Oh, we’re all quick to point out the law firm layoffs, the end of lock-step salaries, the postponement of OCI programs, and more job deferrals (all brought to you by Orrick).
But there are actually some companies out there trying to help.
LexisNexis recently rolled out their Lend-a-Hand Program which includes:
- A free six-month profile on Lawyers.com and Martindale.com.
- Free access to Martindale-Hubbell Connected, an online professional network where attorneys can connect, network, communicate and collaborate with trusted and authenticated colleagues.
- Free access to the Martindale-Hubbell Career Center, where attorneys can find legal jobs in local areas.
While not a perfect program, it is a beginning and definitely a step in the right direction.
I asked Dave Danielson, VP and Managing Director Small Law Client Development, LexisNexis, a few questions about the program, Cooler-style:
Q. Why is the program limited to firms with 50 or more attorneys?
A: The LexisNexis Lend-a-Hand program is available to all U.S.-based attorneys who recently worked for a law firm with more than 50 attorneys and are currently unemployed. We decided to offer it to this group of attorneys as large law firms have been most affected by the economic downturn in terms of layoffs. We decided it was important for LexisNexis to help this group of attorneys at this time.
Q. Are you planning on doing anything for the 2009 law school grads who have been “deferred” until next year … and whom I am hearing through the grapevine, will be subsequently fired.
A: Well, we certainly hope your grapevine sources are not correct on this but, to answer your question, Yes, LexisNexis launched a program entitled, “Associates Serving Public Interest Research Program (ASPIRE),” which provides complimentary LexisNexis access to deferred fall associates pursuing public interest work (non-profit or charitable). Complimentary LexisNexis access will be provided throughout these graduates’ public interest employment periods, up until September 2010. More information for interested graduates can be found here.
Q. What about the Class of 2010. Their job prospects are minimal as well.
A: We are hopeful that next year will indeed be a new year and things will have turned around. However, I think LexisNexis will always try to do what they can for our customers in need and we have demonstrated that with the ASPIRE program and Lend-a-Hand program.
I think most firms are beginning to accept that the economy (and the work load) will not simply “pick up” next year.
With more firms delaying the start dates of their 2009 first-year associates into 2010 and beyond, I hope that LexisNexis continues to see what they can do to assist these young men and women whom I have heard dubbed the “lost generation” of lawyers. With no jobs to speak of, yet mounting law school debts, these young lawyers will not have the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to begin their legal careers.