I hate to say “I called it first” (which I really didn’t, but I was close), but I’ve been talking about the “lost generation” of law students for quite some time. Who could look at all of these law firm layoffs and not reach the same conclusion?

From a May 19, 2009, post Looking for Inspiration in the Recession:

Yet more proof that the Class of ’09 is the Lost Generation.

Get ready, Class of ’09, more announcements like this to come. You may think you are just deferred, but you are really fired.

Boy, has that ever come true. Didn’t realize it would trickle down to the Class of 2010, and who can predict what will occur for those 1Ls.

Today, the ABA Journal seems to be getting the message in their post, A ‘Lost Year’ for 2Ls: About Half of BigLaw Jobs Are Gone

The timing couldn’t be worse for second-year law students.

Large law firms are hiring about half as many summer associates as usual, resulting in “the most wrenching job search season in over 50 years,” the New York Times reports. For many second-year law students, the “golden ticket” to a high-paying career at a big firm is slipping away.

Now these students are scrambling for other jobs at smaller firms, in government and in public-interest organizations.

Students who took out large loans to go to top-tier schools assumed they could pay off their debt with high-paying law firm jobs. But this year is different, says Irene Dorzback, the assistant dean for career services at New York University law school.

“People are now accepting this notion of a lost year,” she told the Times.

But, we’re not about the problem here at The Legal Watercooler. We like going Pollyanna on you, and we are always happy to support those who are part of the solution.

Today, The New York City Bar and City Bar Justice Center announced their Deferred Associate Law Extern Support Project, and we wish them the best of luck!

The New York City Bar and City Bar Justice Center are pleased to announce the launch of the Deferred Associate Law Extern Support Project. The Project was created in response to the growing pool of law school graduates who have been deferred for up to a year from private law firms and have chosen to work in public interest law in New York City. The Project is also open to law firm associates who have accepted year-long voluntary deferral offers from their firms.

The main goal of the project is to provide a series of training sessions that will help the law firm externs get up to speed on the hard and soft skills needed to succeed at their externships and when they return to law firms. A secondary goal of the Project is to bring the externs together with their peers to discuss their experiences in a supportive environment and to meet leaders in the legal profession who support pro bono efforts.