What more could you ask for in a law firm? As reported by several commenters, and confirmed by the Legal Times, Akin Gump has raised starting salaries in its Washington and California offices to $160,000 (with corresponding increases up the seniority ladder).
Cynics might wonder: Is this an attempt to distract attention from the scandal of the Akin Gump Escort? Akin Gump associates might respond: Who cares? Some people subscribe to the “mo money mo problems” school of thought. But to most Biglaw associates, “mo money is mo money.”
We realize, of course, that the real reason behind the Akin Gump raise is Hogan & Hartson’s earlier move to $160K. We just enjoy working references to the Akin Gump Escort into as many stories as possible, no matter how gratuitous.
Even if the Akin Gump Escort Affair (hehe) played a supporting role in the timing of this raise, there would be no shame in that. Increases in associate compensation sometimes have their roots in scandal. Fallout from the Aaron Charney lawsuit, for example, may have led Sullivan & Cromwell to raise its clerkship bonus to $50,000, in anticipation of a tough fall recruiting season. That increase, of course, gave rise to clerkship bonus mania across the country, in which firms untainted by scandal ponied up more dough for law clerks.
For those of you who are curious, the Akin Gump memo appears after the jump.
P.S. Apologies for the delay in posting this news. We’ve been on the road for most of the evening.
Akin Jumps on the $160K Bandwagon [The BLT: The Blog of the Legal Times]
AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD PAY RAISE MEMO
From: McLean, Bruce
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2007 4:14 PM
To: WA Associates; WA Counsel; LA Associates; LA Counsel; SF Associates; SF Counsel; SV Associates; SV Counsel
Cc: WA Partners; SF Partners; SV Partners; LA Partners
As part of our long-standing commitment to recruit and retain the most talented and qualified associates, we have consistently maintained competitive salaries in all markets where we have Akin Gump offices. Thus, in light of recent developments in the California and Washington, D.C., markets, we are increasing base salaries for associates and counsel in our California and Washington offices as set forth below:
The salary adjustments are effective as of May 1, 2007. As in the past, compensation for associates who are not on our salary grid will be determined by practice managers on a case-by-case basis.
Thank you for your continued commitment to the firm and its clients.
Special Assistant to the Chairman
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
1333 New Hampshire Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036