The paychecks still top $3,000 per week, and most summer associates are still expecting an invitation to come aboard their firms at six-figure salaries. But this year, worries about the rotten economy are likely to infiltrate small talk around the open bar at summer associate events.

“Everybody, I think, is at least psychologically affected,” says Georgetown University Law Center‘s assistant dean of career services, Gihan Fernando, adding that his first- and second-year law students are “more thoughtful, more alert” about the job market.

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