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Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Troutman Sanders

Troutman Sanders LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThe dominoes are falling in Atlanta. Last night, Troutman Sanders made its associate pay raise announcement.
From the Fulton County Daily Report:

Troutman Sanders raised associate pay $15,000 across the board in its Atlanta, Washington, Virginia and North Carolina offices Thursday, with the starting salary going from $130,000 to $145,000.

The firm’s managing partner, Robert W. Webb Jr., announced the pay increase to associates at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The raises are effective Jan. 1, 2008, the same date the pay raise that Alston & Bird announced to its Atlanta associates last week goes into effect. Earlier this week, King & Spalding matched Alston’s $15,000 increase in starting pay, also effective Jan. 1, but did not raise pay for more senior associates.

Correction: According to a source at the firm, as well as various commenters, “Troutman’s DC and Tysons Corner offices have starting salaries of $160K as a result of the increase. (Troutman’s Atlanta office is starting at $145K).”
What’s most noteworthy about this raise, as pointed out to us by several tipsters, is that it’s “across the board” — not just for first- or second-year associates. In Atlanta, where salary compression for more senior associates is a serious issue, an across-the-board raise of $15,000 is good news indeed. It’s better than what has been announced thus far by Alston & Bird and King & Spalding.
More discussion, after the jump.

To those who complain about Atlanta associate pay, the partners at ATL firms would probably point out this fact, from the FCDR article:

When the raise takes effect in January, it will mean a 45 percent increase in starting pay in a mere two years for associates at Troutman, Alston & Bird and King & Spalding.

Now what about compression — will the Troutman Sanders raise help out on this front? One source at a rival firm notes: “[T]he scale appears less compressed than Alston & Bird’s — though Troutman was previously on a merit-based system, so I am not sure what 15K across the board translates to in terms of a scale.”
Update: A source at Troutman sheds more light on the matter:

1. After the first year, salaries are determined individually (“there’s no transparency at all”).

2. In terms of this raise, “$15K across the board means that whatever you make today, you’ll make 15k more” after the raise takes effect.

3. “This $15K is in addition to any merit raise an associate might get after the review process this fall. Both raises take effect on January 1, 2008.”

P.S. Random aside, from a tipster: “Troutman Sanders offers zero clerkship bonus. Nada. Zilch.”
Question: According to the firm’s NALP form, Troutman Sanders pays no clerkship bonus. But according to this comment, the firm offers a $10,000 clerkship bonus. If you can clear up the confusion, please email us.
Correction: Multiple sources have informed us, by email, that (1) Troutman now offers a $10K clerkship bonus and (2) this fall will be the first year of this policy.
Troutman Sanders joins bandwagon, raises first-years’ pay [Fulton County Daily Report]

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