Ropes & Gray Defers Start Dates, Offers ‘New Alternatives’
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Boston-based Ropes & Gray is deferring start dates for the 2009 class, and is offering “new alternatives” to help associates “develop professionally” while there’s no work to do.

The firm cut 106 staff positions, or 10% of its non-lawyer staff, in late January.

From the official memo:


As you are aware, Ropes & Gray is, like all firms, experiencing a period of slower activity. As a result, we are currently challenged to provide rich, substantial work assignments for associates in some practices…

In response, we are rolling out a program that offers all associates non-traditional opportunities for continued professional and personal development both outside and inside the firm. We are also deferring the start of new associates in the class of 2009 (as you know, we have previously shortened the summer program for the same reasons)…

  • Public interest fellowship opportunities–including both practice of law work and non-practice of law work.
  • Sabbatical opportunities.
  • Enhanced access to potentially non-billable training and development assignments, and credit towards our 1900 hour target for certain training activities on client matters even though they are not billed to clients.
  • Deferred start for the incoming class of 2009 to early January 2010…

We will also be scheduling a meeting on March 30 for associates interested in public service fellowships

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Ropes & Gray LLP is a national law firm with offices located in Boston, New York City, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Washington, Chicago, Hong Kong and Tokyo; and a conference center in London. The firm has over 1,000 lawyers worldwide.


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