This isn’t going to come as a galloping shock to most people, but it turns out that the firms that are making the most profit aren’t feeling the need to defer their incoming first year associates. Am Law Daily reports:
The only top ten firm that is making deferrals mandatory this year is Schulte, Roth & Zabel, which is requiring all new associates to start in 2010.
But the rest of the top ten most profitable partnerships are taking a different path. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz; Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges; Boies, Schiller & Flexner; Sullivan & Cromwell; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Kirkland & Ellis; and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton are starting all of their associates next fall as originally scheduled.
Congratulations to the incoming first years lucky enough to be heading one of these firms in the fall.
But it’s time to learn an important lesson about the difference between “revenue” and “profit.”
More after the jump.
If you look at the top ten firms in terms of gross revenue, the picture is very different:
When it comes to the top-grossing firms, the number of firms avoiding deferrals is far smaller. Of the top ten Am Law 100 firms by revenue, only Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis will be starting all associates on time. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Latham & Watkins; and Sidley Austin have offered optional paid yearlong leaves, and Baker & McKenzie, White & Case, Mayer Brown, and Greenberg Traurig have pushed back start dates until various dates in 2010.
Are rising 2Ls going to pay attention to such reports when they are making decisions on which law firms to summer at? That would assume that we are living in a world where law students are juggling multiple offers for the summer of 2010.
In the meantime, many incoming first years we’ve spoken with have moved on from second guessing their choice of firms. Instead, deferred associates are worried about whether they will have a job once their deferral period ends.
But people who have been deferred for a full year could be caught in a Biglaw backlog, unless more firms follow the new Cravath model and defers the class of 2010 until 2011.
Profit is good. Let’s hope for more of that.
Most Profitable Firms Are Resisting Deferrals [Am Law Daily]
Earlier: Cravath Offers Voluntary Deferral to Class of 2009 — and Delays Class of 2010 a Full Year
Prior ATL coverage of start dates