Shearman & Sterling has further delayed the start dates for some of its already deferred associates into early 2011, according to a memo sent Friday. Shearman in April 2009 offered its then-incoming associates the option of delaying their start dates one year in exchange for a $65,000 stipend. While the 54 lawyers who opted-in were not given a specific date to join the firm, they were expected to join this year. The deferred associates on Friday were instead given a choice of three start dates in January and February, according to the memo (pdf).

They will receive information in the coming months about a salary advance, according to the memo, signed by the heads of Shearman’s associate development committee, Azam H. Aziz and Lona Nallengara. “Although the economy is improving and we are encouraged by current activity levels at the firm, we believe that these dates will be the most conducive to providing you with the quality and breadth of work that we feel is necessary to properly train new associates,” the memo said.

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