100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGHere’s the morning thread for discussion about associate compensation. We’d like to launch the discussion by quoting from a great reader email we recently received:

I am writing this (from an anonymous account of course) to plead and beg for you guys to give us some senior associate love. All these threads about compensation and raises seem to be mostly geared to and contributed to by juniors (or, gasp, law students). Meanwhile, we 5th, 6th+ year associates sweat and slave away silently… taking on massive amounts of responsibility, ruining our personal lives, and, of course, doing the firm’s job by providing essentially ALL of the training to completely clueless juniors…. And what do we get for it, NADA!

To get to the point, I would LOVE YOU GUYS if you could start a new Skaddenfreude thread devoted to how SCREWED seniors (and ok, mid-levels I suppose) are w/r/t compensation at Biglaw. As I’m sure you know, the “compression” that happens at the higher levels is just plain ridiculous. Why on earth am I getting paid only 50K more than a kid straight out of law school!?!? And bonuses are compressed too!?! The value difference should be pretty obvious — but that doesn’t seem to matter to firms because all they care about is recruiting first years out of law school! And then they scratch their heads, totally confused about why the seniors are leaving in DROVES.

Well said. And there’s more, after the jump.


Here’s the rest of the email from the distressed senior associate:

Case in point (sorry for ranting), Ropes and Gray made a big move this year, one that every single senior associate in Boston was really impressed by and made us all very hopeful — they raised salaries for their mid-levels and seniors (not the first years– gasp!)! So I ask you, where is Goodwin Procter!? We hear that they’re “aware of Ropes’ recent move and will have a meeting to consider it.” What the hell is there to consider? I mean how cheap can you be? They race to match NY for juniors but will come up with any excuse to screw the seniors! Maybe they think we’ll stick around in the hopes of making partner, but hasn’t that theory been disproved by the massive exodus of the seniors/mid-level ranks. So, where the hell is Goodwin? Where is Wilmer!?? Where is Bingham!?? How badly do these places want to piss off their senior associates by not matching Ropes?!? The ridiculous part here is that these firms have SO FEW senior associates at this point, it would’nt cost them all that much compared to all the raises as the junior levels. Do they think the laterals they try to woo won’t notice that Ropes pays 20K more!?

Anyway, we hear through the grapevine that the compensation people and marketing people at my firm read your website all the time, so PLEASE do us pathetic senior associates (suffering in silence) a HUGE favor and bash the boston firms that continue to screw their seniors!!! Ropes should get major kudos for their recognition of seniors’ contributions and Goodwin, Wilmer, Bingham et al, should be thrown under the bus!

Please, please help us or else we’ll just have to take out all our resentment and aggression out on the poor 1st years! :) :):)


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