Skadden to Cut Summer Class by Half, Change Recruiting Process

Below is a great recap of a trend predicted earlier this year by Warren Recruiting. While the impact by Skadden is irrelevant (statiscally), the ensuing Domino effect will have repurcusions throughout the legal industry.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is cutting the size of its 2010 summer associate class by half and adjusting its recruitment strategy by making all of its offers on a single day in late September, according to a copy of a letter the firm will send to prospective summers.

Skadden hired 225 summer associates this year and expects to hire a little more than 100 next year, though the precise figure will depend on offer acceptance rates, says Howard Ellin, Skadden’s recruiting partner.

The firm will not rescind offers to any prospective 2010 summers; if, say, 150 summers accept, the firm will hire all 150 even though that number exceeds the figure it currently has in mind, Ellin says.

“That is unprofessional and a shock to our conscience,” he says of rescinding offers.
The letter also contains good news for 2009 summers: The firm plans to offer full-time positions to 95 percent of them, although they will not start until 2011.
Those lucky enough to land spots in Skadden’s 2010 summer class will receive those offers on the same day–Sept. 22, which the firm has dubbed “Skadden Offer Day.” The firm will continue to give those who receive offers 45 days to evaluate them in compliance with informal guidelines set by the National Association for Law Placement (NALP).

The change comes in response to the growing number of law schools who have pushed first- and second-round interviews up to late August and early September, Ellin says.

He and Carol Sprague, Skadden’s director of associate and alumni relations and attorney recruiting, are interviewing at Harvard Law School today, and the school’s callback week starts on Sept. 11. Other top schools have moved to similar timetables, and more law firm recruiters have openly expressed their discomfort with a recruiting timetable that requires them to make summer offers almost a year in advance.

In the past Skadden has made offers on a rolling timetable that has extended in some cases past Thanksgiving, but the increasingly early interview schedule–plus the 45-day guideline–has created a situation where making the decision earlier is best for the firm, and, perhaps, for the students.

“The fact that schools are now front-loading in August and September has squeezed things so tightly that it made this an easy thing to do,” Ellin says.
Whether the firm continues the single-day offer strategy depends in part on whether firms, schools and NALP can come together to push back the recruiting calender.
“This does not make sense anymore, and in our judgment needs to change,” Ellin says. “And it will take all the various constituencies, primarily the schools, with prodding from the law firms.”

Skadden also plans to sink more attorney resources into the recruiting process. Two attorneys instead of one will conduct as many on-campus interviews as possible, and prospective summers who visit the firm’s office will “spend significantly more time in the firm and with each interviewer,” the letter says.

Skadden will continue its tradition of hosting a “Super Saturday” of in-office interviews; it will be held on Sept. 12 this year.

The firm will also begin using a wait list for callbacks and offers, the letter says. Source: American Laywer

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Securities Litigation Attorney for Leading Law Firm

Warren Recruiting is seeking a Litigation associate with specific focus on Securities Litigation to join the Houston office of a top international law firm.  Candidates who have worked in New York or Chicago or other big markets outside of Houston are welcome to apply.  Candidates must have top academic credentials.  This is an opportunity to work with one of the top securities lawyers in the field.

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Saying Thanks!

Many candidates ask if a thank you note really makes a difference. The answer is definitively “Yes.” A note is important because it shows the interviewer a sincere appreciation for their time and consideration, and it gives you one more opportunity to stand out amongst a sea of competition. The note should not be too long, a few sentences will due. Express your gratitude and reiterate something you discussed in the interview. If you had something in common with the interviewer or learned about something he was interested in mention it in the note. If they told you about a really exciting case or deal they worked on reiterate how interesting it was to hear about. The note should be professional in tone but it does provide you an additional opportunity to establish a personal rapport.

The big debate these days is whether a note should be emailed or handwritten. A hand written note will really stand out in an interviewer’s mind. So few people bother these days, so it can be a great point of differentiation. However, in our world of instant communication the note really needs to be put in the mail the same day as the interview. In some instances, such as when it appears that a decision might be made in the next day or so, go ahead and send the notes by email. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to make one last positive impression. Sincerity shines through!

