NALP Directory of Law Schools:
Written for Employers,
Useful to Applicants
"NALP" stands for the National Association for Law Placement. It's how law firms decide when and where to recruit, and how law students decide when and where to apply.
NALP publishes books about law firms for students, and books about law schools for applicants. They also set technical guidelines for how and when employers may offer jobs, how and when students may respond, etc. All of that's stuff you shouldn't need until after you're in law school, but in case you're as curious as I am, it's online.
NALP also runs the giant logic game known as interview scheduling, and that's the part you care about if you want to see who recruits at which law schools.
NALPDirectory,which is a different web page from the NALP page for students, shows where each member law firm will recruit. When you wander over there, you'll see:
Since this is Loretta DeLoggio talking, you know we're heading for the advanced search. When you get there, you'll see a form called "Advanced Search." (Don't laugh; you'd be amazed at how easy it is to wind up at some pop-up ad that has nothing at all to do with where you were going.) Near the bottom you'll see:
So pick a law school -- just one -- and see what happens. I decided to try Loyola Chicago.
(You don't want to be in Chicago? I know you don't want to be in Chicago; that's the whole point of this exercise!)
Click "search" and look at the result:
There are 77 law firms scheduled to recruit this fall (as of April 20, 2009), and of the first dozen alphabetically, only two are in Illinois!
You can scroll through four pages at random (geographically speaking; they're in alphabetical order). Or you can click on the word "state" and -- WOW! Fifteen recruiters from California, a half dozen from DC...and 25 from Illinois.
Who are these people? I don't know.
McGuire Woods, Vedder Price... I never heard of them. So click on a name and see what happens:
Over 700 lawyers in 17 cities. Keep scrolling:
It looks to me like they're actually based in the south; their two biggest offices are in Charlotte, NC and Richmond, VA.
Want to know more about McGuire Woods? At the top they've given you a URL, a hiring attorney and a recruitment contact, so you can contact them to find out the likelihood of your returning to the warm, sunny days of your pre-Chicago existence. But the really important info is lower down, so keep scrolling.
They don't hire 1L's; they do hire 2Ls. Last year they hired 8 and made offers to 7. They don't show associate's salaries, but entry level lawyers are making $160k a year.
So what are the two things we learned today, children?
1. That we can go to school in Chicago and work in Charlotte, and
2. That instead of talking to each other on chat boards, you can look at data.
There are two caveats to relying solely on NALP for your research:
Many local recruiters will not be listed. If
you're checking out Harvard, it won't matter; if you're checking out any
other school in the Boston area, it will.
"Recruit" and "Hire" are not the same. Some firms will recruit at the
local law schools with no intent of hiring from them, or of hiring only if
you're a superstar.
So don't rely solely on this method, but don't pass by such a valuable resource!