Law Firms

Would-Be Associates at Some East Coast Firms Face Longer Deferrals, Fewer Summer Jobs

There’s more bad news for some law grads and students who want to work for some East Coast law firms.

Associates deferred in 2009 at Shearman & Sterling learned Friday that they won’t start work at the law firm until 2011, according to the New York Law Journal and Above the Law. Meanwhile, job-hunting law students are facing a tough job market in the Philadelphia region as many law firms continue to scale back or cut their summer associate programs, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The deferred associates at Shearman were told to complete a “start date preference sheet” listing three 2011 possibilities: Jan. 31, Feb. 7 and Feb. 14, according to a memo posted on Above the Law.

Shearman has hired 27 summer associates this year, a reduction from the 57 hired the year before, the New York Law Journal says. The Inquirer highlights cuts at other firms:

• Morgan Lewis & Bockius and Ballard Spahr canceled their summer associate programs, but expect them to resume next year.

• Reed Smith hired 21 summers, down from 81 in 2008.

• Dechert hired 36 summers, compared to 99 in 2007.

• Blank Rome hired 12 summers, down from 24, but increased the length of its program from six to eight weeks.

• Drinker Biddle & Reath hired 25 summers, down from 37 in 2007.

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