Bay Street Hiring a Bloodbath This Year

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The good times are not coming back.

Total hiring on Bay Street has fallen sharply yet again. 351 students were hired this year, compared to 379 in 2012, 403 in 2011, and 444 in 2010. This persistent negative trend is exacerbated by rising tuition rates and class sizes at many Ontario law schools.

These figures include returning 1L hires, who make up an increasing proportion of Fall Recruitment hires, which masks the extent to which people who participated in this year’s process were unable to obtain an offer.

Hiring fell significantly at Osgoode and Ottawa, while UTLaw, Queen’s, and Western held steady. It is unclear what effect UTLaw’s new grading system has had on hiring. We gained five hires from last year’s record low, but a huge proportion of our hires were combined JD/MBA students still on the old grading system.

The 2013 Fall Recruitment Special relies on data from two sources: 1) data from the firms about how many students they hired from which schools, and 2) our own internal survey sent to everyone at UTLaw who was eligible to complete the OCI process. Our internal survey had an 85% response rate, making its results very statistically reliable.

Nevertheless, there are limits to our data. We don’t have data about how many students from each school actually participate in Toronto recruitment because schools aren’t willing to share this data. If you think it would be helpful, lobby your school’s Career Development Office.

This year, we removed the questions rating individual firms because there were not enough responses for any particular firm to make the results statistically valid, and because students found this information only marginally useful.

Instead, we focused our questions on the process itself, the stress it produces, and the cavalier violation of the LSUC rules. We’re putting the full set of responses to open-ended questions on our website, so no one can say that we cherry-picked the salacious bits for this issue.

For a profession that specializes in rules and systems, the Toronto hiring system is laughably bad. There isn’t enough time to schedule in-firm interviews, and firms demand signals from students who cannot possibly have a basis for preferring one firm over another. Several students commented that New York’s hiring process makes much more sense.

OCI Survey 2013 Word Cloud