The first blow of what we expect to be a horrible recruiting season has landed. Winston & Strawn in Chicago was “oversubscribed” and is handing out no-offers and soft offers.
We contacted the firm for comment. From spokesperson Darryl Van Duch:
I am responding on behalf of firm management regarding your inquiry about Winston’s summer class. In your email you stated that Winston & Strawn in Chicago is oversubscribed, and is handing out no-offers and cold offers.
It is the firm’s policy to not comment on individual personnel issues or hiring issues. However, we felt in this situation it was appropriate to address your statements. As to the issue of cold offers, we have not made and will not make so-called ‘cold’ offers. Additionally, the overall percentage rate of offers we made to summer associates in the firm this year was in the 90s, consistent with prior years.
What we’ve been hearing is roughly consistent with Van Duch’s statement. Tipsters tell us that the firm’s Chicago office no-offered 7 out of 67 summer associates, meaning that 90 percent of summers did receive offers.
Now, 90 percent seems plenty high. But it’s certainly lower than the 95 to 100 percent offer rates that were par for the Biglaw course during recent boom times. According to the NALP directory, the Chicago office of Winston had an offer rate of 100 percent in 2007, with 37 out of 37 summers getting offers.
More ruminations on offer rates, after the jump.
Ninety percent — which also happens to be the approximate offer rate at Wiley Rein — seems a little too… convenient. One can’t help wondering whether Winston and Wiley wanted to no-offer even more of their summers, but concluded that dipping below 90 percent would involve entering the reputational danger zone. It will be interesting to see, when the statistics are available on the NALP website, if other firms also clock in at exactly 90 percent.
We hear, through the grapevine, that members of Winston’s no-offered 10 percent are unhappy (surprise surprise). They claim that they received no mid-summer review and virtually no feedback all summer, that they were given the impression that “offers were theirs to lose,” and that the firm told them it anticipated and was prepared for this year’s large summer class.
So the no-offers came as a shock to several of the unfortunate recipients. We hear that some of them were very hard workers, who came into the office early, stayed late, and didn’t screw up — at least not in any conspicuous, lesbian-kiss sort of way.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of no offers (scroll down)