Deferral Stipend, Job Searches, Start Dates

Proskauer Rose and Mintz Levin Kick Off ‘Deferment Extension’ Season

proskauer rose logo.JPGDo you remember the class of 2009? You know, the kids who should be gearing up to start work in a couple of weeks but are instead sitting around, waiting to get out of purgatory? Don’t look now, but a couple of firms have decided to extend the deferral period for these people, and that can’t be a good thing.
Proskauer Rose’s New York office kicked off the round of deferment extensions last week. A tipster from Proskauer in Los Angeles reported the news:

Proskauer just told incoming L.A. associates that [incoming associates] in New York are getting their start dates pushed back again. It’s all the way back to November now. They told us [in L.A.] before they told New York because they didn’t want us to “hear it on Above the Law first.” [Sheesh.]

The letters have now gone out to all the incoming New York associates informing them of the news. The new start date is November 2, 2010.
Proskauer had already pushed back the class of 2009 to March 2010. But Proskauer has also told the class of 2010 that the earliest they will be able to start is “fall” 2010.
So can we assume that rising 2Ls considering interviewing with Proskauer won’t be able to start until late 2012? For that matter, are incoming Proskauer associates confident that they will ever be able to start at the firm? We reached out to Proskauer, but the firm did not respond to our request for comment.
After the jump, Mintz Levin joins the deferment extension party.

Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky Popeo Above the Law blog.jpgMintz Levin has cut associate salaries and laid off some associates in the past few weeks. Now the firm is pushing back start dates, again. A firm spokesperson told us the news:

[T]he firm, like others, has elected to further defer the incoming class of first year associates. As communicated in personal phone calls to each individual as well as in a letter, half of the class will start in April 2010, the other half will start in January 2011. Those that elect to start in 2011 will be offered an additional stipend. The firm will also assist those individuals in finding a fellowship opportunity, if they so choose.

This is the fear that many people expressed during the deferment craziness earlier this year. Getting pushed back a couple of months or even a year is one thing, if there is actually a job waiting for you on the other side.
Are these deferment extension firms actually just delaying the inevitable? Will deferment extension become a new trend? Let us know what you think.
Earlier: The Latest and Greatest Nationwide Start Date Round-up
Proskauer Rose Defers Current Summers to 2011
Nationwide Salary Cut Watch: Mintz’s Levy on Salaries

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