Deferred careers

May 4, 2009
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National blogs and news reports have followed the deferred starts for new associates at law firms. Most of the reports seem to be coming out of larger markets and bigger firms than those in Indiana, but I’ve heard of a few firms in our state deferring associate start dates.

What are you supposed to do while you wait? I know some big national firms are encouraging new hires to use this time to do pro bono legal work. Sitting in career limbo has to be tough. You know you have a job, but you can’t work it. Some firms are paying deferred hires a decent amount of money (decent when you consider it compared to what other professions earn), but it’s likely not as much as you’d make as an associate. How do you manage to pay back your student loans on top of living expenses? Then I guess there is the worry that if the firm has pushed back your start date once, it could happen again and there is the possibility that there won’t be a job for you to do if the economy continues to tank.

Are you finding your firm is pushing back your start date or the start dates of new hires in the firm? Is it happening here more than we realize? If your start date has been deferred by your firm – here or in another state – what’s your plan while you wait?
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