We can expect in the next few weeks that some enlightened Big Law firms will level with their incoming associates (or at least the corporate ones) and explain that market conditions are such that the firm cannot assure them of the volume of work necessary for their normal growth and development and, accordingly, the firm is offering a stipend (and health insurance) to those who choose to defer for a year. If such is to be expected, then it is to be fervently hoped that many 3Ls will give such deferral serious consideration.

First, a Little Debunking

This consideration probably begins by putting in perspective the notion that deferrals are about firms lowering their costs and thus moving money from the pockets of would-be new associates to those of partners, and that all that constrains firms from deferring is the potential for brand damage on the campuses of elite law schools.