In some of the comment threads to our pay raise coverage, questions have been raised with respect to summer associates. For the firms that have recently raised associate salaries, people are wondering: Will summer associates be in on the fun?
Our take: Of course they will. Summer associates are traditionally paid at the rate of permanent or regular first-year associates, and we see no reason for that to change.
After all, firms are trying to woo summers. This is why they pay SAs ridiculous amounts of money to do “jack s**t” and go out to fancy lunches. Why would they want to alienate SAs, whom they are trying to convince to return to the firm on a permanent basis, by paying them according to a lower, outdated pay scale?
So if you’ll be summering at a law firm that just went from the $145K scale to the $160K scale, relax. You will surely be paid based on the new going rate. Unless your firm is completely lame, in which case you shouldn’t take their permanent offer. As the old saying goes, “Cheapness in one area suggests cheapness in all areas.”
Several firms that have just raised associate base salaries have officially informed their incoming summer associates that they will be paid according to the new scale. We reprint a representative memo, from Latham & Watkins, after the jump.
Here’s the Latham memo to its summer associates. The key language appears near the end, after the announcement of the pay raise for permanent associates: “Summer associate salaries in the relevant offices will be adjusted to reflect the above increases in associate compensation.”
LATHAM & WATKINS SUMMER ASSOCIATE MEMO
To all summer associates:
I’m writing to inform you that today the firm has announced increases in associate salaries in each of our California, Chicago, New Jersey, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. offices. Effective May 1, 2007, associate salaries in these offices are as follows:
CALIFORNIA, CHICAGO, NEW JERSEY, NORTHERN VIRGINIA AND
WASHINGTON, D.C. OFFICES
Former Base Compensation
Base Compensation Effective May 1, 2007
Summer associate salaries in the relevant offices will be adjusted to reflect the above increases in associate compensation.
All of us at the firm are looking forward to your arrival and to a terrific 2007 Summer Program.
John C. Tang
Chair, Global Recruiting Committee
of LATHAM & WATKINS LLP