It’s going to be California dreaming for second-year law students hoping to work in the Golden State next summer. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman became the latest firm to curtail summer hiring, confirming Thursday it likely won’t host any summer associates in its West Coast offices in 2010.
Pillsbury was recently named a top law firm for women. But if you’re a woman in the class of 2011, getting a job at Pillsbury just got a lot harder.
The move wasn’t a surprise to some. Earlier this week, an ATL reader who bid on Pillsbury for OCI received this message from career services:
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP is now focusing their recruiting on their East Coast offices and would like to know if you are interested in the NY or DC offices. In fact, it now looks like they may not have any summer programs in California. If you are considering the east coast, please email me immediately and specify the location(s) of interest (NY &/or DC).
According to the Daily Journal, Pillsbury plans to hire 15 to 17 summer associates to work in its New York, Washington, and Houston offices. This is a sharp drop from the 50 summer associates it hosted nationwide in 2009. (As for those summer associates, they’ll be hearing about offers by the end of August.)
So what’s behind the sharp reduction in summer associates?
It’s the economy, stupid — or at least the uncertainty of it all:
“Our recruiting programs are driven by business needs, and projecting the number of entry-level attorneys needed 18-30 months from now is more art than science,” firm spokeswoman Sandi Sonnenfeld said in an e-mail. “Bearing this challenge in mind, Pillsbury’s 2010 summer program will be much smaller than in the past.”
Although the firm will still host summer associates in other cities, the move is still significant. Pillsbury has many offices in California, a grand total of seven, and it traces its origins to the Golden State. Recall that the “Pillsbury” is Pillsbury Winthrop was Pillsbury Madison & Sutro, a leading San Francisco law firm dating back to 1874.
To the Class of 2011: Good luck; you’ll need it.
Pillsbury Pulls the Plug on California Summer Program [Daily Journal (subscription)]
Earlier: Canceled Summer Programs – 2010