Will Deferred Associates Idea Backfire for Law Firms?
Posted Feb 16, 2010 10:33 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Law firms that offered deferred associates up to $80,000 to pursue public interest work may be in for a rude awakening: The future talent pool is happy and unwilling to return to private practice.
That’s the assertion of an opinion column by Georgetown University law grad Russ Ferguson in the American Spectator.
“Law firms wanted a reserve workforce committed to them to be on call and ready to go should the market pick back up. What they may be getting, however, is quite different,” Ferguson writes. “A lot of these associates are trying to find a way to stay in their public interest jobs, or at least a related field, and may have given up on law firm work forever.
“These new lawyers have found that their new jobs are more fulfilling and more interesting, and—more importantly—they've seen that they can live on a smaller salary. As one of my classmates put it, ‘Add up the hours I worked this week and add up the hours my friends at law firms worked. Divide our salaries by the amount of hours and you'll see—I'm rich.’ ”