With more options, young lawyers still choose Big Law 

From diversity issues to burnout to pandemic economic cuts, big law firms have been placed under more scrutiny than ever. But none of the complications are steering top young law school graduates away.

  • The destinations for new graduates look the same as in years past: As Northwestern Law professor Daniel Linna told Law.com, firms remain the “bread and butter” for top students.

  • It’s not from a lack of other opportunities: More law students are learning data analytics, AI tools and other skills than ever. And more companies and consulting firms, who used to hire more experienced attorneys, are wanting young lawyers as they reckon with lower budgets for 2021.  

  • But the salary doesn’t always match: “I see plenty of these jobs outside of law firms [that] pay more and more,” Linna said to Law.com. “But at least based on what I’ve seen, for the majority of these jobs, it’s [still]  not quite comparable to what a majority of our students at Northwestern would be paid going into a big law firm.”

The big picture

Although many lawyers quickly tire of big firm life, they want mobility. Jared Coseglia, founder of TRU Staffing Partners, noted that traditional law firm experience can still keep nontraditional paths open in the future.    

The Verdict 

Certainly the bonuses don’t hurt, either. Even in 2020 associates are getting big payouts at the end of the year.