Melissa Lennon keeps a thick file labeled “Deferrals, Rescinded Offers, Firms Dissolving” in her office in the career services suite at Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law.

Lennon took over the school’s career services operation in 2008—shortly before the failures of Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers and AIG threw the U.S. economy deeper into the worst recession in recent memory. The file is a sobering chronicle of the effect of the financial crisis on the legal employment market, noting which firms were laying off associates, which were clawing back the associate job offers they had made to recent graduates and which were closing up shop altogether. Lennon tracked the grim news in real time as she and her career services colleagues across the country scrambled to react to the dramatic contraction of the legal job market and find new and creative ways to help graduates find work.

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