Many firms have followed, but none have topped. Today, Weil, Gotshal & Manges is taking a run at Latham’s high water mark.
A tipster reports sent us a Weil memo that announces the firm’s new deferred start date program. It’s a bit complicated. Weil is pushing back the start date for all incoming associates until January, 2010. But, in addition to bar expenses, the firm will be paying associates $15,000 in September 2009. That is more than anybody else who has deferred start dates to the first of the year.
But Weil is also asking associates to volunteer for have their start dates pushed back until January, 2011. Yes, I said “2011.” That would be longer than any firm (at this point) is asking its incoming first years to wait. However, if associates push back until 2011, Weil will give you $75,000 — if you work for a firm approved public interest organization — on top of the $15K they will receive in September, 2009. Should an associate choose not to work for that time, Weil will offer $60,000 (on top of the initial $15K).
That is not all that is happening over at Weil today. More details after the jump.
Weil is also scaling back its summer program from 12 weeks to 10 weeks. There are any number of firms who are moving to a ten week program. However, here’s an interesting wrinkle. If you were already scheduled to work the full 12 weeks at Weil, the firm give you $1,500 in make good money. So, really, in terms of pay, Weil summers are only losing
half 3/4 of a paycheck, instead of a full one.
And for what it’s worth, that $1,500 will be mailed to you next week. Spring break baby!
One sobering note (yes, let’s pretend that there is only one sobering note when a firm asks 3Ls to delay until 2011): the memo notes that the management committee is considering all of its options to avoid attorney layoffs. I wonder if this will affect Weil in its match-up with Cleary in the Safest Firms bracket?
But, layoffs haven’t happened yet, so let’s think about that tomorrow. This is starting to look like the salary wars of halcyon days long past. This morning Clifford Chance gave $10,000 for people pushed back until January 2010, and Weil comes right back with $15,000. Are all the firms that didn’t offer any extra money to people who were pushed back to January going to have to revisit that decision and offer their deferred first years a little something more than “bar expenses?” If everybody can play follow the leader on the way down, surely the door must swing both ways.
Cross the streams boys.
Earlier: Is Latham Setting Precedent?