In 1999, a Silicon Valley firm named Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, shook the legal community by offering new associates a starting salary of $125,000 with a guaranteed bonus of $20,000. This represented a 25 percent increase in the average base salary and even more for the total compensation package. Other firms in major cities around the country were forced to follow Gunderson’s lead and annual salaries increased by about 30 percent between 1999 and 2000. New associates reaped the benefits.
The firm is considerably bigger today. And it didn’t lead this latest round of pay raises; Orrick deserves credit for that.
But Gunderson Dettmer is definitely keeping up. Moreover, as a source at the firm notes, “Thankfully it appears that we didn’t take the underhanded bonus-cutting route that Wilson Sonsini and Heller Ehrman did.”
Check out the memo, after the jump.
GUNDERSON DETTMER STOUGH VILLENEUVE FRANKLIN & HACHIGIAN PAY RAISE MEMO
From: Scott C. Dettmer
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 8:53 AM
To: #All Associates
Cc: #All Partners; Scott Armienti
Subject: 2007 Compensation
We’re pleased to announce that effective May 1, 2007, the firm is increasing the base annual compensation for our first year associates in our Menlo Park, Boston and San Diego offices to $160,000 (which is the current level of base annual compensation for our NY associates).
The base annual compensation for our other associate classes is also being increased, and attached is a chart covering the changes for each of those classes. These changes will be reflected in your May 31, 2007 paychecks (along with retroactive pay for the period of May 1st through May 15th).
We greatly appreciate all your hard work and continuing contributions!
Menlo Park, Boston, New York & San Diego:
Class of 2006: $160,000
Class of 2005: $170,000
Class of 2004: $185,000
Class of 2003: $210,000
Class of 2002: $230,000
Class of 2001: $250,000
Class of 2000: $265,000
Class of 1999: $280,000