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January 18, 2011 5:06 PM

The Careerist: Baker Botts Still Hunting for 1Ls

Posted by Vivia Chen

The hiring season is quiet but not dead. Baker Botts in Houston, for one, has been busy interviewing 1-Ls. The firm's hiring partner, Cristina Rodriguez, gives us the lowdown about what the firm looks for in its law school hires. (Nota bene: Rodriguez and her husband, Mark, a partner at Vinson & Elkins, were one of the lawyer power couples featured last year in The American Lawyer.)

A summer program for first-year law students--what a luxury these days! How many 1-Ls do you plan to hire? 
We plan to hire eight to ten [1-Ls]; we have 22 2-Ls coming. We try to have a summer class that's a quarter to a third 1-Ls.

What's the drill for hiring first-years? 
We try to be very strategic and go to schools where we have long-standing relationships, where it can also help with 2-L recruiting. We go to University of Texas, Harvard, and Chicago. UT is the number one school represented in the Houston office; Harvard is the second.

Most firms seem not to bother with first-year summer associates anymore. Why is Baker Botts recruiting them?
We get some great diverse candidates [through the program]. It's a way to get out front on the diversity issue. Diversity is not an exclusive goal of the 1-L program, but it's a big focus.

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