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April 17, 2009 8:30 AM

NYU Latest to Help Deferred Students, Furloughed Alums

Posted by Zach Lowe

New York University's law school will become--to our knowledge at least--the first school to host a career fair specifically for public interest organizations to meet hundreds of 3Ls who have been or expect to be deferred, according to Irene Dorzback, assistant dean of career services at the law school.

Last week, the New Jersey-based Volunteer Lawyers for Justice organized an event for about 100 deferred law students and unemployed lawyers to meet officials from 26 public interest organizations looking to hire. Now, NYU appears to be the first law school to hold a similarly large-scale event. (Law schools at Northwestern University and UCLA have announced plans to offer deferral-related services for their 3Ls.)

Dorzback says she hopes about 300 of the school's 500 3Ls will attend Monday's job fair. About 140 of those students face a one-year deferral, Dorzback says. An unknown number of others have been asked to defer until January 2010. About 50 employers--from nonprofits to city and federal agencies--will take part.

Hiring and recruiting professionals from Latham & Watkins, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and Dewey & LeBoeuf have been invited to speak on a panel devoted to the deferral issue; representatives of other firms will be the audience, Dorzback says. Her students are bound to have several questions for the firm representatives, Dorzback says. Some are worried they won't have a job at the end of their deferrals, and others are curious about when they will officially be classified as firm employees, she says.

Each employer's table will have a centerpiece: a bowl of lemons flanked by a pitcher of lemonade. The message should be obvious.

"It's very hokey," Dorzback says with a laugh, "but this is something that's very important for our students. They are the leaders of tomorrow, and it is critical that they know how to manage their careers as well as handle life's slumps."

The event will also be open to NYU alumni whose firms have placed them on furloughs--as long as their firms sign up for the event in advance, Dorzback says. The school has had to turn away employers due to a lack of space, but organizations that can't get in are free to send application packets and brochures, Dorzback says.

In a normal year, about 425 of NYU's approximately 500 graduates go straight into private practice, Dorzback says. That figure will be much lower this year, she says, though where it will end up is still unclear.


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