While there seems to be some good news for rising 3Ls, there is more bad news for rising 2Ls. Seyfarth Shaw is the latest firm to cancel its 2010 summer program. Here’s the news from an email that went out to associates earlier today:
[T]he Executive Committee has made the decision to not host a summer associate program in 2010. By taking a break from hosting a summer program in 2010, it will allow us to effectively integrate those associates who already are set to start or participating in this year’s summer program. It also will help us get back on a more typical schedule of first-year hiring. This is not a decision to cease hiring from law schools, nor is it a decision to permanently cease a summer program. It is, however, a decision to pause for a year.
For people who have been paying attention to Seyfarth Shaw, today’s news isn’t all that surprising. More details after the jump.
Seyfarth has already been through multiple rounds of layoffs. The firm cut 30 people in December, another 30 in January, and 50 people in May.
And Seyfarth has already cut associate salaries between 5% and 20%.
And now it looks like the deferral game has finally caught up to the class of 2011. The firm has already deferred 2009 graduates to October 2010. Today, the firm also announced that its current summer associates will not be able to start until January 2011:
Over the course of the next year, we will bring into the Firm a number of first-year associates who received offers last summer, some starting in January 2010 and others in October 2010. In addition, we have 17 students participating in our shortened summer program this year; those who receive offers will begin working in January, 2011. We now have a strong pipeline of new associates in place for the foreseeable future….
We are notifying our current summer associates about the January 2011 start date for any offers we extend within that group. We also are reaching out to law schools to let them know of our plans and to identify ways to continue to strengthen our on-campus presence in the interim.
Will firms like Morgan Lewis and Seyfarth Shaw continue to be outliers when it comes to skipping over an entire class of new associates? Or will more firms determine that the class of 2011 isn’t worth the trouble?
If the market rapidly improves, a firm like Seyfarth can probably pick up some class of 2011 candidates during 3L recruiting next year. It seems like firms are just trying to wait out the recession, just like everybody else.
Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Seyfarth Shaw Cuts 50, Cuts Salaries, Cuts Back on Summer Program