My friends, we have a trend. Bryan Cave has become the third firm we know of to offer its incoming associates money to simply go away instead of starting at the firm.
Tipsters report that the firm is offering some associates $70,000 to “walk away” instead of showing up for work. That’s the carrot. This tipster reports the stick:
[A Bryan Cave letter] stated that they are unable to guarantee a start date at this time .. The letter [also] said was that they are unsure if they will need any first year associates before 2011. Shady, shady, shady…
Stroock — the first firm to offer incoming associates go away money — offered $75,000. Pillsbury offered $60,000. So Bryan Cave is keeping up with the market for these kinds of things.
After the jump, a reader poll, and Bryan Cave’s strategy for incoming associates.
Dennis Fleischmann, a partner on Bryan Cave’s management committee, explained the firm’s relationship with its incoming associates:
Because economic challenges continue to affect our clients, we are taking measures to ensure our ability to effectively meet their needs and expectations. In responding to those needs and expectations, we believe it is important that we consider our existing and future associates and maximize the opportunity for all of our associates to be engaged in challenging work as early as possible in their careers. Bringing on too large of a group too soon will not achieve that goal. We are sensitive to the challenges this creates for those who will not be able to join the firm as soon as they would like, so we are taking steps to ensure that they have resources to assist them during this time. The circumstances that exist, as you would expect, vary from office to office. The measures we are undertaking, therefore, also vary in order to most effectively address those differing circumstances.
It sounds like some people will have an option to leave the firm, while others will have to take a deferral extension.
Either way, 2009 graduates who hoped to start working at Bryan Cave better have a plan B. Here’s a helpful link.
Would you rather be deferred, again? Or at this point would you want $70,000 to stake you while you find something else to do with your career? Take our reader poll below.