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Deferred Associate Law Extern
Support Project

Overview

The Deferred Associate Law Extern Support Project provides support to law school graduates who have been deferred from a law firm and have chosen to work in public interest law in New York. A goal of this project is to increase the pool of skilled attorneys focused on pro bono in New York City.

March 4: Report on The Deferred Associate Law Extern Support Project

Read related news stories on deferred associates in New York City:

Thrust Temporarily into Public Service
New York Times - City Room Blog
By Rob Harris
January 11th, 2009

Some law students respond to a higher calling to create justice and serve the common good. Others respond to the call of the money gods, the pedigree and the cerebral challenge. But the economic crisis of 2009 has created an unusual laboratory where some graduating students who thought they were heading for the corner office were thrust into crowded courtrooms.

Virtually an entire class of law school graduates heading down the corporate track had the plans of its members derailed by the recession. Law firms said they could not afford to take on the new employees they had recruited in the years before. Instead, 140 prospective corporate lawyers signed up for an unusual new program organized by the New York City Bar Association: Serve the public good for a year, then hop back on the corporate track. [read more]

Deferred Associates 'Hit the Ground Running' at Temporary Positions
New York Law Journal
By Nate Raymond
November 3rd, 2009

Had the economy not gone into a tail spin, Christopher Reid would likely be elbow-deep in research for discovery in a patent lawsuit at Ropes & Gray. Instead, Ropes & Gray announced in March that it was delaying start dates for new associates and those who chose to could work at non-profit agencies for a $60,000 stipend. Reid said he was initially "freaked out" but later decided the non-profit work might pull him out of his research comfort zone by forcing him into court with clients.

"I thought it was good to do something that wasn't natural to me so I'd learn the most," said Reid, who said he is working on housing cases in Brooklyn for the Legal Aid Society.

Reid is one of an estimated 125 to 140 law school graduates in New York City whose law firm start dates have been delayed and who are working at government agencies and non-profits, according to the New York City Bar, which maintains a database of non-profit agencies willing to take on deferred associates. [read more]