Check out this recent article that shows what a few industry folks have to say about the note….

Have other questions? Ask Lori Black

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Saying Goodbye

Resigning is never easy. When you have worked for a firm or compnay for a number of years it is likely that you have formed many close relationships. It can be an emotional process and a job change is pretty high up there on the stress chain. However, it is crucial to your career that you handle your resignation as professionally as possible. The legal community is relatively small and it is highly likely that you will continue to encounter these colleagues throughout your career.

Be sure to be gracious towards your former employer for the opportunities they have provided for you. Keep your communication concise and positive. Two weeks’ notice is customary but also prepared for the possibility that they may want you to move on sooner, particularly if you have been working on confidential matters. On rare occasion a firm will ask you to stay on to finish a matter. This is a very challenging scenario as your new employer is likely to be in need of help. Try to reach a compromise with your current employer to help maintain the relationship but professionally speaking it is best to move on.

Be sure to take the time to speak with as many of your former colleagues and staff before you move on. Express your sincere gratitude for the opportunity to have worked together. Leave on a positive note…. You never know where your next case or deal may come from!

If you have questions about how to leave on a high note or would like to learn about new opportunties – contact Lori Black with Warren Recruiting, Inc.

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Real Estate – Staff Counsel – 1,600 Hours Annually


Warren Recruiting’s client, a leading law firm, is seeking a Real Estate attorney with at least 3 years or prior real estate transactions experience to join a strong real estate practice in Dallas, Texas.  This is a Staff Counsel role, non-partnership track, with lower billable target expectations (1600 hours).  Candidates must be Texas licensed.  Candidates must have enough experience and maturity to work fairly independently. This position offers a great work/ life balance while practicing with an AMLAW 100 law firm.

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Real Estate Lawyer for Unique Opportunity

Warren Recruiting’s client, a leading Texas law firm, is seeking a Real Estate Attorney with 3-6 years of solid real estate experience including a broad range of real estate transactions.  As a leading firm, strong academic and professional experiences are required.  Experience with Leasing, Acquisitions, Divestitures, and Development are preferred.

Strong compensation.

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Real Estate Lawyer for Leading Dallas Real Estate Practice

Warren Recruiting is seeking a Real Estate Associate with outstanding academic credentials and a minimum of 1 year of experience in complex real estate transactions.  Prior experience should include acquisitions, dispositions, financings, real estate development, zoning and land use issues and the like.  Only top academic credentials will be considered (top 25% from a top 25 law school) and Law Review is a plus.  2010 graduates are preferred.  Compensation is competitive.  This is for the Dallas office.

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Real Estate lawyer for General Counsel Position

Warren Recruiting is seeking a Real Estate lawyer with 6-8 years of prior real estate experience for a General Counsel role for a Houston-based REIT.  The company has international operations, but the General Counsel oversees US legal issues.  Prior work experience should include drafting and negotiating leases, dealing with fair housing issues, drafting management agreements, dealing with a layered corporate structure and general real estate expertise.  The client is seeking someone with in-house experience, preferably that started at a law firm.  Base compensation is around $175k.   Reasonable hours expectations- this is a work/life balance position.

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Real Estate Lawyer – 3 to 5 Years

Warren Recruiting is seeking a 3-5 year real estate associate to join a Texas based mid-sized firm.  This position is in the Houston office.  The practice is very hands-on and includes heavy partner and client interaction.  Reasonable billable hours expectations.  Relocating lawyers with TX connections are welcome.  Strong academics required.

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Real Estate Attorney for Top Practice

Warren Recruiting is are seeking a junior real estate associate with 3-6 years or experience with a strong Real Estate practice that includes heavy leasing and lending work.  Candidates should have strong academic credentials and be able to take on responsibility and run with it.  This is a very collegiate work environment with great long-term partnership prospects.  There will be heavy client interaction so candidates must be good communicator.

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