plenty of people graduate and go on to work for small or medium size firms or in public interest positions. Of course these jobs often come with more modest salaries, but if you work in public interest jobs there is loan forgiveness after ten years, and if you start out in a small or medium size firm there is always the option of moving laterally to a larger firm, if that is what interests you.

    If you’re willing to work hard, network, take on clinics and externships during the semester and do the most to maximize your time at BC I think you’ll find that there are plenty of paths to success. I’m happy to be in touch if you have any more questions, my email is foulkesl@bc.edu.

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