The more involved I get with the law firm/law school hiring process, the more boggled I am by the inefficiencies of the process. Some great/horrifying numbers:
of students offered summer jobs by “big” firms (> 250 lawyers):
- just 28% accept
- 40% of whom are gone by their 3rd year, and
- 62% of whom are gone by their 4th.
From an Adam Smith, Esq. post.
I know I’m spoiled because I tend to think of hiring as something that is done only after building up an extensive, volunteer-based relationship, which is obviously difficult to do in law. Still, the situation described in the Adam Smith post, and in this American Lawyer article, is pretty brutal- lots of time spent for very poor results. (Anyone who is curious about the process I’m personally about to go through starting next week should skim the American Lawyer article- it mentions Columbia’s process a fair bit.)
The article suggests that some firms avoid a more rigorous interview process because they think it would scare off potential hires, but frankly, if I knew a firm had a more rigorous interview process, I’d be much more likely to interview with them. I’ve had lousy co-workers before, and any firm that is working to weed those folks out before they set foot inside would be immensely appealing to me.