Law Firms

Abuse of Recent Grads? Howard Rice Sued for Deferred and Rescinded Job Offer


A would-be associate has sued San Francisco law firm Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin for deferring and then rescinding her job offer.

The suit by Sarah Martinez claims the law firm actively recruited white associates, especially white males, after her 2008 job offer was deferred, the Recorder reports. The offer was rescinded in 2009, she says, and by that point it was too late to accept a job elsewhere.

Among other things, the suit claims discrimination on the basis of gender and Mexican ancestry.

Martinez’s lawyer, Kathleen Lucas, told the Recorder that many recent grads fear that suing law firms will harm their careers. But Martinez saw things differently. “Her view is that her career is already so damaged, and that, frankly, the money she’s already lost is so significant,” Lucas said.

“These firms have to be stopped,” Lucas added. “It’s an abuse of the recent grads.”

Howard Rice marketing chief John Buchanan told the Recorder that “the complaint is factually incorrect in a number of areas, and we don’t think there’s any merit to her claims.”

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