Law grads have had job offers rescinded at 49% of surveyed law schools

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Law grads have had employment offers rescinded at 49% of the law schools surveyed by the National Association for Law Placement.

Hardest hit were graduates of schools in the Southeast region, where 57.5% of the schools reported rescinded offers; and schools with more than 750 students, where 61% reported rescinded offers. A press release is here and the report is here.

Rescinded offers were most common in private practice. Among schools that reported rescinded offers, 85% said private sector employers had done so.

The results are from NALP’s second pulse survey of its members about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted June 18-30; 167 law schools and 356 legal employers completed the survey.

Other findings include:

• Half of law offices that hired 2020 law grads have not yet established start dates for the new associates. Among offices that did have start dates, 62% scheduled them in January 2021.

• 69% of law offices that deferred start dates are offering stipends or cash payments to the new associates.

• 95% of law firms with summer programs shortened the length. Two-third of firms with shortened programs paid summer associates a prorated amount based on the shorter length.

• 62% of law offices reported salary cuts and/or delayed partner draws since March 1. Among those that took such actions, 79% cut pay for associates, 79% cut pay for staff members, 72% cut pay for staff attorneys, 78% cut pay for of counsel and 97% cut equity partner draws. Among offices that cut pay, only 24% cut the weekly pay rate for summer associates.

• 70% of offices reported that lateral recruiting of associates declined from March 1 to May 31, compared with the same period last year. But 54% reported that lateral recruiting of partners was about the same.

• 35% of law offices had reopened fully or partially, or planned to do so by the end of June. Thirty-nine percent were unsure when they would reopen.

• Half of law school career services offices had budget cuts between March 15 and June 30, and 58% expected budget cuts for the upcoming year. Fourteen percent of career services offices had had furloughs or layoffs since March 15.

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