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Jones Day: NALP Plan for Delayed Job Offers Is Radical and Anticompetitive


One law firm has come out swinging in its critique of NALP’s call for delaying summer associate job offers.

Jones Day was an early critic of the plan for an “offer kick-off day” in mid-January during students’ second year of law school. Now the law firm is offering more details in a critique (PDF) on its website that says the plan is an anticompetitive “radical restructuring” of the recruitment process.

If implemented, NALP’s idea could be deemed an illegal restraint of trade, according to Jones Day. To enforce the plan, law schools would have to take collective action to punish law firms that don’t comply, reinforcing the “anticompetitive essence” of the proposed system.

Jones Day notes one of NALP’s justifications for the plan: It addresses law firms’ concerns about the difficulty of judging hiring needs so far in advance, especially in a difficult economy.

But the firms that are so concerned are those that haven’t dealt effectively with the difficult economy, Jones Day says. The report is heavily influenced by the desire to protect those firms from “competitive disadvantage” and even the playing field, according to the law firm.

The change will disadvantage more stable firms and favor those “less confident in their ability to manage their hiring practices effectively,” the critique says.

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