This summer is not like any other in the legal profession. As the economy began to crash last fall, law firms began laying off associates and some firms even dissolved. Then the firms began deferring their 2009 first-year associate classes, some for up to one year. And, of course, the 2009 summer associate classes in New York are hardly at their largest (see chart, “ Shrinking Summers“).

What this all means for the 2009 summer associate classes has been the subject of much speculation. Will offers be forthcoming? And if so, for what entering year? What about all of those deferred 2009 first-years, if this summer’s offers are for September 2010? Maybe the firms themselves don’t have an answer. After all, some say that the law firm business model will never be the same. Is this the time for all law students to be rethinking their career choice?

The one conclusion that is fairly sure is that the bar to receiving an offer at the end of this summer has been raised. So to help those 2Ls lucky enough to have secured summer intern spots, we offer a feature on TIPS for a successful summer.

And, whether or not you have a summer job, and whether you end the summer with an offer of permanent employment or are left empty-handed, we offer instruction on how to foster a positive, resilient attitude, so you can make the most of the opportunities you have as well as create new ones.

- The Editors