When it comes to deferring incoming associates, what is the new normal? A couple of months ago, we reported that Mintz Levin was deferring its class of 2010 associates to 2012. At the time, Mintz Levin didn’t reveal any information about its deferral stipend.
Today, tipsters are telling us about the Mintz Levin stipend. Let’s just say that 2010 graduates waiting for a job at Mintz Levin should strongly consider driving a cab or something. They’ll need an extra source of income to make ends meet…
Weil Gotshal has also deferred 2010 graduates to 2012. For context’s sake, here’s what Weil is offering:
* Each incoming associate electing to defer will receive a $75,000 stipend and health care benefits. In order to receive this stipend, the deferring associate must spend 1,000 hours during the deferral year performing some form of Firm-approved public service work in the US or abroad, including interning for a judge, or working for a Firm client.
* An incoming associate may decide to travel or take a paid position during the deferral year. The Firm will only pay the stipend to those people doing public service work. However, the Firm will provide health care benefits to all deferring associates.
Would-be Mintz Levin associates will not be so lucky. A tipster reports:
Mintz Levin finally got back to their 2009 summers about their deferral details on May 14, well after they said the early April deadline they originally gave us. Unfortunately, the terms of the deferral are cheap compared to other firms deferring their Class of 2010 associates. Our start date remains January 2012. The firm will be paying us 500/mth in insurance starting right after graduation, which is good. We have an option to take a $15,000 salary advance right now. The firm will then be paying $2,500 a month — starting in April 2011. Yep, thats right. So our only option for the next ten months is to take the $15,000 salary advance. The firm is structuring the deferral details so that their 2010 grads are forced into taking the $15,000 salary advance in order to at least have something for the next ten months.
Wow, did you see what they did just there? Not only are would-be Mintz Levin associates getting $15,000 to stretch over the next ten months — Mintz Levin just effectively cut the starting salary of their starting associates to $145,000, in 2012.
So much for economic recovery; Mintz Levin is instituting a salary cut almost two years in the future.
Of course, at this point, this group of Mintz Levin associates will be lucky just to have jobs in 2012. There is no guarantee that a start date will turn into a job until they actually let you show up at the firm.