The economic downturn has led law firms around the country to defer start dates for their incoming first-year classes, and some firms have offered furlough programs for their associates to take a year off at reduced pay.

Always an innovator, NYU Law is the first law school in the country to host a career fair specifically designed for third-year students who have been or expect to be deferred by their law firms to meet recruiters at public interest organizations. The fair is also open to alumni whose firms have placed them on furloughs.

Irene Dorzback, assistant dean of career services, told Am Law Daily that about 140 3Ls face a one-year deferral, and a number of others have been asked to defer until January 2010. Fifty employers, including nonprofits and city and federal agencies, are taking part in the April 20th job fair.