Minnesota Litigator had the pleasure of spending time recently with a successful partner at a large international law firm who pointed out that the top-tier law firms summer associate classes have been drastically reduced in recent years. As each powerful firm slashes its pipeline of recruits by 50% or more, the talent glut floods the market from the top down. Things seem to be getting better, but that’s not saying much. The future for new lawyers is looking very bleak at the moment. How is a young aspiring lawyer to stand out?
Of course, the answer to this question has never changed: hard, hard, hard work and luck. One extremely entrepreneurial applicant at a large New York firm explained that she had left her home town and spent a law school summer in Alaska where she had no connections of any kind. Apparently, up there, in very little time, a law student can first chair trials (!?!). This young lawyer-to-be, before graduation from law school, did bail hearings, pleas and the like, and had first chaired a number of trials (including a felony trial (with supervision)) rivaling the experience of many senior civil litigators.
It is that kind of drive that can make a difference in the current ferociously competitive legal climate. She got a job offer and the large firm eagerly awaits her arrival on graduation.
Seth Leventhal is a Minnesota trial lawyer who did not go to the North Pole to try cases, but has first-chaired trials in the Twin Cities area over his 16 years of Minnesota Litigation experience.