On the heels of Cooley’s decision to delay its summer associate programming in light of the coronavirus crisis two more Big Law firms, DLA Piper and Vinson & Elkins, have announced they won’t welcome their newest crop of potential talent until June.
In an email to summer associates, Vinson & Elkins hiring partner Steve Gill said that the firm is delaying the start of its 2020 program to no earlier than June 15.
The firm didn’t make the decision lightly, Gill said. But many of its offices are now under mandatory stay at home orders that are expected to remain in effect through April and May, so the firm would not be ready to welcome its summers on May 18, the original start date.
“It is our hope and intention that the Summer Associate Program will occur, albeit with some appropriate modifications in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gill said.
Summer associate programs are a key part of law firm recruitment, serving as tryouts for law students seeking coveted associate positions. However since summer associates normally work in-person in law firm offices, partake in numerous firm social events, and interact with the law firm workforce, the pandemic could be disruptive.
DLA Piper has also delayed its summer program which will now run from June 29 through July 31.
“The health and safety of our people, including the summer associates who will join us in June and July, is our top priority as we weigh decisions regarding our programs and operations,” DLA Piper said in a statement to Bloomberg Law.
“Our summer associate program is extremely important to the firm and it is our aim to be as supportive as we can be to law students during this crisis.”