The legal sector seems to be exhaling. But the mood in hiring is still cautious, at least in Texas. Jeanne Graham reports in TEXAS LAWYER that 13.4% fewer first-year associates were hired in TX firms this year as compared to the one before. This is the third year of such a decline in numbers. The good news is that they started on the date they were supposed to. That is, no deferments.
The cut in percentage aligns with the nationwide trend of firms having to put more senior lawyers on client accounts. Clients balk at having newbies doing the work. They contend that they are not going to subsidize the training of JDs right out of law school. This screams the issue: where are inexperienced lawyers going to get experience? Those thinking radically propose eliminating law schools and bringing back the apprentice system.