As you know, starting salaries for new associates have recently increased, for the second time this year in some of our markets. Consistent with our philosophy of paying competitive salaries, we are announcing today increases in the starting salaries in some of our offices and markets, to be effective January 1, 2008.
Effective on that date, we will pay a starting salary of $145,000 in Atlanta and North Carolina and $160,000 in Washington, D.C., New York, and IP Patent.
But in an even more shocking sign of the times, that August 2007 memo also noted:
We are studying the market in the capital markets practice to determine if any adjustments are warranted with respect to the existing capital markets scale. We remain committed to paying competitive compensation to our lawyers who practice in that area, but are not currently making any changes to the existing capital markets scale.
But today is not 2007. What do you think the existing capital-markets attorney pay scale is today? A pat on the back and a fish sandwich?
Today, Kilpatrick announced that it was scaling back starting salaries to $130K in Atlanta and North Carolina.
But that is not the full extent of the cuts. More details and a statement from the firm after the jump.
Somewhat obviously, Kilpatrick Stockton is going down to $145K in New York & D.C.
With the starting salaries set at a lower level in all offices, Kilpatrick has also decided to implement a 10% salary cut on everybody else in every office.
Is that still a “competitive” salary for the firm ranked #95 by Vault? Before you answer, please note that the firm ranked #92 no longer exists. Thelen dissolved so long ago that one struggles to remember how to pronounce its name. (For the record, it rhymes with wheelin’.)
Kilpatrick did not respond to our multiple requests for comment.
The firm went through a round of layoffs a little over a month ago. Given that they’ve recently been down that road, maybe cutting salaries was the only place the firm could turn for cost savings that won’t affect the partners’ bottom line.
Kilpatrick is just the latest indication that 2007 was much longer ago than you’d think.
Update (5:17): Kipatrick Stockton just released the following statement:
Kilpatrick Stockton announced today that it is reducing associate salaries in the firm’s US offices. The reduction in salary will be 10% and is effective July 1. Our starting salary for new U.S. associates is being reduced from $145,000 to $130,000 in Atlanta and North Carolina and from $160,000 to $145,000 in New York, Washington, and for patent associates.
The firm remains strong in this challenging and volatile business environment. We, like other leading law firms, believe this measure is necessary to adapt to changes in the economy and to the demand for certain legal services. There is an intense commitment to enhancing the firm’s first-rate, innovative and cost-effective client service. With these goals in mind, Kilpatrick Stockton is dedicated to continuing to identify strategic growth opportunities to expand our world-class firm and improve our competitive position in the marketplace.
Diane Prucino, C0-Managing Partner, Kilpatrick Stockton