Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1031716
 
 

Citations (2)



 
 

Footnotes (282)



 


 



The Market for Elite Law Firm Associates


Tom Ginsburg


University of Chicago Law School

Jeffrey A. Wolf


University of Washington


Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 31, 2004
U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE07-038

Abstract:     
This article focuses on three information-related puzzles related to how large law firms recruit entry-level lawyers. First, firms hire on the basis of limited information, usually restricted to two semesters of grades. Second, firms do not rely primarily on laterals, who are already trained. Third the recruiting process involves considerable redundancy, with both students and firms spending much time and energy talking with interlocutors they will not work with.

The article first develops a descriptive narrative based on an empirical study of recruiting in the Chicago legal market. The article then goes on to argue that each of the recruiting puzzles can be explained as a "two sided matching" problem, a common feature of labor markets. In contrast with certain other matching markets (notably the market for medical residents), the market for law firm associates is decentralized, meaning that there is no mechanism to coordinate the participants in the market. The article speculates on why no centralized matching mechanism for placing young associates exists. Why some professions utilize centralized matching mechanisms and others do not is a question that has not been addressed heretofore, despite a fairly well-developed literature on matching markets. Given that Canada has some experience with such a mechanism for placing young lawyers, to say nothing of the medical profession, the question is most certainly a relevant one with respect to the market for elite law firm associates.. The empirical study helps us understand the conditions under which a decentralized matching market will remain decentralized (or conversely, why a centralized matching market will centralize), a question not yet considered in the literature.

This article is relevant not only to the economics literature on matching markets, but also an addition to the literature on the sociology, economics and organization of the large law firm as a professional services firm. Despite a fairly broad literature on how law firms maintain, motivate and jettison their members, there has been little attention to how large law firms select these members in the first place.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 57

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: November 21, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Ginsburg, Tom and Wolf, Jeffrey A., The Market for Elite Law Firm Associates. Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 31, 2004; U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE07-038. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1031716

Contact Information

Tom Ginsburg (Contact Author)
University of Chicago Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Jeffrey A. Wolf
University of Washington ( email )
NE Colombia Rd.
Seattle, WA 98195
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 858
Downloads: 165
Download Rank: 105,029
Citations:  2
Footnotes:  282

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.641 seconds