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Higher demand for first-year students

According to recent studies, first-year law student recruiting has increased significantly over the past few years. A growing number of law firms are inviting first-years into their summer associate programs.

According to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), recruiting of first-year students has increased by almost 12% since 2004. The increase was more pronounced at larger firms with more than 500 attorneys, where nearly 114 law offices brought in first-year students, a 24% increase over 2004's figures. The surveyed firms collectively employed 920 first-years in 2005, as compared to 790 in 2004. Overall, 63% of these first-years received an offer to return for at least part of the summer 2006 program.

The chances of securing future employment are much better for second-year law students. Experts believe that this is because firms are not able to assess the academic performance of first-years as easily as second-years.

First-years at Jenkens & Gilchrist will now make $140,000
Jenkens & Gilchrist has become the latest Texas-based firm to raise associate salaries. First-years at Jenkins & Gilchrist will now earn $140,000 per year.

Matching associate salaries at major New York and California firms, the new raise will apply to all of the firm's offices in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Pasadena and Washington, DC.

The majority of Texas' largest firms have already announced similar associate salary increases. These include Vinson & Elkins, Baker Botts, Andrews Kurth and Akin Gump. Fulbright & Jaworski remains an exception, but they are currently considering raising entry-level salaries.

Cochran Firm to merge with Leeds Colby
The Cochran Firm's Miami office will merge with Leeds Colby Paris Spence Hoffman & Valori in Miami, effective May 1.

The new office will continue its operations under the name of The Cochran Firm in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, vehicle and truck accident, police brutality, products and premises liability, mass torts, nursing home negligence and environmental litigation. Scott W. Leeds, Jonathan T. Colby, Jack Paris and J.B. Spence, Leeds Colby attorneys, will be joining Cochran, boosting the firm's South Florida presence.

The firm plans to double its number of employees by next year and to launch satellite offices in Orlando, Naples and Fort Pierce within the next 18 months.

Pepper Hamilton to form alliance with The Abraham Group
Pepper Hamilton and The Abraham Group have entered into a strategic alliance to provide a comprehensive range of legal and business consulting services, focusing primarily on the energy sector.

The announcement was made by chairman and CEO of The Abraham Group Spencer Abraham and Pepper Hamilton executive partner Robert E. Heideck. The Abraham Group will provide free consulting to Pepper Hamilton's clients, as Pepper Hamilton lacks a large, dedicated energy practice.

Pepper Hamilton is a multi-practice law firm with 400 lawyers in six states and the District of Columbia. The Abraham Group is an international strategic consulting firm that assists energy clients seeking opportunities or solutions in the United States and the global market.

Lawyer Joke of the day
Here is a short joke that hopefully won't offend anyone. It's short and sweet and comes to us from James Fuqua's Law Jokes Page.
A golfer stands at the tee, looks off towards the green and swings his driver. He hooks the ball over a hill onto the next fairway.

"Fore!" shouts the golfer as his ball drifts out of sight.

Cursing his luck, the golfer heads over the hill to find his ball.

When he reaches the top of the hill, he looks down to see his ball next to an injured man lying on the ground. The golfer runs over to attend to the injured man.

Slowly, the injured man regains consciousness and rubs the bump on his head.

"I'm so sorry, sir," says the golfer. "I hooked my ball and it must have hit you in the head."

The injured man sits up and winces in pain.

"I'll sue your ass, pal. I'm an attorney!" announces the injured man. "This is going to cost you $500,000 at least!"

"Well," says the golfer, "I shouted fore."

The attorney thinks for a moment and says, "I'll take it!"

Jenkens & Gilchrist


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