Reed Smith will delay its new associate start date to January of next year and abbreviate its summer program for potential recruits due to the anticipated effects of the coronavirus crisis, the firm said in a statement.
The firm appears to be one of the first to announce it will welcome the associates that it has hired next year, rather than later in 2020. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe announced a similar move last week.
The statement from Casey Ryan, Reed Smith’s global head of legal personnel, said despite the delay, the new associates would get a stipend for the fall of 2020, paid bar exam and study costs as planned, and will receive health insurance beginning in September of this year.
Like many other Big Law fims, Reed Smith is also making changes to its summer associate program due to the pandemic. The firm, according to the statement, will hold a shorter program than customary, lasting five weeks, and is prepared to conduct it remotely if need be.
“While we have had to adjust to new ways of doing business because of (the) coronavirus pandemic, it will not stop us from pushing ahead on important talent initiatives at the firm,” said Ryan in the statement.
The summer associates will participate in “an intensive Reed Smith University training program to prepare them for their work assignments and interactions in the legal profession,” Ryan’s statement said, and have opportunities to work with Reed Smith’s lawyers and staff.
Reed Smith noted at the end of March that it is slowing partner draws from firm coffers as a “precaution.” Several high-profile firms have taken similar actions due to the virus and its ensuing effect on the economy.