Big NY Firms Resist NALP Proposal to Delay Job Offer Date

Recruiting officials at several large New York law firms are unhappy about recommendations by the National Association of Law Placement that firms push back the date that offers are extended to law students.

Moving the offer period to January, five months after on-campus interviews, would make recruiting more costly and difficult to manage, law firm recruiters told the New York Law Journal.

Another potential result: fewer students could be hired.

“I think the net result of this will be, if it’s adopted, people will make fewer offers, because everyone will be very concerned about over-hiring,” Jorge Juantorena, a hiring partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, told the legal publication.

NALP’s proposal to have an “offer kick-off day” in mid-January to shorten the time that offers are open, from 45 days to 14 days would mark a significant change to current recruiting norms in which law firms recruit in the fall and make offers as early as August.

But because of the bad economy, many of those recent offers have had to be withdrawn or delayed. NALP contends its proposed time frame will, among other things, enable law firms to make hiring decisions after seeing year-end financial data.

The New York Law Journal notes that not everyone is balking at the proposal. J. William Dantzler Jr., a hiring partner at White & Case, told the paper that the later offer date would give firms and students more time to get to know each other.

Meanwhile, NALP is reviewing some 125 written comments from its membership.

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