Biglaw, Start Dates

Start Date Open Thread: Return To Normalcy At Many Firms

A couple of weeks ago, we asked for information about start dates at large law firms. The class of 2011 keeps peppering us with emails about when they can show up for work.

Happily, we’ve been hearing that most Biglaw firms will have their incoming classes start on time, in September or October. Most of the information in the comments to our open thread reflects that news as well. The most prestigious firms seem to be starting on time. Cravath, Sullivan & Cromwell, Davis Polk, Kirkland & Ellis, and firms of that ilk will be welcoming the class of 2011 in the fall of 2011.

But our tipsters do report some notable exceptions….

It appears that Weil Gotshal is still trying to absorb all of the people they deferred during the recession. Back in 2009, Weil unveiled a plan to defer people in the class of 2010 until 2012. If that’s how Weil decided to treat the class of 2010, you can imagine where that leaves the class of 2011.

Now, in fairness, incoming Weil associates should have been aware that Weil would be deferring them until 2012. But we’re not sure if they figured out how to support themselves until 2012. A tipster reports:

Weil Gotshal… is not only not starting the class of 2011 (graduating in 2011 from law school) until January 2012… but on top of that it isn’t giving them a stipend or any sort of compensation.

To boot they just sent an email to the class informing them that they can take only up to a $10,000 advance (the same opportunity previous classes (who started on time or did have a stipend) – which I guess is supposed to last them until January 2012?

That sounds tough, but there were a lot of firms starting people on time. If you decided to sign up with this firm, evidently you thought that Weil was worth the wait.

Another firm making people wait is DLA Piper. Now, DLA has offices everywhere, and the deferral period seems to vary on the office. But DLA is another firm that is giving its incoming class of 2011 the same treatment it gave to its class of 2010. DLA encouraged the class of 2010 to take a deferral until 2012.

Depending on the office, DLA Piper appears to be deferring the 2011 class until 2012.

Again, Weil and DLA seem to be the exceptions as opposed to the rule. Of course, these firms were the exceptions back in 2009, when they started their extreme deferral options. Remember, most 2011 graduates can expect to start with their firms on time this fall. I guess they should thank their firms for efficiently jettisoning unneeded associates from recession classes past?

Earlier: Start Date Open Thread: When Can The Class of 2011 Start Earning?
Weil Gotshal Defers Current Summer Associates to 2011 or 2012
DLA Piper: Pushes Back Current Summers Like Weil, Delays 2010 Summer Recruiting Like Orrick

(hidden for your protection)

comments sponsored by

Show all comments

50 Responses to “Start Date Open Thread: Return To Normalcy At Many Firms”

  1. Mg1 says:

    Cliffs: I’ve surveyed 6 firms, 5 of which are starting on time. If you’re not starting on time, it’s your own damn fault so SUCK IT.

    • Mg1 says:

      Ok I don’t think I was clear. I was criticizing the article, that that’s how it comes off.

    • Guest says:

      how is that wrong? imo u would be pretty dumb not to have asked about potential start dates after u had ur offer in hand. if u only really had an offer at weil, then u should have buckled up in 1L sou wouldnt have had to go there.

      in other words, it’s your own damn fault so SUCK IT

      • Mg1 says:

        First of all, it’s not me who’s in this position. But I think it’s pretty damn callous of Elie, and you, to write that to all the people with deferred start dates.

        I assume you’re referring to summer associate offer in hand right? You think firms knew back in Fall 2009 whether they’d be able to start class of 2011 people in the fall of 2011? Are you joking?

        • Guest says:

          it was pretty obvious that if the class of 2010 was starting in fall 2011/january 2012 (as was known at several firms, including Weil), that the class of 2011 would probably not be starting on time. i dont know. that was my reasoning. seems like i chose the right offer in the end…

  2. $160Kless for a few months says:

    “That sounds tough”

    :: plays world’s smallest violin ::

  3. BinghamBro says:

    DLA Piper telling people to wait is like an std-ridden uggo telling you to buy her a non-well drink. It should never happen.

  4. Data Geek says:

    SullCrom: September 12
    Davis Polk: September 19, October 24, or November 14
    Cleary Gottlieb: September 12, October 17, or November 14
    Paul Weiss: September 19
    Kirkland & Ellis: September 19 or October 17
    Sidley Austin: September 12 or October 10
    Quinn Emanuel: September 6 or October 17
    Milbank Tweed: October 10
    K&L Gates: September 6
    Greenberg Traurig: August or September
    Cahill Gordon: October 17

  5. Guest says:

    Gibson? …

    • Guest says:

      Latham, O’Melveny, and Quinn already announced. Sidley and Kirkland announced weeks or months ago. WTF is taking so long?

