Back in March, a couple of 3Ls took it upon themselves to try to pressure Mayer Brown into letting them know their start dates. You know them as “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern,” though Rosencrantz later revealed himself to be NYU 3L, Chuck Egbuonu (a.k.a. Mr. Chuck).
Chuck and his cohort were widely criticized for essentially threatening the firm with a “public relations nightmare” unless Mayer Brown told them when they could start. Eventually Mr. Chuck reported that he had spoken with Mayer Brown regarding start dates:
I just received a phone call from partners at Mayer Brown informing me that decisions are being made as we speak, and we will be informed of the decisions in a timely manner.
We published that story on March 5th. Today is April 21st. Apparently Mayer Brown’s understanding of the phrase of “timely manner” is much like the South’s comprehension of the phrase “with all deliberate speed.”
Incoming Mayer Brown associates are about to graduate and need to know where they are going in a couple of months. But Mayer Brown seems content to make their new hires wait, and wait, and wait…
A tipster (not Mr. Chuck) reports that the firm is just stringing along the class of 2010:
Mayer Brown summer associate here. We are all freaking the $$(@% out because we have absolutely zero details on what will become of us. In January, they told us they hoped to let us know by the end of February. Every single time since that someone has tried to get information from the firm, they say “within a couple weeks,” and never have they lived up to that. They didn’t even bother to inform us that we had a relocation budget…until someone confronted them directly about it. Nothing about bar summer (other than they will pay for barbri), nothing about start dates, nothing about deferral details. Most of us graduate in less than a month, and remain unable to even commit to a bar course location because we don’t know where we can afford to live.
In fact, everything the new 2009 Mayer Brown summers have heard about the firm since they left has been pretty terrible. For instance, some members of the preceding class — the summer class of 2008/graduating class of 2009 — are still waiting to start at the firm. In December, we reported that Mayer Brown asked its last incoming class to take a voluntary deferment until October 2010. I imagine that the earliest the current crop of 3Ls will be able to start is October — and that assumes that Mayer Brown is prepared to welcome a double group of new associates this fall.
And that makes sense only if you further assume that Mayer Brown laid off 75 people (including 28 attorneys) earlier this month to make room for its new associates. Sure, that’s possible. Maybe Mayer Brown believes these children are the future. Also possible: the firm is critically overstaffed and there is simply not enough work to go around.
It’s not like Mayer Brown is ignoring their hope-to-be-incoming-but-probably-royally-screwed associates. They communicate with them all of the time, just not about anything useful:
What is worse, is that we periodically get emails with the subject line “Mayer Brown Update,” which gives us a heart attack. When we open them, all we see is an email about news, partner promotions, and various other self-aggrandizing Mayer Brown information. I wonder if they realize that none of us give a damn because at this point we have no idea if we even still have job offers. A few months ago, the excuse that other firms hadn’t communicated details to their summers was passable. Now, the list of firms who have held back information is becoming slimmer, and Mayer seems to be determined to be dead last.
This seems to be standard operating procedure at Mayer Brown — remember how long it took the firm to tell its current associates how much they’d be making in 2010? If you are contemplating interviewing with Mayer Brown this fall, know that the firm likes to make you wait before taking action.
But really, isn’t the class of 2010 heading to Mayer Brown doing nothing but waiting for official confirmation of the obvious? The firm is laying people off and re-deferring the class that’s already been standing in line for a year. What does the current Mayer Brown incoming class think is going to happen? Models and Bottles?
The firm is clearly dealing with issues right now that are more important than the class of 2010.
Earlier: Mutiny at Mayer Brown?
NYU 3L Takes Unemployment Plight to YouTube
Mayer Brown Re-Deferment: A December Surprise
Nationwide Layoff Watch: Mayer Brown Reducing Its Force by 75
Mayer Brown: True-Up Raises in Washington. Somebody Get Sidley on the Phone.