It’s not me, it’s the economy.
West coast firm Fenwick & West sent a parting gift to those summer associates that did not receive offers — a letter to show future employers explaining that the market was the reason the student did not receive a permanent job.
Above the Law has the letter and background from a tipster, who said that summer associates were told during orientation that those not receiving an offer would be given such a letter. Seventeen out of 36 summer associates received offers.
The letter, from Fenwick’s Jay Pomerantz, says the economy prevented the firm from extending as many offers as it would have liked. It also says that the firm appreciated the student’s work and that they hope to stay in touch.
Above the Law asks if such a letter will help students who did not receive offers overcome that stigma, to the extent there is one.
Fenwick could of course provide the student an additional letter in the future, and obviously we are not privy to letters they sent to all students. But a personal letter that details the person’s positive attributes and regret that the firm could not extend the particular student an offer would probably go a longer way than a form one.
In the non-firm world this admittedly sounds like a lot of coddling. But the system is currently such that students work at one firm for the summer and that is their main shot for a job. With that drastically changing this summer, it’s not surprising firms are trying to find a way to buffer the blow.
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