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July 17, 2009 2:37 PM

Weil Defers Summers Until 2011 or 2012

Posted by Zach Lowe

As we said last week, the year 2012 sounds so futuristic to us that we barely contemplated its existence until Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe deferred its summer associates until 2012 and we saw a terrible-looking preview for a movie called "2012." 

But we suspect now that we may have to get used to seeing that number--2012--in print more often, because Weil, Gotshal & Manges today became the second major firm in a week to defer some of its current summer associates until 2012, according to a memo the firm sent us today. (The news was first reported this afternoon on Above the Law.) The firm is giving all of its current summers (at least the ones that get an offer) the option of deferring their start date from January 2011 until January 2012, and it will pay any summer who chooses the 2012 option a $75,000 stipend and health benefits--provided the summer gets a firm-approved public service job. (The associate will have to spend at least 1,000 hours on public service work during the year to qualify for the stipend, the memo says.)

Like Orrick's move, this deferral option is intended to avoid a possible collision course between two classes scheduled to enter the firm at the same time. Weil has previously announced that some of its current incoming associates won't start until January 2011, the same time at which current summers are now scheduled to begin full-time work there. 

Earlier this week, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius took a more extreme step to avoid the collision course problem; the firm eliminated its 2010 summer associate program altogether, a decision law schools worry could set off a trend of imitators, according to this story out Thursday in the Legal Intelligencer.

We e-mailed Stephen Dannhauser, Weil's chair, seeking comment on the decision, but we haven't heard back yet. 

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