The keeper of the California LIST OF SHAME needs to remove Townsend and Townsend and Crew. As pointed out by another commenter, the firm has raised to the $160K pay scale.
We’ve confirmed the raise with sources at the firm. We also have a copy of the memo.
Townsend has raised its the minimum billable hour requirement to 1900 hours annually. The memo also contains an interesting discussion of the possibility of a two-track system, with respect to hours and compensation. The firm explains that it considered, but ultimately rejected, such a structure.
You can check out the full memo after the jump.
TOWNSEND AND TOWNSEND AND CREW ASSOCIATE PAY RAISE MEMO
From: Gilliland, James G.
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2007 11:31 AM
Subject: New Compensation Plan
After much discussion, and with input from many different people, Townsend has decided to implement the following Associate Compensation Plan, effective July 1, 2007:
Level 1 $160,000
Level 2 $170,000
Level 3 $185,000
Level 4 $210,000
Level 5 $230,000
Level 6 $250,000
Level 7 $265,000
Level 8 $280,000
Also beginning July 1, minimum billable hours for associates will be adjusted to 1900 hours annually, of which up to 50 hours can be spent on approved non-billable work such as pro bono, recruiting, business development, etc. Between now and July 1 the MComm will work with the Practice Group Leaders to establish guidelines for approving such time ( e.g., teaching in-house MCLE classes = yes; attending in-house MCLE classes = no.) Once the guidelines are established then it will be up to each Practice Group Leader to approve the hours for the lawyers in his or her group. Associates who bill more than 1900 hours will become eligible for bonuses as per our practice over the past couple of years.
For the remainder of 2007 the hours minimum will be prorated (i.e., 1875 hours for calendar year 2007). Bonuses will still kick in at 1900 hours.
Compensation for lawyers who are Special Counsel or Of Counsel to Townsend will be adjusted on a person-by-person basis.
As many of you know, Firm management actively considered adopting a Two Option plan that offered a choice between lower pay for a lower hours commitment and higher pay for a higher hours commitment. There is much to commend such an idea, particularly since maintaining a reasonable work/life balance is a goal at Townsend. We concluded, however, that the potential divisiveness of adopting two “tiers” overshadowed the potential benefit. Moreover, Townsend does have an established policy for less-than-fulltime hours for those wishing to take advantage of it. Still, continuing to trade more hours worked for higher compensation is unhealthy and unsustainable in the long run. Together we need to spend time devising a better solution.
The partners at Townsend know that this Firm would not survive, much less thrive, without the hard work and dedication of every attorney. We thank you for that good, hard, work and, once again, for the thoughtful, intelligent and balanced way everyone has approached this discussion of compensation.