They’ve been asked to spend at least 25 hours a week helping litigators on a bushel of big-ticket litigation, in particular, three cases that have entered the discovery phase and are soaking up hundreds of hours in lawyer time.

First-, second- and third-year associates have been tossed into the litigation mix — a move partners say provides a training opportunity as well as a way to put associates to work as corporate deal-making continues to lag.

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