The rise and fall of recruiting levels at U.S. law firms continues to be one of the markers that the industry looks at to gauge the relative strength of the legal economy. With increased legal economic activity, law firm recruiting levels tend to rise. At the close of 2005, consistent with other economic indicators, law firms were recruiting entry-level and lateral attorneys at a brisk pace.

Data from NALP — formerly the National Association for Law Placement — confirm that while entry-level legal hiring has not regained the strength of the late 1990s, the market for entry-level employment continues to gain strength.