What do I see? Well, no associate is safe. No summer associate is safe. I am sorry this is so depressing, just reporting reality. Partners are not immune either, especially non-equity partners. We will continue to see layoffs, salary freezes, cuts etc.
Now, if you are a summer associate to be and you see your firm on abovethelaw.com re: layoffs, should you get in touch? You can, and most HPs and staff expect it, but you might want to wait a few days to see if they touch base with you. There is likely to be a message that is going to be relayed. Plus, when the layoffs, etc., first hit, there is a lot going on at the firm -- saying goodbye to colleagues, transitioning matters, dealing with other uncertainties and stress. In other words, it will just add to the overall stress so you might want to wait.
What if they mention about pushing start dates for new associates and you are an incoming (formerly fall) associate? Should you get in touch. Again, they will be contacting you, but if you want, you can reach out to your contact at firm. As indicated above, you may want to wait a few days, and speak calmly. Everyone is concerned and these things are not easy. Have your questions prepared (e.g., will there be an extra stipend)?
The bottom line here, gang, is uncertainty. Do firms know whether they can definitely start anyone at the delayed start date or even have a summer program? Whatever a firm's plans are today may change in the months ahead. We are dealing with unprecedented times. Firms aren't out to "get" you or purposely screw you over. Management is basically trying to figure out things as things progress. Projecting as well as they can, and being conservative to protect the overall firm and its employees.
I wish things were more cheerful for me to report. I would encourage non-law firm gigs -- at least for the time being. And as GP said before, if you get extra time on your hands from start date delays, rescinded offers, etc., go ahead and try to find something law related.
And in all regards, keep networking, and don't burn any bridges.
Wow, have things changed since HP started blog back in the summer. Hang in there.