Good news has been hard to come by for second-year law school students. The bit we’re about to share amounts to but a trickle compared with the tidal wave of bad news they’ve dealt with in the last year. But, right now, any good news matters, what with firms cutting their summer 2010 class sizes to record lows, or eliminating them altogether, and law schools reporting — internally, for now — a big number of 2Ls with no set summer gigs. (One law school recruiting director we spoke to estimates that firms’ 2010 summer classes will be 20 percent to 50 percent smaller than the 2009 classes.)

But a small number of those 2Ls stand to benefit from an added mini-round of recruiting, which law school officials and firm recruiters attribute to the cautious stance some firms took the first time around in August and September. The reason, according to about a dozen sources we interviewed: Firms shooting for smaller class sizes limited their offers to the best of the best in the class of 2010. The students in that group found themselves with several offers to choose from, leaving firms short of the already smaller-than-usual targets they’d set. Now those firms are going back to top law schools and asking about candidates who have not yet secured a gig for summer 2010, according to career services deans at law schools, law firm recruiters and industry groups.

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