The venerable firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore has entered the building, and it’s asking up to half of its incoming first-years to take a year off.
Cravath is offering a voluntary deferral option to its incoming associates, according to multiple Above the Law sources (as well as Bloomberg News). If the incoming associates are willing to take a year off, they will receive an $80,000 deferral stipend, health care coverage, and $1,000 a month in loan repayment assistance. This appears to be the top of the deferral stipend market, more generous than both Weil and Latham.
A tipster reports that there are no strings attached to this deal:
[T]hey don’t have to do anything but sit on their ass. No public interest, nothing. And they are assured a job in fall 2010.
But wait, weren’t the current summers at Cravath right now — the class of 2010 — supposed to start in fall 2010?
We detail their fate after the jump.
The class of 2010 doesn’t look like it will be as lucky as the class of 2009. Today’s announcement from Cravath also delays the start dates of this year’s summers until fall 2011. It’s a mandatory deferment, and they will get $65,000 plus health care (plus $1,000 in loan assistance).
According to Bloomberg:
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, one of the most profitable U.S. law firms, is offering $80,000 to its incoming lawyers to defer their start dates for a year, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News.
Cravath, whose clients include Citigroup Inc., Time Warner Inc., Johnson & Johnson, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., is also requiring its current summer associates who are offered full-time jobs to accept $65,000 to defer their start date from October 2010 for a year. The delayed start date for lawyers scheduled to begin work this year at the law firm is optional.
“While the firm’s level of work is at or near its level before the continuing economic downturn, there are many more associates at the firm today than our plans anticipated, as the poor economy and the disruption at many financial institutions have reduced the rate at which our associates have left the firm for other opportunities,” the New York-based firm said in a memo to associates today.
Cravath’s 150-lawyer incoming class and summer associate class of 120 are “significantly larger than planned because the acceptance rate of our offers increased the size of those classes well beyond our expectations,” the memo said.
The firm did not respond immediately to ATL’s email and phone inquiries.
Skadden received a lot of positive press for its Sidebar program. How will the media spin Cravath doling out $80,000 to people fresh out of law school?
Cravath Asks Incoming Lawyers to Delay Start a Year [Bloomberg News]
Update: We’d like to get our hands a copy of the memo. Please email it to us if you can. Thanks.