Blank Rome, Deferral Stipend, Start Dates, Summer Associates

Blank Rome: Indefinite Deferral Isn’t A Subtle Signal

We’ve received tips, texts, and phone calls about Blank Rome. As spring hurtles towards summer, the firm is letting incoming associates know that they won’t be starting any time soon. A tipster reports the firm is “rescinding” offers, but that’s not technically correct:

I just heard from a friend that Blank Rome has rescinded offers to Blank Rome 2009 associates … It’s pretty awful that a firm waited this long to finally rescind offers to its 2009 associates–and the legal gossip market ought to know about it.

Actually, the firm is not rescinding offers, it’s merely extending the deferral period for a few incoming first year associates. Indefinitely. With no expectation that the job offer will ever result in a job. And no stipend.

Yeah, I think the indefinitely deferred associates will get the point…

A spokesperson for Blank Rome described the firm’s decision:

We have recently communicated with four deferred associates that have not yet joined the Firm to let them know that we do not need them to start with us this month. We will continue to pay them a monthly stipend through June 2010, and will remain in contact with them as we evaluate our needs moving forward.

As we understand it, Blank Rome had previously deferred incoming associates until January 2010. Then it deferred another group of people through May. It seems like these last four incoming associates just won’t ever be able to get in the door.

And now the money is about to run out.

What do you call an incoming associate with no job, no start date, and no stipend? I’d call them part of the lost generation.

Hopefully these people aren’t sitting around waiting for Blank Rome to give them a call. Reliance on this promise of a job is no longer justified.

Earlier: Rescission Open Thread: Which Firms Are Pulling Offers?

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