The OPIA Blog

Soon-to-be HLS grad Valdivieso a spotlight in Globe article about law firm deferments

In a recent Boston Globe article, Juan Valdivieso, expected to graduate in 2009, discusses and highlights a growing number of soon-to-be graduates experiencing the effects of an economic recession. Juan was going to leave law school with an offer from the D.C. based firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Recently, he received an email from the firm telling him that his employment had been deferred until 2010.

Valdivieso is part of a growing number of law school grads being deferred for a year. This Globe article highlights the trend of affecting students like Juan. “Valdivieso said he knows of 20 to 30 fellow Harvard students (the graduating class numbers 575) who have had their employment postponed, and many of them have been offered stipends. Students at law schools around the country are getting the same offer, and while no one tracks precise numbers, the trend “is pretty widespread,” said (James) Leipold, with participants including such noted firms as Latham & Watkins, based in California, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, based in New York.” Leipold is the Executive Director of National Association for Law Placement which deals in career counseling and recruitment.

Mark Weber, Assistant Dean for Career Services at HLS, provided statistics to the reporter as well as some insight into what could happen in the near future as a result of this economic downturn, “There’s a lot of litigation that hasn’t taken place,” he said. “There’s a lot of regulatory work and a lot of appeals that aren’t being done right now. So when that stuff picks up, people are going to be busy.”