  6. Guest says:

    Can we have a bonus wall of shame, please?!

  7. Guest says:

    My firm has been very wishy-washy: first they indicated an “on-time” start date, then they referenced 2012 in an email. I can only assume that this means I’m starting in 2012.

    I started sending out applications to other places 2 weeks ago. I’m not putting up with this nonsense.

    • Bonobo_Bro says:

      Dude chill out your firm’s probably just trying to give you a little extra time for that bar trip, you know you were thinking of doing Asia and Europe but now you’ve got plenty of time for Africa and S. America as well. I wouldn’t sweat it man, just max and relax until 2012.

  8. Guest says:

    I wonder how many firms are starting new associates “on time” in order to avoid appearing unsuccessful. Will there actually be work for all the new associates or will a few be stealthily laid off a year or two in?

    Attorneys:Law Firms :: Money:Banks

  9. Supraman says:

    Not clear why DLA would have to defer. Just tell the associates they don’t want that their offer has been moved to the Fairbanks, Alaska office.

  10. my_beanus says:

    What does 2012 mean? Fall 2012?

  11. God says:

    i’m wondering if it might be perhaps useful to plan to lateral into BigLaw after 5yrs of work experience in the $75-$130k range in other-law. probably less of a chance of washing out in the first couple of years (when you’re underpaid and underskilled). sure you don’t get paid much early (when you don’t know shit), but what good is 160K for 1-4years when you get laid off and top out at $200k in-house for the rest of your career because you’re blacklisted from BigLaw???

    being worth your paycheck means you have a good chance of hanging onto it for the long haul.

  12. Anon says:

    Schulte starts October 24th

  13. anon says:

    Apparently Bryan Cave is also deferring its incoming associates until January 2012.

  14. Guest says:

    Have people at Boston firms heard about start dates? Ropes & Gray has not yet announced theirs and people are getting nervous.

  15. Guest says:

    what about SKADDEN? has anybody heard anything?

  16. Sad 3L says:

    Although these firms may be starting a little earlier than some, the big issue is whether they are paying a stipend or just a salary advance. I know that K+E, Jones Day, and Mayer Brown pay a stipend…while Cravath, S+C, Davis, Skadden, Debevoise, Cleary (etc.) just offer a salary advance. ATL should report on this. Had I known this in recruiting it might have affected my decision to go with one of the former rather than the latter. 10k is a lot of money to a broke 3L hoping for a bar trip…

    • Akjbsd says:

      this isnt really news though. ny-based firms, even the top ones, have given salary advances for the lognest time. the reaoson this wasnt an issue (And thus why u probably never heard about it is) that, back when start dates were on time, salary-advance firms compensated by giving stub years stub bonuses. since stub bonuses arent really around anymore, the stipend vs. salary advance thing is more obvious and relevant. anyways, just saying that it isnt news and u should have done ur research

    • whitewhine says:


  17. Guest says:

    What are the firms paying in terms of a salary advance or summer stipend? My firm seems to be lowballing us on that from what I can tell from what classmates are getting. How am I supposed to sun my ass in a tropical location in August without a good salary advance?

  18. Monster says:

    Still no word from Paul Hastings.

  19. Guest says:

    Snell & Wilmer: Sept 12 (all offices)

  20. Data Geek says:


    SullCrom: September 12
    Davis Polk: September 19, October 24, or November 14
    Cleary Gottlieb: September 12, October 17, or November 14
    Paul Weiss: September 19
    Kirkland & Ellis: September 19 or October 17
    Sidley Austin: September 12 or October 10
    Quinn Emanuel: September 6 or October 17
    Milbank Tweed: October 10
    K&L Gates: September 6
    Greenberg Traurig: August or September
    Cahill Gordon: October 17
    Schulte Roth & Zabel: October 24
    Snell & Wilmer: September 12


    Weil GoTTTshal — January 2012
    DLA Piper — November 2011 – January 2012

  21. DC says:

    Gibson: September 19, October 24 and November 14

  22. waiting says:

    Hogan Lovells isn’t starting Class of 2011 associates (in DC) till December 1.

  23. Guest says:


  24. Guest says:

    This year’s grads were given 2 start dates in the fall, from what I heard.

  25. Guest says:

    Have they been given their end date yet?

  26. Guest says:

    You are truly original

Leave a Reply

Our Sites

  • Above the Law
  • How Appealing
  • ATL Redline
  • Breaking Defense
  • Breaking Energy
  • Breaking Gov
  • Dealbreaker
  • Fashonista