No Offers, Sonnenschein, Start Dates, Summer Associates

Rescission Open Thread: Which Firms Are Pulling Offers?

Incoming associates get really angry when firms rescind offers for full-time employment. As Lat said this afternoon here in the office, law students react “as if rescinding offers is like eating babies.” Incoming associates understand that the market remains tough, but these recruits still have harsh words for firms that pull offers.

We can understand the concern. Remember, during the NALP conference, Executive Director James Leipold said that he didn’t think Biglaw would be able to reabsorb all the people who have been displaced. It’s a bit like musical chairs — only if you aren’t in a seat when the music stops, you have to go into the back room and perform sexual favors for a debt-collector named Rocco.

And that’s how students feel when you rescind their offers in a timely manner. When you rescind offers at a late date … let’s just say we can incorporate all of the graphic imagery above, then add inappropriate scenes involving the mothers of rescinded offerees and goats. Recent graduates become unhinged when firms pull offers late in the season.

Well, in case some firms haven’t noticed, it’s getting pretty late in the season. Finals are upon 3Ls in some places; graduation is here in other places. People are preparing to study for the bar. This is no time for firms to get cold feet about offers relied upon in good faith.

So, we offer you this open thread. Let us know which firms are pulling offers as we head towards Memorial Day. We already know that there is some bad news for a few would-be incoming associates at Sonnenschein

Last week we received confirmation that Sonnenschein decided to rescind offers to some of its associates. A firm spokesperson furnished Above the Law with a statement:

All of the staffing decisions about our first-year associates are made on an individual level, based on our geographic and practice needs. In some cases, we have accelerated hiring dates and moved people among practice groups. While we continue to grow at our mid- and senior-associate levels, the market demand for first-year talent is one about which we and our clients have long expressed concern. As has been previously reported, we did make certain associate deferments and have now hired many of those individuals in light of new client opportunities. But on a case-by-case basis, while we continue to make every effort to do so, there are simply some individuals in certain geographies or disciplines to whom we have elected not to offer employment. In each individual circumstance, we have endeavored to assist addressing the individual’s needs.

That’s not great. But one can only assume that Sonnenschein was forced into this position. Best of luck to the never-will-be Sonnenschein associates. Hopefully you have enough time to adjust bar exam plans if need be.

Firms that wait much later than now will be putting their associates in a terrible position. Bar/Bri is about to start; people are getting locked in to their bar locations. Firms really need to let people know what is going on.

Are there other firms pulling offers at this late date? Let us know.

Earlier: NALP 2010: NALP Executive Director James Leipold Talks to the ‘Lost Generation’

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