Credit Crisis, Money, Salary Cuts, Salary Freeze

McGuire Woods Cuts First-Year Associate Salaries

McGuire Woods logo.jpgAdmit it, you knew this was coming. We’ve got a firm capitulating to the market realities and cutting first-year associate salaries.

McGuire Woods chairman Richard Cullen left a voice mail (!) to his attorneys last night. He let everybody know that the firm was cutting 10% off of first-year salaries, from $160K to $144K.

UPDATE: There is some variation in starting salaries by office. New hires are making $144,000 in Northern Virginia, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, while new hires in Richmond, Charlotte and Atlanta are making $130,500.

But that is not the only cut future McGuire Woods juniors can expect. Cullen also told the firm that the 2009 summer program is being scaled back to an eight-week affair.

Salaries for all the other associates at the firm have been frozen at 2008 levels.

But, and this is important, no layoffs at McGuire Woods.

Richard Cullen did not respond to an immediate request for comment.

For weeks, the ATL commenters have been claiming that “no first-year attorney is worth $160,000!!!!!!!!!!” At McGuire Woods, that is now true. And there are a lot of laid off first years who would gladly take a $144,000 a year job.

We’ve seen a lot of contraction in the legal industry. But now we could start to see serious deflation in the industry.

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