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Nearly half of the firms that responded to the law schools and hiring section of the NLJ 250 survey listed Georgetown University Law Center as a law school from among which they hired their 2004 class of first-year associates — easily making Georgetown the most mentioned law school out of nearly 200 schools. The University of Virginia and Harvard law schools were the next most mentioned schools by NLJ 250 firms. Georgetown’s emergence at the top of the “most mentioned” ranking may not be a surprise due to Georgetown’s large student body population, but Virginia’s hiring numbers stand out in comparison. Virginia’s 2004 J.D. class of 366 graduates is slightly more than half of the number of Georgetown’s 2004 class of 687. Firms who recruit at the two schools cite the high hiring numbers as a result of positive past experiences with previous graduates from each respective school. At McDermott, Will & Emery, one of the top hiring firms for Georgetown this year, Georgetown graduates represented 17.6 percent of the firm’s class of 2004 first-year associates. Lydia Kelley, national hiring partner for associate recruiting at McDermott, said that Georgetown graduates have “excellent skills in writing, research and general advocacy,” making Georgetown a “key feeder school” for McDermott. Georgetown is also unique because graduates are represented in all of McDermott’s U.S. offices, said Kelley. THOSE WHO ‘GET IT’ Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, another top hiring firm for Georgetown, also identifies the school as a “target school” for recruitment. Susan Fried, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart’s chief officer of recruitment and development, said the firm looks for “someone who ‘gets it’ in the business sense,” and Georgetown students have what it takes to succeed at a large national firm. “To succeed at K&L, you have to hit the ground highly motivated,” Fried said. “You have to have a professional persona and inspire confidence to develop at the firm. Perhaps Georgetown attracts students like that, or the school inculcates that.” In light of Kirkpatrick’s merger with British firm Nicholson Graham & Jones, to be effective on Jan. 1, 2005, Fried said that one of Georgetown’s strengths is its international commercial law program. “Students would be well situated to work in a multinational market,” she said. Positive experiences with graduates from certain schools often lead to special firm/school relationships, paving the way for future hires and recruits. Atlanta-based King & Spalding, the top hiring firm for Virginia in the NLJ 250, has a “tradition of strong commitment” to the university, said Jennifer Fox Crisp, chief recruiting officer at King & Spalding. Virginia graduates made up 14 percent of its 2004 first-year associate class and 16 percent of its 2004 summer associate class. The firm has 48 Virginia alumni, including the managing partner in the London office. Hunton & Williams of Richmond, Va., also has a history of Virginia graduates in leadership positions. William Walsh, hiring partner at Hunton, the second-highest hiring firm for Virginia, said there is a “very special bond between the two institutions.”

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