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Orrick Delays First-Year Associate Class Start Over Virus Impact

April 9, 2020, 12:01 AM

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s 2020 associate class will not begin until January or until after postponed bar exams due to fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the firm said.

While other firms also have adjusted their summer plans in response to social distancing and the economic impacts of the health crisis, Orrick appears to be the first to push back the first-year associate start time to next year. It amounts to a delay of several months.

A handful of states, including New York, have already postponed summer bar exams until the fall, while others face mounting pressure from students and law deans to either push back the test or grant diploma privilege to this year’s graduates.

Orrick also said on Wednesday that it will host a five-week virtual summer associate program and will extend offers to all of its second-year students to return as associates after graduation.

The new program will begin on June 15, and associates will be paid for the five-week session.

Orrick made the switch to “minimize summer associate travel,” according to a firm spokesman.

Other firms that have switched to shortened, virtual summer programs include Goodwin Procter and Baker Botts. Cooley, DLA Piper, and Vinson & Elkins have also delayed the beginning of their summer programs until mid-June.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel will not hold its 2020 summer associate program but will still pay its students in full and extend them full-time job offers for 2021.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at; Rebekah Mintzer at