Years of Experience

We analyzed survey responses to identify any differences in the helpfulness of hiring criteria based on a respondent’s years of experience as a lawyer.(20) Respondents were somewhat more concentrated on the lower and higher ends of the experience spectrum, with 29% having 1-10 years of experience and 31% having more than 31 years; about one in five respondents had either 11-20 years (20%) or 21-30 years (21%) experience.

Figure 9: Years of Experience (n = 23099)


Analysis by respondent years of experience largely demonstrates consistency in respondents’ views of the helpfulness of each of the hiring criteria. The top ten hiring criteria across all years of experience categories consisted of all eight practical experience criteria, with two academic experience or achievement criteria taking the ninth and tenth places.

Figure 10: Top Ten Hiring Criteria for Years of Experience


Notwithstanding the similarities in the years of experience top ten lists, generally speaking, respondents with more than 31 years of experience are somewhat less likely than other groups to consider any of the hiring criteria helpful, although each criterion was considered helpful by a majority of these more experienced respondents. Notably, however, lawyers with more than 31 years of experience were more likely than those with less experience to view the more traditional hiring criteria—class rank, law school attended, and law review experience—as helpful.

Of the seventeen hiring criteria, we found that two yielded no significant results; eleven yielded statistically, but not practically significant, results; and four yielded both statistically and practically significant results when analyzed by years of experience.

Table 4: Statistical and Practical Significance in Years of Experience Analysis


Figure 11: Proportion of Respondents Indicating Somewhat or Very Helpful for All Hiring Criteria, Years of Experience



20.  The survey asked respondents to provide their year of graduation from law school. During analysis we calculated the years between each respondent’s graduation year and 2015; we used this value as a proxy for years of experience. Further, we collapsed years of experience into four banded categories: 1-10 years; 11-20 years; 21-30 years; and 31+ years.