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Insight Series: 1L Recruiting Season 2024 - Part 1

by Hannah Kelly on

We analyzed the timing and volume of interviews hosted on Flo Recruit over the past three 1L recruitment seasons. The findings? Law firms are tracking to host 150%+ as many interviews this season compared to the past two 1L recruitment cycles.


What is the “Insight Series”: Flo Recruit is proud to have supported over 200 clients through monumental shifts in legal recruiting practices from 2018 to date. For the past four years, the majority of the industry’s interviews have been scheduled and/or hosted on our interview platform, now as part of Flo Recruit Applicant Tracking. In this series from last year, we shared law student recruiting insights resulting from aggregate data of 110+ law schools and career fairs and 90+ law firms. This is Part 1 of the 2024 updated series. If you're looking for a quick summary, click here to download the below graphs.

1L Recruitment Interview Trends

To spot 1L interview trends, we looked at October-April Flo Recruit data starting in 2021. Historically, the heaviest 1L interview months are December, January, February, and March. With March 2024 numbers pending, this report provides trend indications before the current season concludes.

Psst! Interested in 1L interview trends by geographical region? We are, too. Subscribe for our next report, including a Texas vs. other markets breakdown.


Law Firm Interviews

Comparing the past three 1L recruitment seasons, the current 1L cycle stands out with an increase in the volume of interviews (both virtual and in-person included) hosted by law firms. Flo Recruit platform data shows a 19.4% increase in interview volume from December 2022 to December 2023, a 54% increase from January 2023 to January 2024, and a 79% increase from February 2023 to February 2024.



Together, as visualized above, December-February law firm interview volume (virtual and in-person combined) increased 57% from 2023 to 2024, as opposed to a less notable 5% decrease in volume between 2022 and 2023 seasons.

When comparing virtual versus in-person interviews hosted by law firms during 1L recruitment seasons, we see little difference over the years. In each of the past three seasons, the majority of firm-hosted interviews are virtual; in the current season so far, 84% of interviews have been hosted virtually and 16% hosted in-person. In the same months (October-February) of 2023, although at a lower volume, the virtual to in-person ratio was also 84% to 16%.

The lack of change in the virtual to in-person ratio suggests that majority-virtual firm-hosted 1L interviews are here to stay.


Law School Interviews

In assessing law school interview data, please note that Flo Recruit provides and tracks virtual interview software to law schools. In our law firm data, by contrast, both virtual and in-person interviews are included.


By contrast to the increase in total firm-hosted interviews, school-hosted virtual interview volume is holding steady between the current and prior season. The total number of December-February virtual interviews decreased by just 2.5%.

The overarching trendline down from 2021 to 2024 is influenced by the return of law school programs to in-person, seen typically with smaller law schools where employers recruit more locally.


Comparing Law School and Law Firm Interviews

In the below data, note that law firm data includes virtual and in-person interviews, while law school data includes only virtual interviews.

Next, we compare the timing and volume of interviews that law firms vs. law school hosted on Flo Recruit in the current and two prior 1L recruitment seasons.

In the 2021-2022 1L season, Flo Recruit sees law firm interviews picking up in December 2021, albeit slowly, and law school interviews not beginning until January. Firm interviews peak in January, while schools peak in February.

We will explore the differences in regional market timing in our next report. Subscribe to be notified when the regional data breakdown is available.

The 2022-2023 season comparison shows a very similar comparison between law firm and law school volume and timing, with firm-hosted interviews peaking first and at a lower volume.

The current 1L recruitment season shows a new and emerging story in law firm vs. law school-hosted interviews, with law firm January interview volume surpassing that of law school January interview volume for the first time. The shift suggests that firms are either 1) hiring 1Ls outside of campus programs at a higher rate and/or 2) moving to a callback interview more quickly, within January, than in past years following a campus screener. 

In Summary: Flo Recruit data shows 1L interview volume rising. Firm-hosted interviews on our platform increased by 57% in the December 2023 - February 2024 season compared to December 2022 - February 2023, while law school interview numbers held steady. In both seasons, 84% of those law firm interviews were virtual and 16% were in-person. Stay tuned for March numbers and other insights! 

Want to download the graphs above? Click here to download.