The OPIA Blog

Where do graduating students go from here?

Time magazine recently added to the discussion over the sweeping deferred associates situation. Now that many graduates are left in limbo and unsure if they are starting at their firm now, a year from now or perhaps never, more non-profit organizations, academic institutions and other entities are reacting to the situation

“Boston College, for instance, will let its graduates audit classes next fall for free. UCLA Law School has announced a Masters of Law program designed specifically for deferred associates. A number of firms have also begun matching their recruits to pro bono opportunities. That’s the option University of Pennsylvania Law School graduate Susan Wilker took when her job at Boston law firm Ropes and Gray deferred until at least January. Wilker will have her health benefits paid and receive $60,000 for working at Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, a nonprofit that focuses on education discipline and juvenile justice.”

Non-profit appear now to have the option to meet the widening gulf of legal services provided to low-income individuals. “For sure, the start-date delays have been a boon for public interest organizations around the country. Research shows that some 80% of legal needs go unmet among low-income Americans, and organizations that serve such clientele, such as the Legal Aid Society, now have their pick of top law school graduates — most of whom will arrive with a paid salary and health benefits attached.”