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

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