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Allardlawstudent5

Is a high student-to-lawyer ratio in a firm a red flag?

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I'm wondering if it's a red flag if a firm tends to hire very few students for a large amount of lawyers (e.g. 1 student per 25 lawyers). Could it indicate the firm's not in a good enough financial spot to hire more students? Will the students be overworked, having to cater to more lawyers than the average student at another firm?

On the flipside, if the ratio of student to lawyer is much narrower (like 1 to 7), is there a higher risk of not being hired back? or is it generally a positive thing indicating the firm feels optimistic about its future?

Is there a usual range that's generally considered good (e.g. 1 student per 15-20 lawyers) in a mid-size or big firm?

I understand there may be many reasons why a firm would choose to hire more or fewer articling students and that I'm drawing a lot of potentially erroneous inferences here, so I appreciate any insight!

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No? There are many reasons why firms hire only a few or even no articling students. There are also many reasons why a firm might hire a high ratio. It is very difficult to glean anything from this alone. 

The best measure of your chances of hireback is the firm's past rate of hireback. The best measure of your workload is the workload of past articling students at the firm. 

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Well, hiring many students could be a sign that the firm see robust growth ahead. So, it could be a *good* sign when a firm is hiring a lot of students.

On the other hand, hiring a lot of students relative to the firm's size could be reflective of the firm's leverage -- the ratio of associates to partners. In the US, some firms are known for being more leveraged (i.e. more juniors per partner) than others. It's not a good or bad thing per se. Perhaps obviously, being highly leveraged increases profitability for the partners. But leverage is also driven by and reflective of the nature of the matters the firms are typically involved in. The huge caveat here is that I think the dynamics are different in Canada, where partnership is perhaps more attainable than at the big-name US shops. 

Anyway, that's a rather long digression. There's probably little information to be gleaned from the number of students a firm hires.

Edited by onepost
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2 hours ago, Allardlawstudent5 said:

I'm wondering if it's a red flag if a firm tends to hire very few students for a large amount of lawyers (e.g. 1 student per 25 lawyers). Could it indicate the firm's not in a good enough financial spot to hire more students? Will the students be overworked, having to cater to more lawyers than the average student at another firm?

On the flipside, if the ratio of student to lawyer is much narrower (like 1 to 7), is there a higher risk of not being hired back? or is it generally a positive thing indicating the firm feels optimistic about its future?

Is there a usual range that's generally considered good (e.g. 1 student per 15-20 lawyers) in a mid-size or big firm?

I understand there may be many reasons why a firm would choose to hire more or fewer articling students and that I'm drawing a lot of potentially erroneous inferences here, so I appreciate any insight!

Maybe these things are correlated, but realistically, you're better off just looking at the individual firm's hireback history.

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Your thread title states "Is a high student-to-lawyer ratio in a firm a red flag?" but then you immediately state:

11 hours ago, Allardlawstudent5 said:

I'm wondering if it's a red flag if a firm tends to hire very few students for a large amount of lawyers (e.g. 1 student per 25 lawyers).

Very few students for a large number of lawyers is a low student-to-lawyer ratio aka a high lawyer-to-student ratio. So, which are you asking about: Your forum title (high student-to-lawyer ratio), your leading sentence (low student-to-lawyer ratio), or both? Or neither?

 

Edited by hearsayheresy

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10 hours ago, hearsayheresy said:

Your thread title states "Is a high student-to-lawyer ratio in a firm a red flag?" but then you immediately state:

Very few students for a large number of lawyers is a low student-to-lawyer ratio aka a high lawyer-to-student ratio. So, which are you asking about: Your forum title (high student-to-lawyer ratio), your leading sentence (low student-to-lawyer ratio), or both? Or neither?

 

If you read all of OP’s post, it’s pretty clear that they’re asking whether both a high student-to-lawyer ratio or a low student-to-lawyer ratio is a red flag. 

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9 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

If you read all of OP’s post, it’s pretty clear that they’re asking whether both a high student-to-lawyer ratio or a low student-to-lawyer ratio is a red flag. 

I did see that. When there's a jarring discrepancy between the thread title and the very first sentence, I'd hardly say that "it's pretty clear" what they're asking.

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19 hours ago, hearsayheresy said:

Your thread title states "Is a high student-to-lawyer ratio in a firm a red flag?" but then you immediately state:

Very few students for a large number of lawyers is a low student-to-lawyer ratio aka a high lawyer-to-student ratio. So, which are you asking about: Your forum title (high student-to-lawyer ratio), your leading sentence (low student-to-lawyer ratio), or both? Or neither?

 

Hahaha, I googled it before posting because I knew something was off - still didn't get it right apparently though! Good thing basic mathematical concepts didn't show up on the LSAT :P

I meant both situations you describe, but yes, the title was meant to refer to where there's very few students for a large number of lawyers. 

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45 minutes ago, hearsayheresy said:

I did see that. When there's a jarring discrepancy between the thread title and the very first sentence, I'd hardly say that "it's pretty clear" what they're asking.

Everyone else seemed to decipher it 🤷‍♂️ 

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