It seems that many of our friends in the upper Midwest are preparing for a long hard winter back on the 3L recruiting circuit. Above the Law has confirmed that Dorsey & Whitney made offers to only 56% of its 2009 summer associates. A Dorsey & Whitney spokesperson broke the news to Above the Law:
Firmwide, Dorsey made 28 offers of employment to the 50 2Ls who were with us this summer, including offers of employment to 16 2Ls in Minneapolis.
The competition was so tough this year that even the 1Ls summering with the firm felt the pinch:
Dorsey also made offers to return for Summer 2010 to 3 of the 8 1L candidates who were with us.
Those 3 1Ls are very lucky. In August, the firm announced that it was canceling its 2010 summer program in offices outside of Minneapolis.
After the jump, the firm and Above the Law tipsters say that economics caused the low offer rate.
Our tipsters report that the firm told summers that did not receive an offer that the economy forced the firm’s hand. One tipster put it this way:
Dorsey told those that did not get job offers it was for “economic reasons” and was not performance related, going so far as to encourage the rejects to have potential employers call Dorsey to verify that claim.
A Dorsey & Whitney spokesperson echoed the tipsters’ reports:
Because of economic factors, Dorsey was not able to make offers at our historic levels. We have encouraged non-offerees to contact specific lawyers in the firm with whom they worked for recommendations. While Dorsey awaits decisions on acceptance of the offers and clerkship decisions by offerees, there remains the possibility that additional offers may be made. In addition, Dorsey is determining if other offices have positions available for non-offerees. Thus, at this point the final number of offers remain fluid.
Is a letter from a firm really going to help 3Ls during recruiting this year? People don’t usually solicit recommendation letters that say: “You should hire this guy. I didn’t, but you should.”
Perhaps that is why this tipster wasn’t happy with the Dorsey summer associate experience:
Most of us also believe that they should have been more upfront with us about the chances of an offer seeing as they spent the summer telling us they had no clue how many offers they could give out, but that we should not worry too much. What the hell? I, for one, would not have wasted my time with Dorsey if I would have known they were not doing so well and not capable of giving offers to those who deserved them. I was misled for the summer and was given a raw deal. Perhaps the most frustrating part was the constant Dorsey mantra of “shared sacrifice.” Maybe I am dense, but “sharing the sacrifice” does not seem like it should encompass giving only a few offers to summer associates when many more were quite capable of the work and received nothing but good feedback all summer. A little brutal honesty at the beginning of the summer or, even better, last year during the offer process, instead of the typical Midwestern inability to be forthcoming, would have gone a long way for many of us who now find ourselves screwed over.
Well, “brutal honesty” has been given to 2Ls interviewing for next year’s summer program. We’ll see if that information helps 2Ls interviewing for the firm’s Minneapolis summer.
Earlier: More Canceled Summer Programs: Quarles & Brady, Dorsey & Whitney (outside Minneapolis)