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LegalGround >> Tough time to be a new lawyer


4/15/09 10:26 AM
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Shaz
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 I get a daily e-mail from law.com with the legal news of the day, they usually have articles every so often about law firm activities as well.  Today, four articles in a row about cutting salaries, associates, or pushing back start dates.  It's a tough time to be a new lawyer:

Goodwin Procter Pushes Associate Start Dates Into 2010
The American Lawyer

Goodwin Procter is the latest firm to delay start dates for incoming first-year associates. According to an e-mail sent Tuesday to about 120 law students planning to start at the firm this fall, half the class will start in January 2010 and get a stipend to defray bar exam and moving costs. The rest will have to wait until October 2010. The firm is encouraging hires to opt for the later date and to spend the year working for a nonprofit or public interest law organization for a $60,000 stipend plus health care.

McKenna Cuts New Associate Pay by $20,000
Fulton County Daily Report

McKenna Long & Aldridge announced Tuesday that it will reduce salaries for new associates from $145,000 to $125,000 to address economic pressures and client concerns. With 12 new associates set to start in the fall, the $20,000 cut should save the firm $240,000 -- plus money not spent on 25 summer associates, whose pay is based on first-year salaries. Some McKenna clients responded to news of the cuts with messages such as "well done" and "that's a move in the right direction," said the firm's chairman.

Perkins Coie Cuts 12 Associates, 26 Staffers
The National Law Journal

The latest law firm to announce layoffs is Seattle-based Perkins Coie, which has cut a dozen associates and 26 staffers. The downsizing of the 700-lawyer firm, first reported on the blog Above the Law, comes on the heels of another West Coast-based firm, Townsend and Townsend and Crew, announcing layoffs. "We have a culture to avoid layoffs so we held off longer than most firms," said Perkins' managing partner. "But there was a realization that the economy was not going to come back as quickly as we hoped."

Wilmer Pushes Back Associate Start Date
Legal Times

The economic downturn's impact on the legal industry has finally caught up with WilmerHale. Firm co-chairman William Perlstein says the firm told its incoming class of associates Monday that the firm would be delaying their start date from the fall of 2009 until 2010. Perlstein says the decision was made to accommodate client concerns. "We thought that staging the entry of new associates until next year would give us a better shot at evening out workloads so that everyone continued to receive good assignments."


-Shaz!

4/15/09 9:32 PM
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bflex
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A couple of my buddies just got laid off from their firms. The firms cut most mid-level attorneys. Kept only partners, non-equity partners and those with 3 years experience or less.
4/15/09 11:24 PM
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Shaz
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 The amazing thing is the daily updates of firings, cutbacks, deferred hirings, and pay reductions.  There was an article recently about how the summer programs for 2Ls are no longer all parties and baseball games, but actual work.

-Shaz!
4/17/09 4:30 PM
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Fake Pie
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http://abovethelaw.com

It has been fucking brutal. The Thursday before Valentines Day is also known as "Black Thursday" because about 800 lawyers got laid off that day... that went public with it.

It sucks. Thousands have been canned and that is not counting stealth layoffs.
4/20/09 5:29 PM
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goku
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scary!!!
4/20/09 9:56 PM
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Last Don
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I have a lot of friends that graduated around the same time I did that have been laid off.

The only "safe" ones left are those of us that "settled" for govt. jobs.

Most of my friends that have been let go by the big firms are trying to get in with the State's Attorney's Office or PD's office, but we're also in the midst of a statewide hiring freeze.

All this, and my dumb ass brother is starting law school this fall.
4/21/09 3:17 PM
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Fake Pie
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I'm just waiting for it. I might have to go back to fixing computers.

"All this, and my dumb ass brother is starting law school this fall."

He is an idiot. Tell him to wait at least a year and see if things get better. I hope he at least isn't incurring any debt.

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