Lean time for law associates in the US

April 19, 2008 This time last year, salaried lawyers at many of America's largest firms had just scored a pay bump, as business was blazing and firms were scrambling to keep talent. Now, due largely to a slowdown in work relating to mortgages, real estate, mergers and private equity, some firms are taking such measures as rescinding offers to incoming associates and summer associates, asking first-year lawyers to start several months later and shortening their summer programs to save money.

New York-based Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, which employs more than 800 lawyers, recently shrunk the duration of its summer-associate program, which in some offices had been 12 weeks, to 10. And rather than have all incoming first-year lawyers start in September, the firm is staggering start dates over several months.

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