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Employer Quarterly Newsletter
Volume 11 | Winter 2019

Inside This Edition:

  • Feature Story: Big Law Recruiting And The Impact On All Of Us

  • Around The Legal Industry: The state of law firm innovation 2018, Millennial attorneys and work-life: why 'blend' may be better than 'balance,' Five keys to successfully transitioning clients across generations, and Waco gains another intellectual property firm

  • Around Baylor Law School: Baylor Law rises two spots within the US News Top 50, 2018 Ultimate Writer competition winners announced, and Baylor Law team advances to AAJ national mock trial competition by defeating another Baylor Law team

  • Calendar and Upcoming Events: Winter and Spring Commencements, Fall OCI registration, and Professional Development speaking opportunities

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Big Law Recruiting And Its Impact On All Of Us

Big Law recruiting sets the tone for the majority of law student recruiting, and there have been enough changes in recent years that an update is warranted. For the Big Law employers this will be helpful to the extent it provides you a law school perspective on how we see the industry. For our small and mid-size firms, government, and other employers, this will give you some insight into the legal recruiting market and how you can either compete with Big Law or avoid it altogether!


First, it is important to define Big Law. While NALP and others may have a specific definition based upon firm size, we believe that is too limiting. In our office, and for the purposes of this article, Big Law includes any firm that pays at or near the current Big Law rate for first year associates (currently $190,000), recruits only the top academic students (Top 25%), and either 1) builds a recruiting pipeline beginning with a summer clerk program almost certain to come with a full-time offer, or 2) recruits directly out of federal judicial clerkships.


Now that we’ve established what a Big Law firm is, how are they recruiting and what has changed?

  1. Big Law firms begin recruiting students during their 1L year. Holiday receptions in firm offices are common, and interviews for 1L summer clerk positions take place in January. Firms often request to visit campus in the spring to get in front of students before the summer and On-Campus Interviews in August. The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) recently rescinded its guidelines preventing contact between firms and 1Ls before December 1st. Beginning in Fall 2019, each law school will determine its own timeline for 1L recruitment, allowing for the possibility that firms could begin recruiting earlier in the 1L year.
  2. Big Law On-Campus Interviews for 2L positions now take place in early August (our Big Law OCI dates are August 7th – 9th). Now, firms attempt to conduct second-round (i.e. callback) interviews soon after the initial screening interview to get offers out before the end of August. In the past, NALP guidelines encouraged law firms to leave offers open for 28 days. That guideline was also recently rescinded, and it is unclear what, if any, offer-holding period will exist, though this policy could vary school to school.
  3. Summer clerkships are now eight to twelve weeks. It wasn’t that long ago that, at least in Texas, firms offered “split summers” of six weeks each. Those days are gone. It is now almost impossible for a student to combine a Big Law clerkship with another experience in the same summer (although Baylor’s longer summer can provide more of these opportunities than other schools).


The Big Law recruitment model of committing full-time positions two years ahead is one that most other employers simply can’t replicate. However, a benefit of this recruitment model is that the Big Law class is established by fall of the second year and everyone else is up for grabs! Firms who prioritize recruiting can and should begin targeting non-Big Law students early to build a relationship and begin identifying possible candidates. Below are just a few suggestions:

  1. Visit campus to present on a topic, judge a competition, or otherwise engage with students in a non-interview environment.
  2. Host students at your firm for a reception, CLE, or other event to continue the relationship.
  3. Interview second-year students on-campus in late August or early November for a 2L summer clerkship with no promise of a job, which students welcome if expectations are properly set up front.

Any student engagement is better than none, and the earlier the better. While many of the non-Big Law students are still available from early in their 2L year to early in their 3L year, the pool begins to shrink soon after that. If a firm calls us in the spring or summer needing a Top 50% 3L or recent graduate, we rarely can help.

As always, the Baylor Law Career Development Office wants to be a resource for all our employer partners, so please reach out to us if we can offer guidance on these or any other topics you have questions about. Thank you!

