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December 15, 2009 2:01 PM

Nixon Peabody Defers the Deferred

Posted by Brian Baxter

Two-thirds of Nixon Peabody's incoming associate class scheduled to start in January won't begin working at the firm until February 8 or later.

Nixon Peabody's hiring partner informed the firm's new lawyers on Monday that while one-third of the class would start after the holidays, another two-thirds would be phased in quarterly throughout 2010, Above the Law first reported.

A spokesperson for the 800-lawyer firm confirmed the new deferrals.

"We, like many other firms, are managing our intake of new associates to meet our clients' needs," Allison McClain said in a statement to The Am Law Daily. "The remaining associates will continue to be deferred and we hope will join the firm as our client needs evolve."

The associates who do not start in February will receive a monthly deferral payment. The firm did not disclose the amount of that payment and declined to comment further beyond the statement.

Nixon Peabody announced in February that 3L's comprising the firm's first-year associate class would be deferred until January 2010 with a onetime $10,000 deferral stipend. The same month the firm reported its 2008 revenues were flat and its net income had fallen 11.5 percent. Profits per partner increased by 2 percent to $650,000, but that was likely because of a drop in the number of equity partners.

The firm laid off 20 attorneys and 36 staffers in mid-February because of a drop in demand for legal services. In April, Nixon Peabody reduced first-year associate salaries in its Boston, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., and California offices from $160,000 to $145,000.


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