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Insight Series: 1L Recruiting Season 2024 - Part 2

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 hosted 156% as many interviews this season compared to last, with Texas and New York leading regional timelines.

 

What is the “Insight Series”: Flo Recruit has proudly supported over 200 clients through monumental shifts in legal recruiting practices from 2018 to date. Over 750,000 interviews have been scheduled and/or hosted on Flo Recruit Interviews, now part of Flo Recruit Applicant Tracking. In the 2023 series, we shared law student recruiting insights resulting from aggregate data of 110+ law schools and career fairs and 100+ law firms. Welcome to our 2024 updates!

1L Recruitment In Review

Flo Recruit's 1L recruitment season analysis started with December through February data. Today we add March and April numbers for final 1L season insights. Early trends stayed consistent through spring with the volume of interviews hosted by law firms exceeding previous years, including twice as many in March 2024 as March 2023. 

🚀 Law Firm Interview Volume

To spot 1L interview trends, we looked at October - April data. Typically the heaviest 1L interview months are December, January, February, and March. April numbers provide early indicators of the rising-2L recruitment season swiftly following.

1 - Law Firm 1L Season Interviews, 2021-2024 1

Flo Recruit previously predicted that our law firm clients would host 150% the number of interviews in October 2023 - April 2024 that they hosted in October 2022 - April 2023. Interview volume just exceeded this prediction, reaching 156% of last season’s numbers.

2 - Law Firm 1L Season Interviews by Month, 2021-2024

Percentage increases by month, visualized above, are as follows:

October: 4% increase, 2022 to 2023
November: -34% decrease, 2022 to 2023
December: 19% increase, 2022 to 2023
January: 54% increase, 2023 to 2024
February: 79% increase, 2023 to 2024
March: 97% increase, 2023 to 2024
April: 186% increase, 2023 to 2024

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3 - Law Firms 1L Season Interviews by Year, 2021-2024

Because April numbers likely indicate rising-2L recruitment rather than 1L hires, we’ve zoomed in on October through March combined volumes. October through March shows a 54% increase in interviews hosted by law firms on Flo Recruit from the 2022-2023 cycle. 

 

🧑‍💻 Virtual vs. In-Person Interviews

4 - Law Firm Virtual vs. In-Person Interviews by Month, Current Cycle 1Law firm interviews were hosted majority virtually, and the virtual vs. in-person ratios are consistent month over month. Overall, interviews hosted by law firms on Flo Recruit in October 2023 through April 2024 were 82% virtual and 18% in-person

5 - Law Firm Virtual vs. In-Person Interviews, October-March 2021-2024 1

The virtual interview majority is consistent with the prior two cycles of 1L interviews. The ratio of virtual to in-person interviews has held steady since 2021. In-person interviews are represented by dotted lines above, with the most recent season in dotted line red

 

🌎 Law Firm Interviews by Region

Texas offices historically hire a higher ratio of 1L to 2L summer associates than those outside of Texas. Plus, Texas historically hires these 1Ls earlier in the year than others. In recent years, however, the industry has seen increased 1L recruitment in other markets — most notably, New York City. 

NOTE: Flo Recruit assigns interviews to a region in the below reports based on the headquarter location or largest office of the firm rather than the location of the individual interview, meaning the data visualized is approximate. Read and interpret accordingly!

Each line below represents a region's interview volume over time. While typically included in broader regions, we've separated Texas and New York into their own trend lines for the sake of key market analysis. 

6.5 - Law Firm Interview Volume Region-1

The 2022 to 2023 1L recruitment season shows Texas leading the 1L recruitment charge, interviewing more 1Ls during their first semester (December 2022) than New York despite Flo Recruit's lower number of Texas clients. New York soars in volume in January, when Texas and other markets also peak.

6 - Law Firm Interview Volume by Region, Oct 2023 - Apr 2024 1

This 1L season, 2023 to 2024, shows a shift in data: New York interviews slightly more 1Ls in December than Texas. Both peak in January, as in past years, but at higher numbers than past.

The increase in New York 1L interviews in December may reflect an overarching trend in New York City offices moving towards the Texas model: recruiting more 1Ls, earlier, to build entry level talent pipeline. 

7 - New York vs. Texas Law Firm Interviews, Nov 2023 - Mar 2024 1

Removing other markets from the chart above allows us to more clearly view New York vs. Texas interviews in the most recent 1L recruitment season.

 

🏫 Law Firm vs. Law School Interviews

Next we compare the timing and volume of interviews that law firms to those that law schools hosted on Flo Recruit.

NOTE: In the below data, law firm data includes virtual and in-person interviews, while law school data includes only virtual interviews. This discrepancy reflects Flo Recruit's current solution offerings.

8 - Law Firm vs. Law School 1L Season Interviews, 2023-2024 1

This 1L recruitment season (2023-2024) shows a new and emerging story in law firm vs. law school-hosted interviews compared to the prior season (2022-2023), with law firm January interview volume surpassing that of law school January interview volume for the first time.

Several factors may explain the overall increase in earlier interviews hosted by law firms, including: 

  1. Law firms interviewing more 1Ls outside of campus programs 
  2. Firms interviewing more 1Ls for the sake of 2L pipeline for the following summer
  3. Firms moving to a callback interview more quickly than in past years following a campus screener
  4. Firms expanding their self-ID criteria for diversity scholarships and programs, such that more candidates were qualified and interviewed

In Summary: Flo Recruit data shows 1L interview volume rising. Firm-hosted 156% as many interviews on Flo Recruit in October 2023 - April 2024 compared to the prior season. Approximated regional data suggests national markets, particularly New York, following the Texas trend of early and increased 1L recruitment.

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