Biglaw, Boutique Law Firms, Kellogg Huber, Money, Skaddenfreude

Skaddenfreude: Is Kellogg Huber Keeping Pace?

100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGIn a recent post about those gargantuan Supreme Court clerkship bonuses, we mentioned Kellogg Huber, the super-elite D.C. litigation boutique.
The firm’s SCOTUS bonuses are said to hover around market — which is about $200,000 these days. But if you missed out on a Supreme Court clerkship, but managed to land a federal appeals court clerkship, the firm is worth looking into. It pays a bonus of $100,000 to federal circuit court clerks, which is the largest non-SCOTUS clerkship bonus that we’re aware of.
The rest of Kellogg’s compensation package is nothing to sneeze at. The firm pays its associates a base salary of $180,000, plus huge year-end bonuses — closer to Wachtell Lipton bonuses than regular Biglaw bonuses.
(It should be noted, though, that Kellogg associates work hard for the money. The firm can be a bit of a sweatshop.)
With such a compensation scheme in place, Kellogg Huber sat at the top of the Washington legal market for years. But now we’re hearing that, in light of recent pay raises, the firm may not be what it once was.
From a tipster (although not a source currently at the firm, so this may be off in some respects):

The associates [at Kellogg Huber] are utterly mystified because the base salaries at all levels are still $180,000. [T]his is barely even a third-year associate salary elsewhere.

It used to be that the year-end bonuses at Kellogg were out of this world. But now all the other firms have come pretty close to catching up.

In short, Kellogg has not changed its salary structure in years. What used to be top of the market is now actually bottom. Senior associates make more money at pretty much any other firm in Washington than they do at Kellogg.

Is this true? And if so, does the firm have any plans of addressing the situation? If you’re in a position to know, please drop us a line. Thanks.
Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel [official website]
Earlier: Supreme Court Clerks: Do They Live Up to the Hype?

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