Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has deferred more than half its fall class until January 2010, and the rest until January 2011, the firm said Friday.
And, if the associates want to go away altogether, Pillsbury will hand them a check for $60,000. Only one other firm that we know of, Stroock, did that and their check was for $75,000.
Pillsbury deferred 32 of 54 incoming associates until January. The remaining 22 associates are deferred until January 2011.
In addition, all 54 of Pillsbury’s incoming associates have the option to work at non-profit firm for a year. Pillsbury will pay the nonprofit $60,000 to cover the costs of employing each associate, and will make a $15,000 loan available to the associate until they join the firm.
All incoming associates are eligible for bar exam cost reimbursement.
“We regret that current economic realities mean that some of these highly talented and gifted law school graduates may have to wait up to a year before they can join us,” said Pillsbury Chair Jim Rishwain in a firm statement. “But regardless of whether they start in 2010 or 2011, we view each incoming associate as a member of the Pillsbury team, and we hope the options we are providing may help lessen the difficulties they may face during the transition period.”
In response to tanking demand for legal services, most big firms are requiring incoming associates to start later, with just a few, like Skadden, offering deferral as an option. Most firms have also offered an option to work at a nonprofit or public interest firm at their cost.
You can check out our table keeping track of which firms have deferred and what their programs entail and you can read Pillsbury's full release after the jump.
Amanda is a Cal Law reporter. You can follow her on Twitter.
Statement from Pillsbury Regarding its Incoming Associate Class
Pillsbury this week informed its incoming associate class that their start date will begin on January 11, 2010. Due to continuing impact of the recession on the legal industry, however, Pillsbury plans to start 32 of the 54 incoming associates in January. The remaining associates will be deferred until January 2011.
“The decision to defer a minority of our incoming associates’ start dates until 2011 was not made lightly,” said Pillsbury Chair Jim Rishwain. “We regret that current economic realities mean that some of these highly talented and gifted law school graduates may have to wait up to a year before they can join us. But regardless of whether they start in 2010 or 2011, we view each incoming associate as a member of the Pillsbury team, and we hope the options we are providing may help lessen the difficulties they may face during the transition period.”
Pillsbury is offering the following:
- Incoming associates may opt to pursue other opportunities. Those who do so will receive compensation of $60,000.
- Incoming associates may defer their start dates by one year and instead participate in Pillsbury’s non-profit placement program whereby once an associate obtains employment by an approved 501(c)(3), Pillsbury will contribute up to $60,000 for 12 months to that organization to fund the associate’s position for a period of up to 12 months. Associates will also be eligible for a $15,000 loan in the form of a salary advance, which will then be repaid over time once they join Pillsbury.
Regardless of the option they select, all incoming associates are eligible to be reimbursed for any costs related to the taking of the bar exam.
To give these individuals the opportunity to consider these options, Pillsbury will not be providing any other information to news outlets at this time.