Working in Law Firms


More lawyers work in law firms than in any other sector of legal practice. According to the National Association for Law Placement’s national statistics, 52.9% of all law school graduates in 2016 began their legal careers in law firms. Law firm practice is also a very popular job choice at YLS. As reflected in our employment statistics, many of our students work for law firms for the summer and after graduation.

Large law firms in major metropolitan areas have organized summer programs for which they will hire many second-year students and a handful of first-year students as “summer associates.” These firms typically make permanent job offers to their second-year summer associates in the hopes of having them return upon their graduation or upon completion of a judicial clerkship. Most second-year students interested in large law firm practice interview and secure offers through CDO’s August Fall Interview Program, otherwise known as FIP. Smaller and regional law firms tend to hire students on a later time frame, and often only when they have a particular need. First-year students seeking law firm employment should commence that outreach in December.

Use the subsections of this site to learn more about law firm practice.

Alumni Narratives Focused on Law Firms