This afternoon, we told you about a summer associate from Harvard Law School who has already been fired from his firm. After the story went up, the HLS 2L called Above the Law to “set the record straight.” He has a different version of what went on during his brief stay at McDermott, Will & Emery.
According to the former summer associate, who asked that we maintain his anonymity (so please don’t name him in the comments), he was let go because his work visa hadn’t yet come through. As many of you know, non-citizens need to have a work visa in order to work — and get paid — in America.
But according to the HLS 2L, his work authorization papers were delayed because MWE didn’t tell him he’d be able to start working as a summer associate until late February. In case you’re wondering, you cannot apply for a work visa until you know when you will actually be working (in terms of specific dates). The HLS 2L did apply for the work visa in late February, but he’s still waiting for the papers to come through.
As the HLS 2L put it:
I was never officially a summer at McDermott, so I really wasn’t fired.
More details about the HLS 2L’s “heated conversation” with a MWE partner, after the jump.
At a summer associate event, the HLS 2L claims that one of the firm’s partners confronted him about his lack of work authorization. The HLS 2L felt that the partner was suggesting that it was the HLS 2L’s fault that his work visa was not in order. The HLS 2L said it was McDermott’s fault that the firm couldn’t get him a start date until late February. At that point, the partner and the summer associate began arguing:
There was no cursing; it was a heated conversation. Everyone had had some drinks, but I was no more intoxicated than anybody else. It was only 10:30 when I left, and I left with friends…. I told the hiring partner that I regretted getting into a heated disagreement, but there was no cursing.
The HLS 2L says he was let go because of this work visa problem, not because of his argument with a McDermott partner. He says that argument went down on May 28th — during the first week of McDermott’s summer program. But he wasn’t let go from the firm until the second week of June. He says that was the point where he learned that his work authorization would not clear until late July, and informed McDermott management of the situation. At that point, the HLS 2L says that McDermott management determined that there was “no point to keep [him] on,” since he couldn’t do any work.
McDermott would not comment on the specifics of the HLS 2L’s situation. But the firm did provide us with this statement:
The Firm can confirm there was one summer associate terminated.
Beyond that, we do not comment on individual personnel matters.
In any event, the HLS 2L told us that he would not work at McDermott now, even if his work visa came through and the firm invited him back. He said the firm just isn’t treating its people very well.
Was anybody actually at this May 28th event? If so, please send in your tips.
Earlier: We Know What You Did Harvard Summer (Or: A summer associate fired, and it’s not even July.)
Salary Cut Watch: Summers at McDermott Get Pinched
Reverse Perk Watch: McDermott ‘Sends a Message of Desperation’