"Top-end firms continue to rely heavily on summer associate programs, but mid-level firms are reassessing their processes for training lawyers," she said. "There's a differentiation in the market."
Summer associate jobs -- long sought-after for serving as feeders to well-paid jobs after graduation -- became tougher to get in the wake of the recession, even for students at the most elite law schools, as firms slashed their summer programs.
Although that data is for the US, you can expect a similar movement in Australia.
What struck me most about that article was the quote about about mid-level firms. I have mentioned in a previous post that many law firms believe that they can teach you all you need to know on the job, and that all they are looking for is your personality. This, of course, doesn't work for the smaller firms, because they can't afford to spend too much time training you, but for larger firms, their summer clerkships are all about investing in on-the-job training.
I will be interested to see how mid-level firms change their processes for training lawyers.