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There are more African-Americans and women but fewer summer associates overall visiting Philadelphia law firms this summer. And after a year of robust salary increases, firms held the line in 2001, according to statistics compiled in The Legal Intelligencer‘s third annual summer associate survey. This year’s edition featured the largest number of responses yet — 27 out of the 40 firms with the largest Philadelphia Center City offices. Firms were asked questions about size of class, pay, racial and gender breakdowns, and law school representation. The stagnant salaries and recruiting numbers could have been predicted, given the slower economy and the lack of movement at New York and California firms, which usually serve as national market indicators. The real change came with the sizable, yet largely unexplainable, increase in the hiring of African-American and female law students. The successful recruitment of African-American law students, long a thorn in the side of Philadelphia hiring partners and recruiting professionals, more than doubled this year. African-Americans represented only 5 percent of the citywide 2000 summer class but constitute 11.5 percent of this year’s group, according to the respective years’ surveys. “The more you talk about diversity, the more people you will be able to attract,” said Duane Morris partner Nolan Atkinson, president of the new nonprofit corporation Philadelphia Law Diversity Group Inc. “It’s sort of a snowball effect. I think firms have made great efforts to recruit people from different backgrounds. Yes, they have tried to do this in the past [without as much success], but I believe their efforts have improved. I think they’re thinking about it more when making hiring decisions.” The same increase was not found with other minority groups, as the percentage of Latino (1.5 percent) and Asian-American (6 percent) summer associates was virtually identical to last year’s numbers. The percentage of female summer associates increased from 48 percent to 55 percent, which can only partially be attributed to an increase in female law students. At Duane Morris & Heckscher, one of several firms that have an overwhelming female-majority class, 12 of 14 summer associates are women. “I don’t think we did anything different this year,” Duane Morris hiring partner James Holman said. “We just interviewed a lot of highly qualified female law students.” While it might appear on the surface that average salaries have continued to rise — from $1,486 per week in 1999 to $1,656 in 2000 to $1,847 in 2001 — this year’s number is puffed up by certain firms that are catching up after being behind last summer. For instance, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld increased weekly pay from $1,400 to $1,900, Dilworth Paxson from $1,550 to $1,900, Hoyle Morris & Kerr from $1,600 to $1,900, Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads from $1,730 to $1,925, Pepper Hamilton from $1,730 to $2,000, and Reed Smith from $1,730 to $1,923. The firms already at the $1,900-to-$2,000 level only made minor, if any, salary adjustments. Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley, Cozen & O’Connor, Dechert, Drinker Biddle & Reath, Morgan Lewis & Bockius and Saul Ewing all stuck with last year’s salary figure, while firms such as Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, Buchanan Ingersoll, Duane Morris and Woodcock Washburn Kurtz Mackiewicz & Norris raised the bar by roughly $100 per week. There is a new salary leader whose identity is a bit of a surprise. Klett Rooney Lieber & Schorling now pays $2,083, up from $1,925. Wolf Block is next at $2,050, up from $1,900. Next in line are Drinker and Duane Morris at $2,019, while Ballard, Blank Rome, Buchanan Ingersoll, Dechert, Pepper and Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis are at $2,000. But if the $2,500 signing bonus Morgan Lewis offers its summer associates is added to its $1,900 weekly salary, it actually pays the most. In class size, the responding firms hired slightly fewer law students than they did last year. The combined number of 329 summer associates in 2001 is a bit smaller than the 350 hired in 2000. That averages out to roughly one summer associate less per firm than last year, which those familiar with hiring and placement say makes sense considering that offers were extended before the economy soured and the economy has not slowed enough to warrant reneging on offers. An overview shows 13 firms scaling back on hiring, 10 increasing hiring and four hiring the same number as last year. Once again, Dechert has the largest class, with 42 summer associates, followed by Ballard Spahr at 30, Pepper at 28, Morgan Lewis at 24 and Drinker at 22. Several firms scaled back hiring firmwide, while others only did so in Philadelphia. Blank Rome, for instance, kept its overall summer program at the same number but reduced the number in Philadelphia (15, from 20) so it could distribute more associates to its new New York office, hiring partner Mark Rabinowitz said. Fox Rothschild placed all 14 of its summer associates in Philadelphia last year but decided to distribute this year’s associates to several of its offices. The result is that only six of the firm’s 12 summer associates are in its Philadelphia Center City office. A glance at law school representation at surveyed firms shows Temple reclaiming its spot as Philadelphia’s top summer associate feeder. In all, Temple has 78 law students working as summer associates at Philadelphia Center City firms, compared with 52 last year. Penn, after claiming the top spot with 63 last year, was second with 54 this summer. Third was Villanova with 41, compared with 45 last year. Rutgers-Camden had 25, compared with 27. Widener placed eight associates at Philadelphia firms, up from four last year. The five area schools account for 63 percent of the citywide summer associate contingent. The Temple students account for 22 percent of the summer associate crop, compared with 16 percent last year. Penn students accounted for 16 percent, compared with 19 percent previously, and Villanova accounted for 12 percent, compared with 14 percent. Rutgers-Camden made up 8 percent of the group during both years, while Widener’s 2 percent is up from last year’s 1 percent. In recruiting at elite, national law schools — aside from Penn — Philadelphia firms had similar results this year compared with last year. In both years, the firms were able to recruit at least one student from nine of the nation’s Top 10 law schools cited by U.S. News & World Report. The only Top 10 school that will not be represented in Philadelphia this summer is the University of Chicago. Outside of the area law schools, the University of Virginia has the largest contingent of students working at Philadelphia firms, with 15, followed by Harvard at 11 and Georgetown at 9. Two schools that took a significant tumble down the list are Duke and George Washington, which have only three students each at Philadelphia Center City firms this summer compared with eight and nine, respectively, in 2000. Philadelphia firms are getting 30 percent of their summer associates from Top 10 law schools, a number that dips to 13 percent when statistics from Penn are removed (Penn is tied for 10th on the U.S. News chart with Duke). About 43 percent of the summer associates come from schools ranked in the magazine’s “top tier,” or Top 50. And once again, the majority of the city’s summer associates are from the Delaware Valley. Almost 60 percent were reared locally, compared to 54 percent last year. About 26 percent first experienced the Delaware Valley in college or law school, while a little less than 15 percent are living in the area for the first time this summer. The survey also took a look at where last year’s summer associates are today. Of the 27 firms that had summer programs last year, 10 made offers to all of their summer associates and eight had 100 percent acceptance rates. Citywide, acceptance rates were up and declined offers were down compared with the 1999 group. The 2000 acceptance rate was 68 percent, while 15 percent declined, 6 percent accepted but deferred to pursue other opportunities, and 11 percent deferred. In 1999, 60 percent accepted, 19 percent declined, 10 percent accepted but deferred, and 11 percent deferred. Firms that either declined to participate or did not respond to the survey include Christie Pabarue Mortenson & Young, German Gallagher & Murtagh, Greenberg Traurig, Margolis Edelstein, Lavin Coleman O’Neil Ricci Finarelli & Gray, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, Rawle & Henderson, and Swartz Campbell & Detweiler. Firms with no summer program in Philadelphia include Berger & Montague, Caesar Rivise Bernstein Cohen & Pokotilow, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, and Spector Gadon & Rosen.

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