Law School Insights: Analysing the recruitment trends of five law schools (2011 – 2013)

Law School Insights: Analysing the recruitment trends of five law schools (2011 – 2013)

Aditya AK

When it comes to debates over legal education, recruitment figures continue to remain a constant. While the importance that these figures are attributed vary depending on whom you speak to, the fact of the matter is that recruitment trends are one of the more accessible ways in measuring a university’s performance.

In October this year, we came out with an analysis on the recruitments at nine different law schools in 2014. While these statistics were interesting in more ways than one, we felt that it would be beneficial to analyse the recruitments across a broader time period. Hence, this piece brings to you the recruitment statistics of the last three years (2011-2013) pertaining to five law schools – NLSIU Bangalore, NALSAR Hyderabad, NUJS Kolkata, NLIU Bhopal and NLU Jodhpur. These institutes were selected for the study on the basis of the constant availability of their recruitment statistics.

National Law School of India University, Bangalore

Over the last three years, graduates from NLSIU have shown a marked preference towards law firms, with more than half of all graduates (109 graduates) opting either for domestic or international law firms. A distant second is inhouse positions with 21 students opting for this career option. As a group, the second largest is the number of graduates who did not opt for recruitment at all, numbering forty. This is slightly less than 20% of the total number of graduates that have emerged from NLSIU in the last three years.

NALSAR University, Hyderabad (Law School Darshan)

Like NLSIU in Bangalore, graduates of NALSAR University have shown an inherent bias towards law firms when it comes to recruitments; once again more than half the total number of graduates (128 graduates) have decided to join a corporate law firm. And like NLSIU, the second largest group consists of students who did not sit for recruitments at all, comprising more than 25% of the total number of graduates.

West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata

The university possessing the largest batch strength in this series, NUJS has seen more or less similar trends as compared to the previous two law schools. Law firms have attracted slightly less than half of all graduates (148 graduates) with the  second most prefered option being inhouse roles. The university has the highest number of judicial clerkships out of the ones surveyed, with 19 graduates opting this line of work. The number of students who did not suit for recruitment (76 students) is roughly 20% of the total number of graduates.

National Law Institute University, Bhopal (Law School Darshan)

Given that we have the least amount of information available for this university, it is difficult to anaylse the trends at NLIU Bhopal. Out of the 238 graduates, roughly 20% have been placed in corporate law firms. Data on options such as higher studies and civil services exams is not present, nor are there any hard numbers available on those who opt to join litigation. The only concrete numbers we do have relate to those who have opted to sit out of the recruitment process. On average that is just over 40% of the total number of graduates across the three years.

National Law University, Jodhpur (Law School Darshan)

Once again, there is a clear shift to law firms for those who graduate out of NLU Jodhpur with just under 40% opting to join a corporate law firm. The second biggest group consists of those opting for inhouse positions, while the number of students who opted out of recruitment seems to be close to 18% of the batch.

Recruitments 2011 to 2013

When viewed together, what is immediately obvious is the fact that law firms are the go-to career option for a majority of law graduates. And in terms of specifics, Amarchand Mangaldas is a clear leader, hiring 107 graduates across the three years. To put that in perspective, that is more than the total number of recruits hired by the last four law firms put together. Although not a part of this exercise, it will be interesting to compare the attrition rates at various firms; if AMSS is hiring at least 35 lawyers a year, how many is it losing?

Dig a little deeper though, and some interesting numbers emerge. What is perhaps the most surprising number is that relating to those who do not choose to sit for recruitment at all. As a percentage, this is more than 25% meaning that one out of every four law graduates do not sit for recruitment at all.

Why is this number significant? Well, it certainly highlights the shortcomings of the present recruitment setup. If one out of every four has chosen to opt out entirely, then clearly the existing system requires change, perhaps in offering a wider number of options and career paths. This number also hints at the fascinatingly diverse range of reasons why students opt for studying law in the first place.

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