There’s been a little confusion concerning precisely what Arent Fox is doing with its incoming associates. We told you earlier that the firm had pushed back start dates (some to November, others to February), but new information has come to light.
According to a spokesperson for Arent Fox. five 3Ls will be starting with the firm in November 2009, while the rest (21 incoming first years) won’t be able to start until February, 2010.
Our sources also report that the deferral stipend being offered to those February, 2010 first years is $5,000 — but that money is on top of the bar expenses. According to our sources, that money will not be paid out until November. Arent Fox declines to comment on the specific amount of its deferral stipend, as per firm policy.
After the jump, we explain why some commenters think that Arent Fox is “rescinding” offers to incoming first years.
Arent Fox has not officially rescinded an offer to anybody. However, we can understand how some people might have gotten the wrong idea.
Sources report that the hiring partner in charge of communicating with incoming associates is scaring the hell out of them. Our sources have been told over the phone that the firm “hopes” to bring the rest of the first years in February, but “cannot guarantee” that the February date is hard and fast. In addition, multiple sources report that Arent Fox has told incoming first years that they are “free to to pursue other options.”
Anybody out there have any other options that are worth pursuing?
To be clear, Arent Fox is not rescinding anybody’s offer in the manner some of our commenters have suggested. The firm just doesn’t appear to be entirely clear on when its new people will be able to start, because of the general problems in the market. A firm spokesperson gave Above the Law the following statement:
Arent Fox has not rescinded any offers to 3Ls who were scheduled to start with the firm. However, like every other law firm, we continue to monitor the uncertain national economy and evaluate our anticipated needs. Accordingly, it is accurate to say that the firm has informed those whose start dates have been deferred that they are free to pursue other employment opportunities and accept any offers they may receive prior to their deferred start date.
As always, we’ll keep you posted on any new information we receive.