It's unlikely that summer associate classes will return to pre-recession classes anytime soon. Since the official start of the recession in 2007, more than 40,000 legal services jobs have disappeared, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
McCarter & English suspended its summer program two years ago and won't have one this year. The firm is now more likely to hire associates with at least a few years under their belts, reasoning that clients do not want to pay for a learning curve. About a year ago, McCarter & English utilized that strategy, plucking seven hires from Robinson & Cole.
But students who do manage to land summer slots say that its well worth the effort. Andraya Pulaski, a University of Connecticut School of Law student, started her summer job at Day Pitney in Hartford last week. Interested in environmental and energy practice areas, Pulaski said she is greeting the challenge head on.
"I think it's a difficult economy for all jobs, not just legal jobs," she said. "If you work hard, there are opportunities."