Despite the fact that the calendar has just flipped to September, for many law students, the Fall Recruiting Cycle — we really need to find a more seasonally appropriate term for this and I am open to suggestions — is coming to an end. For those fortunate students, the extensive interview process has resulted in an offer for summer employment, and likely, a subsequent position after graduation. A smaller cadre of students finds themselves in the even more enviable circumstance of having multiple options from which to choose one, or more positions. Last year, I went through the nature of the offer stage and while that piece was long on logistics — those two paragraphs on how the NALP Guidelines address multiple offers now read as if they were written in an alternate dimension, which they may well have been— but short on advice. So how should students sort through multiple offers?
While late capitalism might be the best term to describe the current American era, the latter part of that phrase is still applicable in the present day. As such, in most industries, when multiple employers are trying to woo the same candidate, they will simply try to offer more money than their competitors. But as mentioned previously in this space , the legal industry is far from a textbook example of the intersection between economics and employment. As even casual Above the Law readers know, with law firms wary of seeming cheap to their own attorneys, law students, and possibly even clients, base Biglaw salaries are typically at a particular market rate to which all firms in a geographic area adhere. Such uniformity often trickles down to the bonuses as well. This is not to say that exceptions do not exist and that some firms will go above market , but typically speaking, salary is not going to be the deciding factor for most law students because there is no gradation amongst the firms — this similarly melts away when comparing Biglaw to more mid-size or boutique firms.
If money will not help you make a decision, consider geography. […]