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Nancy Peterson quoted in article “More opportunities for recent grads, but fewer get jobs”

Wisconsin Law Journal

Following is an excerpt:

In 2013, 10 of the 252 University of Wisconsin law School grads took jobs at firms with more than 500 attorneys. Marquette Law School only sent four of its grads to firms that large in 2013.

Paul Katzman, assistant dean for career planning at Marquette University law School,said he has seen a small increase in the number of students who take another bar exam in the hopes of working out of state - at a large firm or otherwise. However,Wisconsin is the only state in the country where a graduate of a school doesn't have to take the bar exam,which can persuade some students to work in the state.

Katzrnan also said the trend involving larger law firms may not be seen as much in Wisconsin because there sirnply aren't many large law firms.

Still, Katzman said he remembers when some of the state's largest firms would take more than 30 people into its summer associate program and later offer them jobs. Those numbers are much lower now.

The hiring trends at Quarles & Brady LLP, which has 468 attorneys, seem to comport with the national study. Nancy Peterson, chairwoman of the firm's Legal Personnel Committee, said 30 entry-level associates were hired in 2008. Some had a delayed start date once the recession hit, she said.

However,since 2011- when the firm hired 12 new graduates- Peterson said the numbers have climbed. This year, Quarles & Brady is expected to hire up to 18 new associates.

Peterson characterizes the uptick as "growing modestly," but she said the key hires have been in areas where there is more litigation,such as intellectual property and health law. She also said, though,that the firm has hired more attorneys with one to seven years'experience since 2008.

Originally published in Wisconsin Law Journal, June 26, 2014