Obviously, things are not well in Pennsylvania. Ballard Spahr has canceled its 2010 Summer Program. Dechert is laying people off. Drinker Biddle is changing the nature of the Biglaw experience. WolfBlock … does not exist.
So it’s not surprising that people are becoming concerned about another titan of the Philadelphia market, Blank Rome. The firm has cut associate salaries, and it did lay off 79 people back in March.
On Wednesday, multiple rising 2Ls at Penn Law received information that led them to believe that Blank Rome was pulling out of on-campus interviewing at Penn. That made others speculate that Blank Rome’s entire 2010 summer program was in jeopardy.
But sources at the firm — including some partners — contend that the firm is going full steam ahead with its 2010 Summer Program, which will include recruiting at Penn. A firm spokesperson furnished Above the Law with this response:
I can confirm that we are currently scheduled to recruit at Penn and that we will be continuing our summer program.
How did so many Penn students get spooked about the Blank Rome recruiting situation? We investigate after the jump.
It seems that there was a big misunderstanding between Penn Law and its students. In this environment — where the class of 2011 is more terrified than a crab in the Chesapeake — any lack of clarity can produce a lot of stress.
Here’s how one rising 2L reported the situation:
I’m a rising 2L at Penn, and Blank Rome just pulled out of our OCI program. Our bidding closed Tuesday night, so a bunch of people are really upset that they wasted high bids on a firm only to have them turn around and drop us less than 48 hours later. We’re not feeling so great about Drinker Biddle or Dechert either (for obvious reasons).
On Wednesday night, a tipster sent a screen shot of Penn’s recruiting website that omitted Blank Rome:
But the omission was news to Blank Rome personnel. The firm assured us that they were going to be on-campus this fall. In fact, they’ve received confirmation from Penn that they are scheduled to be on-campus on August 14th.
Update (3:33): The firm now says its interview slot at Penn Law has been confirmed for August 25th.
Officials at Penn were also surprised that its students had the wrong impression. Here’s the statement we obtained from a Penn Law spokesperson:
Blank Rome IS interviewing at Penn Law this fall. I do not know why some students believe otherwise, but we would be happy to speak with them directly about this.
This appears to be a case of legitimately worried rising 2Ls freaking out over some kind of glitch in the system. Hopefully, law school administrators know that the class of 2011 is hanging on by a very thin thread right now.
It’s time to start lacing the water supply with Prozac.
Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Blank Rome Cuts 79
Nationwide Salary Cut Watch: Blank Rome Loves America
Ballard Spahr And Thompson Hine Cancel Their 2010 Summer Programs