Back in January, we noted a trend in firms pushing back start dates for 2009 incoming associates. At that time, Clifford Chance and Milbank Tweed had pushed back to late October, and Morrison & Foerster had pushed back to November. Since then though, firms have been pushing back even further.

To name a few: Hogan & Hartson – November 30, 2009; O’Melveny and Latham – December 2009 (though Latham is also offering an October 2010 option); Nixon Peabody, Chadbourne & Parke, and Venable – January 2010; and Morgan Lewis – October 2010. White and Case is offering November 2009 to some, but 2010 to most.

And now, influential Cravath is joining the pushback party, reports AmLaw Daily:

First-years will have their choice of start dates: October, November or January. The start dates will fill up on a first-come, first-serve basis, meaning if you want to start in October, you better let the firm know soon.

As we’ve said before, it makes sense for firms to delay start dates for incoming associates, since work is already slow for their current associates. But one ATL reader begs firms to go ahead and make up their minds about start dates ASAP:

Can you please tell the law firms that while 3Ls don’t want deferred start dates, the firm that announces last screws their 3Ls the most. If we don’t find out soon we won’t be able to get into LLM programs or paid public interest work.

So, 3Ls, don’t sign leases in your new city just yet. And firms, if you plan to push back start dates for incoming associates, bite the bullet and do it. And feel free to send the memo our way while you’re at it ([email protected]).

Cravath Joins Delayed Start Date Party [American Lawyer]

Earlier: Prior ATL Nationwide Start Date Watch coverage

Nationwide Start Date Watch: Longer summers for new associates in 2009?


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