The Firms

June 12, 2009 12:56 PM

Cravath Joins the Start Date Deferral Party

Posted by Zach Lowe

Bloomberg broke the news Friday morning: Cravath, Swaine & Moore is offering its incoming associates $80,000 if they defer their start dates for a full year to October 2010.

To review: If you just graduated law school and expected to start soon at Cravath, well, it appears you have the choice of waiting a year, according to a Cravath memo obtained by Bloomberg. (The WSJ Law Blog also picked up the story.) The good news: You'll be receiving $80,000, health coverage, and $1,000 a month to pay your loans.

To repeat: You can do whatever you want for the next year and receive $80,000 in return. Yes, this is a sign that the economic collapse has hit even the most prestigious of Am Law firms hard enough to necessitate a previously unthinkable step. As Cravath's memo, via the Bloomberg story, states: "While the firm's level of work is at or near its level before the continuing economic decline, there are many more associates at the firm today than our plans anticipated, as the poor economy and the disruption at many financial institutions have reduced the rate at which our associates have left." But try to look on the bright side, incoming associates--regular folks would kill to have someone pay them $80,000 to, say, take a trip around the world.  

Current Cravath summer associates don't have a choice; they are being deferred until the fall of 2011 and receiving a $65,000 stipend in return. 

We've reached out to a firm spokeswoman for comment or an interview with firm chair Evan Chesler, but we have yet to hear back.

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