New ‘Meet the Law Firms’ Event Gives 1L Students Early Intro to Big Law

Meet the Firms

The Career Development Center team hosted its inaugural and highly successful “Meet the Law Firms” event Wednesday evening, with 200 first-year Brooklyn Law School students getting a chance to forge early connections with representatives of 39 law firms.

A total of 85 law firm representatives attended, most of whom were Brooklyn Law School alumni recruiting on their firms’ behalf. Big Law was present in a big way, with 23 of the companies in attendance listed as AmLaw 100 firms, part of The American Lawyer and’s definitive ranking of the 100 largest law firms in the United States. The new event gave students access to the same firms that will later conduct recruiting during OCI (on-campus interviews) in July.

“We were gratified by the extremely strong response by major law firms and pleased to welcome them to campus and connect them with our students,” said President and Joseph Crea Dean David D. Meyer. “We were also delighted to welcome back more than 60 recent Brooklyn Law alumni from the participating firms. Seeing so many alumni and students in active conversation about career opportunities is a testament to Brooklyn Law School’s continuing prominence as a provider of talent to the nation’s top law firms.”

The March 27 gathering follows news earlier this month that Brooklyn Law School ranked as No. 38 on the National Law Journal’s “Top 50 Go-To Law Schools,” based on placement of the Class of 2023 graduates at the nation’s 100 largest law firms.

The Career Development Center team that worked on the event was led by Associate Dean of Career Development Heather Spielmaker, who joined the Law School’s Career Development Center in November and was previously at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona, where she was the assistant dean of career development. She and her team began setting up the event in January to help prepare students for what career development experts call “precruiting,” a legal industry trend that has law firms competing ever earlier for top law school candidates for summer associate positions.

“Basically, we’ve noticed, particularly with the biggest law firms, that a lot of them are starting to recruit 2L associates earlier than they have before,” Spielmaker said. “Schools usually do recruit in late July, and they’ve been reaching out to interview even earlier.”

Now, instead of recruiting 1L students the summer before their 2L summer, firms are eager to meet prospects more than a year ahead of time, in the spring. After representatives from large law firms streamed into 250 Joralemon St., students dressed in their business attire came out in full force to meet them at tables set up in the dining room.

“The students were really happy that they had this networking opportunity, and they were appreciative that we were doing something to help them make connections earlier,” Spielmaker said. “The firms told me it was one of the best events that they’d attended.”

One student was set to get an offer because of the event, which is very unusual, Spielmaker said, and several students said they were able to meet with firms that they had not considered previously.

One of the students who attended was Jillian Block ’26, and she was pleased with the experience.

“It was a great opportunity to hear more about the different firms and their summer associate programs from recent BLS graduates, and other attorneys at each firm,” Block said. “The connections I made will be helpful for me as I move forward with the employment process.”

Another attendee, Evan Oliver ’26 was similarly grateful for the access that the event provided. 

"The legal field is quickly evolving to recruit students and future associates sooner every year,” Oliver said. “Meet the Firms was an amazing event for students to connect with dozens of top legal firms, inquire into their associate programs, and explore post-graduate opportunities. With a personal interest in litigating one day, I was excited to meet with firms that had strong appellate practices such as Harris Beach, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Sullivan & Cromwell, among others." 

The participating firms included the following: Ashurst; Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft; Cahill Gordon & Reindel; Clifford Chance; Clyde & Co; Cozen O'Connor; Davis Polk; Debevoise & Plimpton; Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath; Fried Frank; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Goodwin Procter; Harris Beach; Hogan Lovells; Haynes and Boone; Ice Miller; Katten Muchin Rosenman; Kelley Drye; Linklaters; Locke Lord; Lowenstein Sandler; Mayer Brown; Olshan Frome Wolosky; Paul Hastings; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman; Schulte, Roth & Zabel (New York); Seward & Kissel; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Sullivan & Cromwell; Thompson Coburn; Vedder Price; Venable; Verrill Dana; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; White & Case; and Winston & Strawn.