Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Ropes & Gray Offers One-Year Deferral Program For Incoming And Current Associates; Will Other Big Law Firms Follow?

American Lawyer, Ropes & Gray Launches Voluntary Associate Deferral Program:

Ropes & GrayRopes & Gray has kicked off a voluntary one-year deferral program for its incoming first-years, who are due to start in January, and its current associates.

While many big firms delayed the start of their 2020 first-year associate classes to early 2021, Ropes’ option of a full deferral year may be the first in the Am Law 100 this year  — and it could pave the way for others to offer similar recession-era programs.

Ropes has made clear that this decision was not a result of financial stress, and first-years can still choose to start at the firm in January. Ropes was also among the first firms to make its summer associate program virtual and shortened.

The firm will pay participants an $80,000 stipend to work at a public interest group or nonprofit. They may also take a $38,800 stipend—20% of first-year starting pay—to take a personal sabbatical doing whatever they wish, except for practicing law at a law firm. Above the Law first reported on the new offering Thursday.

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Oh fun, we're reentering the world where large law firms place deferred associates into public interest organizations and pay for their salaries, so in turn public interest-oriented lawyers from "lesser" grad schools can't get jobs. Awesome.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Sep 15, 2020 8:51:33 AM

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