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March 10, 2009 1:56 PM

Cravath Joins Delayed Start Date Party

Posted by Zach Lowe

This just in to The Am Law Daily: Cravath, Swaine & Moore has joined the growing list of firms asking their incoming first-years to wait a few months before starting work--a group that includes recent associate-cutters Latham & Watkins, White & Case, and many others.

But the Cravath system will work a little differently, a spokewoman says. First-years will have their choice of start dates: October, November or January. The start dates will fill up on a first-come, first-serve basis, meaning if you want to start in October, you better let the firm know soon. But the slow responders are not completely out of luck: If your date of choice is "oversubscribed," the firm will create a new start date set for one week after your original start date, a Cravath spokeswoman says. That brings up a whole bunch of practical questions, including what would happen if every associate asked for the October start date. Would the firm have all the "oversubscribed" associates start a week after the original October date? 

We are waiting to hear back on that question--and others, and we've been told Evan Chesler, Cravath's presiding partner, is unavailable for comment today. 

We're also wondering exactly how big Cravath is expecting their incoming class to be. According to this May story, Cravath brought in a record 161 summer associates in 2008--up from about 90 the year before. 

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Doesn't Skadden already do this?

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