Money, Salary Cuts

Morrison & Foerster Starting Salaries Are Still Up in the Air

Morrison Foerster logo.jpgIncoming first-year associates at Morrison & Foerster will not be able to start until April 2010. When they do, you can bet they’ll be happy to show up for early morning calisthenics, after they’ve had to wait for so long to live the dream.
But how much will they be getting paid? As of right now, the firm isn’t sure. The first years who plan to start in April received a message from the firm this afternoon:

I am writing to confirm April 5, 2010 as your starting date as an associate at Morrison & Foerster, subject to acceleration to a mutually agreeable earlier date if the need arises. You will join the firm as a member of the salary class of 2009 (subject to any standard salary credit associated with advanced degrees).
Additionally, I want to let you know that we are reviewing market data regarding starting salaries. We will contact you closer to your starting date to confirm starting salaries. We will provide an updated offer letter, along with an updated handbook, at that time.
The recruiting department will be contacting you to confirm the details of your $5,000 monthly stipend for the period from November 2, 2009 through the date you join the firm, as well as reimbursement of up to $500 per month of your health insurance premium.
We look forward to welcoming you to the firm.
If you have any questions about your start date, or other matters, please contact the recruiting department in your office.

More details after the jump.

If the past is any indication of the future, incoming MoFos should be prepared to wait a long, long time to find out how much they are getting paid. Remember, these are the same people who were told on January 28th:

[T]he earliest initial starting date that we now anticipate would be November 2, 2009. We are committed to working to provide greater certainty regarding starting date alternatives as the year progresses and as we are in a better place to assess the opportunities for effectively incorporating new lawyers into the practice.

But they had to wait until May 4th to learn that they wouldn’t be starting until April 2010.
It’s also worth remembering that MoFo is the firm that adjusted its associate bonus structure (downward) after the structure had already been announced.
Associates won’t really know their first-year starting salary until a mail room guy physically places a check on their desk.
Of course, that places MoFo first years in the exact same position as every other deferred first-year attorney. There’s not a single deferred graduate out there who is so confident about having a $160K starting salary that they are going to, say, borrow against it between now and whenever they are supposed to start. Right?
I hope not. Fool me once, shame on you …
Earlier: MoFo Watch: Incoming First Years Wait (almost) Patiently For Answers and Money
Nationwide Start Date Watch: MoFo Comes Up With an Interesting Package
Nationwide Bonus Watch: MoFo Giveth, Then Taketh Away

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