Baker McKenzie Delays New Associate Class Over Virus Impact (1)

June 24, 2020, 9:14 PMUpdated: June 24, 2020, 10:25 PM

Baker McKenzie will delay the start of its first-year associate class from September to January 2021, citing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic including delayed bar exams across various states.

Baker McKenzie is the latest of several Big Law firms to take such a step. Many Big Law firms have also canceled or shortened their summer associate programs.

“This is a talented first-year class that will hit the ground running when they join us in January. We are looking forward to welcoming them to the Baker Family,” North America CEO Colin Murray said in a statement.

There are 38 incoming first-year associates. The firm is not paying them in the fall, but is offering salary loans.

Many recent law school graduates won’t be taking the bar exam as they initially planned this summer, as states take various approaches to cope with the dangers of the coronavirus.

Some states, including Michigan and Indiana, have moved their bar exams online, while others like New York have delayed the test until the fall.

Baker McKenzie said it remains committed to providing the associates with “a robust practice and professional development experience” once they join the firm.

Orrickwas the first to announce that it would postpone its new associate class, in April, and was soon followed by Nixon Peabody, Baker Botts, Squire Patton Boggs, Reed Smith and others.

(Updates with number of associates and salary information. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft in New York at srussellkraft@gmail.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

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