The number of law firms canceling their 2010 summer associate programs continues to climb. Here are the latest additions to the growing list:
1. McCarter & English: Managing partner Eric Wiechmann confirmed to ATL that the firm will not be holding a summer associate program in 2010. In addition, he confirmed that incoming associates won’t be starting until December 1, 2009 (which, all things considered, is pretty good).
(Before some of you say you’ve never heard of McCarter, please note that it’s one of the largest firms in New Jersey — a sizable legal market. In addition to its main office in Newark, the firm also has offices in Boston, Hartford, Stamford, New York City, Philadelphia and Wilmington. Recently it made news by hiring Harley Lewin, a leading IP lawyer and trademark guardian, from Greenberg Traurig.)
2. McGuire Woods: This is a firm that needs no introduction. It’s quite sizable, with 900 lawyers across 18 offices worldwide, and it’s #61 on the Am Law 100 list.
A spokesperson for McGuire Woods confirmed what we’ve heard from various law student tipsters: the firm is “likely to reduce the number of offices in which we have our summer programs.” It has not, however, made a final decision on which offices won’t be hosting summers. (One reader predicts the firm won’t have summer associates outside of Richmond, Charlotte, and Chicago.)
But there’s some additional interesting backstory here.
Here’s the funny part. Earlier this week, while covering the Fordham Law v. Reed Smith controversy, we wrote:
We’ve even heard from students who were told, mid-interview, that the office they were supposedly interviewing for wouldn’t be having a summer program (but more on that later).
That was based on McGuire Woods. We heard about this from multiple law students going through on-campus interviewing (OCI) at UCLA Law School. Here are some of their reports (we received many and picked out three favorites):
McGuire Woods Interviewer: So how are you feeling about your job prospects?
Me: Well, obviously it is a down economy, but I think I am a strong candidate because of [X Y and Z]. Besides, I try not to worry about things I have no control over like the state of the economy.
McGuire Woods Interviewer: Well, you should probably know that we currently have
no plans for a Los Angeles summer program. But we are still interviewing because it is a dynamic business and we want to have a pool of candidates to choose from just in case.
Me (a short pause as I struggle to maintain control of my facial expressions and suppress various wildly inappropriate words from coming out of my mouth): Oh. Really? Ok.
The coup de grâce: “What made this exchange even more fun was that there was still about 10 minutes left of the interview. Good times.”
Apparently, McGuire Woods decided “a few weeks ago” to cancel their Los Angeles summer associate program but couldn’t be bothered to let anyone at UCLA know ahead of time.
This information might have been useful as OCI slots are distributed based on how high of a bid each firm is given. I would not have wasted a bid on a firm that isn’t running a summer program. Classy move guys, thanks.
On the other hand, maybe I should just feel bad for McGuire Woods. If interviewing 2Ls for a program that doesn’t exist is a high enough priority to consume a partner’s entire workday, they have to be hurting pretty bad.
Anyway, thought you might enjoy this as it seems illustrative of the absurd state of job prospects for the class of 2011. Another firm I interviewed with today was interviewing 36 UCLA and USC students for 1 summer associate slot. I can’t wait for tomorrow.
A tasty little tidbit from the somber halls of OCI:
I showed up bright and early Monday morning for my on-campus interview with a branch office of McGuireWoods, and about halfway through the interview, the partner casually informed me that unfortunately McGuireWoods head office decided a month ago that they were canceling their summer program for all offices outside of Richmond, Charlotte, and Chicago.
After dropping that bomb, he happily went on to discuss his thoughts on the current state of the economy, and how he “felt so bad for everyone trying to find a SA position right now,” and that “if by some chance the head office decides to reinstate the program they didn’t want to be left without having interviewed any students.”
Thanks, sir. I’m very glad that I used a bid on a firm that stealthily wanted to avoid being left behind “if by some chance” the program is back on again later.
This may be the worst case of “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” I’ve heard of in a while.
In happier news, congratulations to McGuire Woods partner Timothy Heaphy, who has been nominated by President Obama to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia. It’s certainly a great honor for both Heaphy and the firm (even though he’ll surely be missed; on the other hand, perhaps he’ll return after his government service).
McCarter & English Continues To Expand in New York With the Hiring of Harley Lewin [Street Insider]
White House Announces Timothy Heaphy as U.S. Attorney Nominee [McGuire Woods]