It is a new world out there in lawland, and the storied summer associate programs are one of the first to reflect the changes. But if you look closely, especially to the firms canceling their programs outright, it seems that most or all are saying the summer associates who would have occupied the summer class of 2020 will be offered 1st year positions in 2021. Sight unseen? Apparently.
More interesting, though, is that this commitment seems to suggest that firms think that when the immediate COVID-19 crisis passes, enough work will return that they will be in need of the full class of 1st year associates after they graduate in 2021. So in other words, back to "same old, same old." That's either a very healthy dose of optimism or naiveté. Only time will tell.
Eight law firms, including Hogan Lovells and Greenberg Traurig LLP, on Wednesday confirmed changes to their summer associate programs in response to the coronavirus pandemic, tweaks that range from canceling the program altogether to delayed start dates and remote work.