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Orrick’s ‘09 Summers to Have 2012 Starts; Campus Recruiting Delayed

Posted Jul 9, 2009 10:57 AM CDT
By Sarah Mui

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Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has confronted the "unfortunate bottleneck of talented law students" caused by deferring the start dates of class of 2008 associates by stating early in the game that its current summer associates who are ultimately hired will not start work until January 2012 "after completion of an Orrick-coordinated fellowship program."

In a memo sent to law deans and obtained by Above the Law, Orrick hiring partner Stephen Venuto also said that Orrick's on-campus recruiting would take place between Nov. 15 of this year and March 2010. "We will not know how many spots will be available in our summer of 2010 class until at least that date in November," which is the deadline by which those in the class of 2009 must accept or reject their offers, the memo states.

"Forecasting the need for new attorneys years in advance of their arrival is, even in the best of times, a challenging task," Venuto says in the memo. "In recent months, it has become extraordinarily difficult."

There were rumblings about delaying on-campus recruiting at a recent National Association for Law Placement conference in Washington, D.C.

"No rational person would hire their people two years in advance if they had a choice," Howard Ellin, the global hiring partner of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, who attended the conference. "Clearly, getting it much closer to when the people are going to come to work would make a lot more sense."

Orrick announced last week that it was eliminating its lockstep pay system and would start placing its associates on one of three different tracks and related pay scales.

Last updated July 16 to clarify that Orrick deferred students graduating in the class of 2009, who would have been summer associates there in 2008.

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