No Offers, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Nationwide No Offer Watch: Stroock Strikes

Stroock Stroock Lavan LLP Above the Law blog.JPGThe tips keep rolling in about firms no offering summer associates. Today’s confirmed casualty report comes from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.
Unlike Wiley Rein, Winston & Strawn, and other reports we’ve heard that suggest firms are coalescing around a 90% offer rate, Stroock made offers to only 80% of their ’08 summer class.
Stroock did not directly confirm this number, but they did not deny it either.
Instead, Stroock communications director Jim Ponichtera focused on a different percentage:

In 2007, Stroock made a strategic decision to increase the size of its
incoming class. Our summer classes were typically in the 28-30 range, and in 2008 we had 54 summer associates. Part of this was due to our decision to increase the class size, and part of this was due to an unexpectedly high acceptance rate of offers to join our summer program.
At the end of the summer, we extended a record number of entry-level offers – over 50% more than in 2007, which is consistent with our current business plan.

You hear that? 50% more offers.
More on the 20% who didn’t make the cut after the jump,

Some of the no offered summers took umbrage at the manner in which Stroock communicated their decision. Apparently some were no offered over the phone.
Other summers were obviously annoyed with the perceived arbitrariness of Stroock’s decisions. Based on the reports we are hearing no resume was safe. We’ve heard that students from HYS and other T14 schools were no offered. We’ve heard that summers on their second tour of duty were no offered, as well as summers that had at least earned the respect of other associates.
But is Stroock an “outlier,” or merely fitting into a larger pattern? Many firms seem to be complaining that their 2008 summer classes were oversubscribed. With layoffs a real possibility in this market, are firms perhaps doing the right thing by cutting excess summers if it saves full time associate jobs?
Of course, such policies are of little consolation to summers who have been no offered. As countless commenters have pointed out, the key is communication. If firms find themselves in situations where 10% – 20% of their summers will not receive offers, then it is only fair that they tell summers what they need to do in order to secure an offer at the start of the summer.
They’re dealing with lawyers after all. This is a group of people that can follow rules.
Doesn’t anyone respect the rules (NSFW)?
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of no offers

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