Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Featured Articles: Cherry Office Furniture - How to Find Cherry Office Furniture to Email A Fax - How to Email a Fax

Chicago Law Firms - Economic Downturn in Chicago Law Firms Has a Silver Lining

public recent lawyers graduates

Chicago is the third most populous city in the U.S. Nearly three million people call Chicago home, and nearly 40,000 of them are lawyers in more than 7,000 law firms. Chicago lawyers represent clients from all over the world in every area of law imaginable.

There are six American Bar Association approved law schools in the Chicago metropolitan area: The John Marshall School of Law, Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, DePaul University School of Law, and University of Chicago Law School. These six Chicago-area law schools graduate approximately 1700 new lawyers each year.

What is happening to graduates of the city’s six law schools? Can a legal community with such a large concentration of law schools absorb so many new lawyers every year? How does a legal community as large as Chicago respond in an economic downturn?

According to a recent survey of Chicago lawyers, more than 80% of the largest law firms in Chicago reported plans to hire fewer new associates this year than in 2009. The top five Chicago law firms dramatically reduced the number of new associates hired. It is a less than optimum scenario for recent law school graduates many of whom are graduating from law school deeply in financial aid debt. Yet, the Chicago legal community, Chicago area law schools, and area non-profits are stepping up to find unique alternatives to employ recent graduates.

Often the imminent heavy burden of financial aid debt prevents young lawyers from accepting lower-paying jobs in the public service sector. Rarely do the best and brightest young legal minds end up representing the poor or public interest non-profit organizations. Chicago’s Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI), founded in 1977 to promote an awareness and interest in public interest law and providing legal services to the poor, is working with Chicago law firms and law schools to place recent graduates in deferral public interest rotations for incoming new associates.

Traditionally recent graduates who pass the Bar Exam begin work right away as an associate for the law firm that recruited them. Now many Chicago law firms are working with PILI to defer the start date for new associates by encouraging and paying them to do a fellowship or rotation in the public service sector.

This is creating a win-win-win. Chicago law firms are reducing firm overhead costs and fulfilling a commitment to pro bono work. The firms are also less expensively building the skills of their new associates. Public service agencies, non-profits, and legal services for the poor benefit from the services of bright young lawyers. Recent graduates are employed and earning money.

A public service sector rotation may not provide the money they would ordinarily earn as a first year associate at a prestigious Chicago law firm, but it beats being unemployed. Working in the public service sector, the recent graduates are learning valuable practical skills and expanding their own network in the legal community.

Economy Rental Car - How to Drive More Affordably With an Economy Rental Car [next] [back] Ecommerce Small Business - 4 Things Your Need to Do Before Launching Your Ecommerce Small Business

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or