Friend at Ropes [Boston]

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Re: Friend at Ropes [Boston]

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:37 pm

This sounds like Ropes & Gray. Similar to what they've done in the past:

http://abovethelaw.com/2009/05/nationwi ... t-holiday/

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Re: Friend at Ropes [Boston]

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:40 pm

I understand that it is voluntary. The firm has to know and intend that at least some of the people won't be returning. A voluntary deferral is a strong signal that they don't currently have enough work. (and who knows that if no one took them up on it, they may have had to move to involuntary deferrals. The voluntary part is a first step, like companies who first look for people who want to take early retirement before they start laying people off.)
I think it is just semantics to say that the class isn't starting late, when at least some fraction of the class isn't starting until next year. Voluntary or otherwise, they don't want those bodies in the firm right now. But if it is so important to you, we can go ahead and say that the class is starting on time except for the people who chose not to.



Dude, I'm just trying to be clear. MANY firms these days are still starting their classes "late." In the case of Ropes, they are handling their (probable) work slow down in a different way. It honestly is a really great opportunity for people to do stuff they could not otherwise do. Let's be honest, Ropes is NOT the only firm with slow work, right? They are trying to handle it in a way that helps some people. It's not an ideal situation, but it's much better than the alternative of not starting anywhere OR going to a place and having nothing to do which is what a LOT of associates for facing these days. ALSO - it is conceptually very wrong to call it hush money because the people who took the deferral are not necessarily the people they would lay off if they had to. Those people opted for fedeeral clerkships, etc. They SELF selected to not come back right away .

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Re: Friend at Ropes [Boston]

Postby monkey85 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Dude, I'm just trying to be clear. MANY firms these days are still starting their classes "late." In the case of Ropes, they are handling their (probable) work slow down in a different way. It honestly is a really great opportunity for people to do stuff they could not otherwise do. Let's be honest, Ropes is NOT the only firm with slow work, right? They are trying to handle it in a way that helps some people. It's not an ideal situation, but it's much better than the alternative of not starting anywhere OR going to a place and having nothing to do which is what a LOT of associates for facing these days. ALSO - it is conceptually very wrong to call it hush money because the people who took the deferral are not necessarily the people they would lay off if they had to. Those people opted for fedeeral clerkships, etc. They SELF selected to not come back right away .


Agree. And "downsizing" the 2013 SA class just means they are "rightsizing" for the incoming associate class of 2014.

If even 10-15 of the 2012 SAs (this most recent summer) took the New Alternative Program 1-year deferral, that means they will begin in 2014 with the 2013 SAs. Thus, in order to have a standard ~50ish person incoming Associate class in 2014 for Ropes Boston, Ropes should only hire ~35 2013 SAs.

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Re: Friend at Ropes [Boston]

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:23 pm

monkey85 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Dude, I'm just trying to be clear. MANY firms these days are still starting their classes "late." In the case of Ropes, they are handling their (probable) work slow down in a different way. It honestly is a really great opportunity for people to do stuff they could not otherwise do. Let's be honest, Ropes is NOT the only firm with slow work, right? They are trying to handle it in a way that helps some people. It's not an ideal situation, but it's much better than the alternative of not starting anywhere OR going to a place and having nothing to do which is what a LOT of associates for facing these days. ALSO - it is conceptually very wrong to call it hush money because the people who took the deferral are not necessarily the people they would lay off if they had to. Those people opted for fedeeral clerkships, etc. They SELF selected to not come back right away .


Agree. And "downsizing" the 2013 SA class just means they are "rightsizing" for the incoming associate class of 2014.

If even 10-15 of the 2012 SAs (this most recent summer) took the New Alternative Program 1-year deferral, that means they will begin in 2014 with the 2013 SAs. Thus, in order to have a standard ~50ish person incoming Associate class in 2014 for Ropes Boston, Ropes should only hire ~35 2013 SAs.


Yes, also agreed. Let's hope they got the right size this time! I honestly don't know why they kept their summers so big! You can always find more people if things pick up. I really CANNOT explain it.

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Re: Friend at Ropes [Boston]

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm the person here who has committed to Ropes. I really hope they don't force deferrals on us. I'm already one of those people who was out of school for some time before law school, and forcing a person -- particularly a woman -- to delay a career can be harmful. I can understand making a K-JD do it to get more work experience, but people who join Ropes are, on average, older compared to other firms, since Ropes values work experience.


Nothing you can really do. Unfortunately that is the market we are in. Although you probably don't want to hear this, just be thankful you have an offer and hope that Ropes is getting their house in order.

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Re: Friend at Ropes [Boston]

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:23 pm

Ropes associate here.

Don't want to say too much, but I will say that Ropes had an aggressive expansion plan even through the recession, and the large summer class sizes were in line with their plan. Unfortunately, they have failed to grow as much as they wanted to and have only recently accepted this reality, hence the continued voluntary deferrals through NAP and the stealth culling of associates. NAP is a pretty nifty program, but will not immunize you in any way. I know of people who've done NAP and have been pushed out already.

Frankly, I don't trust them even though my reviews to date have been great. I am exploring my options in case their sickle swings my way.

I will NOT reveal any more information, either anonymously or through PM.

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Re: Friend at Ropes [Boston]

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:07 pm

Do you know if it is just Boston that is bad or NY to?

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Re: Friend at Ropes [Boston]

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:28 pm

I heard that they are shrinking this summer's class because they are planning on ending the deferrals/NAP fellowships after the summer class of 2012 and they need to make room for all the returning associates in 2014 without having a ridiculously huge class. As for the layoffs, I have no idea what is going on internally, but I do know that culling a few associates from a class after the first year or two is pretty standard practice at large law firms. Don't get me wrong, it sucks for the person going through it and isn't always the associate's fault, but I don't think this is necessarily a "stealth layoff" or a bad sign for the future. Having said that, I don't know the situation at Ropes in particular and I have no information about the Boston office at all. FWIW.

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Re: Friend at Ropes [Boston]

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:I heard that they are shrinking this summer's class because they are planning on ending the deferrals/NAP fellowships after the summer class of 2012 and they need to make room for all the returning associates in 2014 without having a ridiculously huge class. As for the layoffs, I have no idea what is going on internally, but I do know that culling a few associates from a class after the first year or two is pretty standard practice at large law firms. Don't get me wrong, it sucks for the person going through it and isn't always the associate's fault, but I don't think this is necessarily a "stealth layoff" or a bad sign for the future. Having said that, I don't know the situation at Ropes in particular and I have no information about the Boston office at all. FWIW.


Makes sense. I doubt this is a Dewey situation. I think people with offers will be fine. No way to know, but I doubt Ropes is going down the mountain in free fall.




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