Is This Big Law’s New Minor League?
Oct. 28 (Bloomberg Law) — Is the way Big Law hires new lawyers about to change? With the legal market still recovering from the recession, one Am Law 50 firm is going to try something different.
Greenberg Traurig is starting a firm wide residency program for law school graduates. Typically, only students at top law schools, or that rank at the very top of their class at lower-ranked schools, have a chance to work in Big Law. But through this program the firm hopes to find talented young lawyers that would have slipped through the traditional on-campus interview process.
The residents will be paid significantly less than first-year associates but, after a year, the top performers will have a shot at becoming regular partner-track associates, and earn as much as $160,000 a year.
The program also addresses a frequent criticism: That new associates aren’t practice-ready. One-third of residents’ hours can be spent on training. Clients win too; the matters the residents work on will be billed at a much lower rate.
But can a farm system for law firm associates catch on at major league firms? It’s too soon to tell.