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Most—But Not All—Deferred Associates Still Starting in January

Posted Dec 17, 2009 9:32 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Nixon Peabody’s decision to push back the January start dates of about two-thirds of its deferred associates had one blogger wondering if other law firms would follow suit.

“Are there other firms that are even more delinquent than Nixon?” Above the Law's Elie Mystal wondered. “Who is supposed to start in January yet still can’t get their firm on the phone?”

The Am Law Daily set out to answer the question, calling 42 law firms that planned to start new associates in just a few weeks. Its conclusion, based on responses from about half the firms: Most associates will start as planned in January or early February.

Some firms, however, have later start dates for deferred associates, the Am Law Daily says. They include:

• At Goodwin Procter, four deferred associates started in October and 62 associates—about half the firm’s incoming class—will start in January. The rest will start in October 2010.

• At Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, 32 associates will start next month, but another 22 are deferred until January 2011.

• At Greenberg Traurig, most new associates are expected to start in January. Decisions on deferrals are being made by the firm’s individual offices.

• Mayer Brown is asking 18 out of 119 lawyers scheduled to start next month to consider a voluntary extension to October 2010 with a $5,000 a month stipend.

• At Troutman Sanders, 24 associates will start in January, while another 12 will see their start dates staggered throughout next year.

• Blank Rome says most of its new associates will start in January, but some won’t start until later in the year.

• White & Case is sticking with plans to start new lawyers in the fall of 2010.

The blog was unable to confirm a report that new associates at Winston & Strawn were told last month that they won’t begin in January as planned. Their new start dates are reportedly in April and October.

The Shark blog has cataloged deferral dates based on previous reports, many from Above the Law.

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