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Moritz College of Law

Moritz College of Law


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Legal Career Options

Law Firms: Large Law Firms

Large firms provide a multitude of services to a client base consisting generally of businesses and organizations, rather than individual clients. These firms are very structured in the form of practice area departments, the hierarchy of associates and partners, and have very formal and predictable hiring cycles.

They generally offer a higher salary than the smaller and medium firms. The largest of firms will have not only multiple office locations in the United States, but increasingly, have outposts in more than one foreign country as well.

Large firms tend to prefer to hire from the top ranked law schools and to prefer the most highly credentialed students from within them. Moritz students are well-prepared to compete in the hiring process of the best firms in the country. Moritz alumni are employed at more than half of the nation's top 110 firms.

Because of the many resources and sheer size of these firms, they rely primarily on yearly, early fall, on-campus recruiting and resume collections to fill their summer associate positions. As can be expected, these are very structured recruiting formats, and for many reasons, are competitive in nature. Click on Job Fairs and OCI to learn about the interview process.

Large firms also acquire many experienced practitioners as "lateral hires" into the firm, which means that students who really want to work in a large firm, but who do not have success as a law student, can move into the larger firms with a few years of marketable experience under their belts. Careful career planning and tenacity can result in lateral moves to the mega firms.

It is important to note that large firms are singularly situated to give offers in the fall of a student's third year of law school. Most other employers, firm or not, will make offers of employment much later in the year because they do not hire on a repeating and cyclical basis like the large firms.

Many law students will have an offer in hand by graduation from law school, but the predominance of offers will be made to third-year students in the spring of their last year of law school or even during bar preparation and post-bar passage.

To learn about researching large law firms, click here.