Around the Legal World
The State of Law Firm Innovation 2018
Toward the end of 2018, I conducted an industry-wide survey to better assess where the legal market stands on the subject of innovation in the law firm. Comprising 18 questions (written with much help and support from my colleague Patrick McKenna) I set out to understand how firms generally think about, set their cultures around and invest in innovation. (Click here for full story).
Millennial Attorneys and Work-Life: Why 'Blend' May Be Better Than 'Balance'
A few weeks ago, I received an email likely familiar to many millennial attorneys: a Friday, 8 p.m. communication informing me of an unavoidable work emergency that would require me to scrap some of my weekend plans. It is an email I have received multiple times over the course of my career. Emails such as this have occasionally prompted me to caveat plans I make with friends or family with a disclaimer that my availability is tentative.. (Click here for full story).
Five Keys to Successfully Transitioning Clients Across Generations
Client relationship succession planning is a top concern among law firm leaders. Citibank’s 2019 Client Advisory devoted a section to this topic. Firms of all stripes frequently develop goals to in their strategic plans to facilitate more effective client relationship transitions. However, according to the results of an insightful survey by the Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society (ALAS) released to its member firms last year, there is room for many firms to take a more formal and proactive approach to effectively transition client relationships across generations. (Click here for the full story).
Waco gains another intellectual property law firm
Another large Texas law firm is hoping to take advantage of Waco’s budding prospects for becoming a hotbed for patent cases by opening an office in Waco. Officials with Gray Reed, a 140-lawyer firm with offices in Houston and Dallas, say the firm expects to better serve its Waco-based clients, build on its strong ties to Waco and handle the expected surge of intellectual property (IP) cases expected to be filed in the Western District of Texas. (Click here for full story).
Around Baylor Law
Baylor Law Rises Two Spots Within the Top 50 in 2019 U.S. News Law School Rankings & Three Spots to #2 in Trial Advocacy
Baylor Law is now ranked at #48 within the “Top 50” in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” This marks the second consecutive year of ascent for Baylor Law, the only Texas law school to achieve this goal. In 2018, Baylor Law ranked #50 in the same ranking. There are 203 ABA-accredited law schools in the nation. Click here for more.

2018 Ultimate Writer Competition Winners Announced
Baylor Law is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Ultimate Writer Competition. The first-place winner is Aaron Horner (‘20), second-place winner is Ryan Owen (‘20), and Patrick Kelly (‘19) took third place. Honorable mentions were received by Anthony Stokes (’19) and Sarah Van Sciver (’20). In addition to cash awards for the top three competitors, each were awarded an opportunity to interview for an internship with the prestigious appellate law firm Kelly, Durham, and Pittard, LLP in Dallas, Texas. Click here for more.

Baylor Law Team Advances to American Association for Justice National Mock Trial Competition by Defeating... a Baylor Law Team
Two Baylor Law teams went head-to-head in the finals of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) regional Student Advocacy Competition after both teams swept their semi-finals. When it was over, the team of Patrick Crosby, Mason Jones, Joshua Dinsmore, and Maria McIntyre prevailed over the team of Aryanna Bradford, Mason Dunnam, Angela Gowing, and Phil Ricker. The winning team now advances to the AAJ national competition on April 11-13th in Philadelphia. Click here for more.
Career Development
Office Events
February 2, 2019 and April 27, 2019

Four times per year a new crop of Baylor Lawyers is prepared to help you and your team. Click here to post a job today.

August 7-9 (Session I / Big Law); August 22-23 (Session II / Mid and Small Firms) 

Fall On-Campus Interviews
Session I / Big Law registration is now open. Session II registration open April 1st. Check the website for details. On-Campus as well as video interview and resume collection options are available. These sessions are predominately for 2L students seeking 2020 summer clerkships. 

Fall and Winter 2019/20 

Professional Development Speakers Wanted
Our professional development program is second to none. We put together programming throughout the year, and work with practitioners like you who want to get in front of our students, or just enjoy presenting and teaching. Please contact us to express your interest!

Want more information? Visit our website or contact Daniel Hare, Director of Employer Relations and Engagement, at Daniel_Hare@Baylor.edu or 254.710.7617 to get more information on how Baylor Law School's Career Development Office can assist you with all your hiring needs.

Employer Quarterly is an e-newsletter created by Baylor Law School's Career Development Office. Designed for the benefit of you, the employer, we welcome story ideas and comments. Please contact Daniel Hare to submit suggestions or for any hiring questions or needs.

Baylor Law School, Career Development Office, One Bear Place #97288, Waco, Texas 76798
254.710.1210 | baylor.edu/law/cd
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