Let’s start with the good news. The largest law firms in Toronto have hired back 91 percent of their articling students as first-year associates, according to our annual Bay Street Hireback Ranking. This is two percentage points higher than last year’s overall hireback rate — which, at the time, was the highest on record. (We started tracking this number in 2009.)
Now for the not-so-good news. The number of articling jobs on Bay Street remains at a historical low point. For the 2017–18 articling term, the 16 largest firms took on 260 students. This is a steady hold when compared to the last year — when this number sat at 259 — but it comes nowhere close to the 325 students who worked at those same firms in 2009.
Here are three of the most striking facts from this year’s hireback data:
- Seven out of Bay Street’s largest 16 law firms reported a 100-percent hireback rate of articling students. This is an all-time high.
- Meanwhile, only two firms reported a hireback rate of less than 80 percent. This is an all-time low.
- Two firms have had banner years. First, McMillan reported a perfect hireback rate for the first time. And second, Gowling WLG posted an 85-percent hireback rate, its highest since 2011.