omelveny logo.JPGAfter Latham laid off 440 people, the firm announced that they would be offering a deferral stipend to incoming first year associates. Latham offered $75,000 to people wiling to defer their start date until the fall of 2010. When Orrick laid off 300 people, the firm also offered $75K to associates willing to delay for a year.

When O’Melveny laid off 200 people yesterday, there was no mention of any deferral plan. The firm’s silence caused a lot of worry among 3Ls heading to O’Melveny.

Some 3Ls called the firm. Recruiting personnel told them: “We haven’t decided that yet,” and “It’s not likely.”

So what kind of stipend can 3Ls expect from O’Melveny? The firm responds after the jump.


Today, Above the Law was able to get some clarity from O’Melveny regarding incoming first year associates. A firm spokesperson told us:

O’Melveny has set the start date for its new associate class in December 2009, which is a slight delay compared to earlier years, when associates typically started between September and November. We will be providing our incoming associates with a bar stipend, as well as bar and moving-related expenses. We have not asked incoming associates to defer their employment for a year and have no plans to do so. As such, we are not paying any related deferral stipend.

Okay. So O’Melveny is not offering a deferral stipend because it is not asking people to defer. That puts them in the category of a number of other firms that have pushed back start dates.

Still, the difficulty facing 3Ls that are looking at months without a paycheck is not lost on us. How are people supposed to pay bills for six months (or more) without an income, a severance package, an extended bar stipend, or any other money coming in? Not everybody can fit into mother’s basement.

Well, at least 3Ls at OMM have a job lined up for 2010. Everyday, fewer and fewer people can say that.

Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: O’Melveny Fires 90 Lawyers, 110 Staff

Prior ATL coverage of law incoming first year start dates


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