David Lat is the founder and managing editor of Above the Law. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Observer, Washingtonian magazine, and New York magazine. Prior to ATL, David worked as a federal prosecutor in Newark, New Jersey; a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, in New York; and a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. David graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School, where he served as book reviews editor of the Yale Law Journal. David has received several awards for his work on ATL, including recognition as an ABA Journal Legal Rebel, a group of innovators within the legal profession, and inclusion as a member of the Fastcase 50, "the fifty most interesting, provocative, and courageous leaders in the world of law, scholarship, and legal technology." You can connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.
We believe the Greenberg Traurig memo was posted, multiple times, in the comments. But just to make it official, here’s the (verified) memorandum:
To our New York associates:
We are pleased to announce that our New York office will be increasing associate compensation retroactive to January 1, 2007.
The new standard salary range will start at $160,000 for the class of 2006 (and for new associates arriving with the 2007 incoming class) and increase for each subsequent class through the class of 1999 and beyond. Each associate will be advised of her or his salary by the end of this week.
As you know, at Greenberg Traurig, the timing and opportunity for making shareholder and having a long term home, as well as our unique cultural environment, are more favorable to our associates than is the case at other large New York firms. While these facts are themselves of high value for forward-thinking individuals, we also desire to fairly compensate all of our people along the way based on all conditions.
We have always been committed to providing our associates a unique opportunity to be a real part of an organization based on change, and which will be at the forefront of our profession as we move into a bright future together. At the same time, we believe in a strong, merit-based compensation system at all levels of our firm, and we believe that total compensation, including year-end bonuses which will be determined at the end of 2007, should reflect your contributions. Providing for increased base salaries at this time allows our associates to feel highly rewarded while still retaining these important features of our culture.
Here’s what the associate pay raise memo for Skadden’s Class of 2003 looked like:
From: Garfinkel, Jodie
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 12:26 PM
TO: Class of 2003
We are pleased to advise you that we are increasing base salaries retroactive to January 1, 2007. The salary for most associates in the class of 2003 will be increased from $190,000 to $210,000. Increases will be reflected in paychecks of February 15th and retroactive payments will be made only to those attorneys who are employed with the Firm on February 15th.
Annual bonuses will be determined at year end based upon individual performance, levels of activity in the Firm’s practice areas and the economic environment as it affects our Firm.
We thank you for your continued commitment and dedication.
If you’re a Skadden associate in a class other than 2003, please provide your new base salary in the comments. We will “Wiki” our way towards a comprehensive Skadden memo. Thanks everyone! Earlier: Previous announcements of law firm associate salary increases (scroll down through “Skaddenfreude” archives)
“You mean to tell me that this guy has argued before the Supreme Court? This guy, in the button-down shirt? Seriously?”
Here are the remaining photos from our recent Movie Night With Justice Breyer. The first batch was posted over here.
As we previously explained, these pictures are pretty awful — dark and blurry. Because of all the priceless art lying around, we weren’t allowed use a flash inside the darkened precincts of the Phillips Collection.
And we’re not great at photography to begin with. And we could use a better camera. (Did you catch that, Sony and Canon publicists?)
But if you’re looking for a break from all the law firm pay raise coverage, maybe you’ll appreciate them. Check them out, after the jump.
We have confirmed this Morrison & Foerster memo with sources at the firm. So you can take it as 100 percent reliable.
Please note that it pertains only to the New York office. MoFo has historically paid its NYC associates more than their counterparts in other cities, which some non-Gothamites have grumbled about. But that’s probably not about to change — especially when New York newbies pull down $160K…
From: Wetmore, Keith C.
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 5:21 PM
To: LIST/Non-Partner Atty/NY
Subject: 2007 New York Associate Compensation
I am pleased to announce the 2007 compensation structure for associates in our New York office. Associates eligible to receive an increase to their base compensation as a result of progressing to the next salary class will see the increase reflected in their February 15 paycheck retroactive to January 1, 2007. These step increases will be based on the following schedule:
Class of 2006 – $160,000
Class of 2005 – $170,000
Class of 2004 – $185,000
Class of 2003 – $210,000
Class of 2002 – $230,000
Class of 2001 – $250,000
Class of 2000 – $265,000
Class of 1999 – $280,000
Class of 1998 – $290,000
We will be determining compensation for of counsel on a separate basis and will send individual compensation messages in the next few weeks.
On behalf of the Firm, thank you for your part in making 2006 a great year for the Firm and for your hard work and commitment to the Firm and its clients as we look to the future.
We haven’t confirmed it 100 percent. But the Weil Gotshal memo reprinted below, which has been posted several times in the comments, strikes us as pretty safe to consider authentic.
(We’re waiting to hear back from certain contacts at Weil. When we do, we’ll update this post.) Update (6:30 PM): Official sources at Weil declined to comment: “We’re not in the business of confirming internal memos or emails.”
But unofficial sources have confirmed, informing us that the “Town Hall Meeting” mentioned below took place at 4:10 PM. So you can regard the memo below as a true copy. WEIL, GOTSHAL & MANGES
To: US Associates
From: Stephen J. Dannhauser
As announced at today’s Town Hall Meeting, effective January 1, 2007, annual U.S. associate base salaries have been increased, as set forth below. You will receive a retroactive adjustment reflecting this increase in your paycheck or direct deposit on February 9th. Bonuses will be paid this Friday, January 26th. As we have previously told you, it is our intention to pay our associates commensurately with our peer firms.
The firm has enjoyed a very good year, and we recognize that your dedication and hard work have contributed, and will continue to contribute, to our success.
Class Year 2007 Salary
Base salaries for associates in the class of 1998 and more senior will be determined on an individual basis. Earlier: Previous announcements of law firm associate salary increases (scroll down through “Skaddenfreude” archives)
Amazing! Our uncooperative servers are allowing us to post something (or so it seems). Allah be praised.
On the associate pay raise front, here’s what we’ve heard most recently:
1. O’Melveny & Myers: They did it by voicemail, presumably to prevent forwarding of emails or cutting and pasting of text. Cute, guys.
Here’s what a tipster tells us:
You’re not going to get a memo, but we (NY, DC, LA) just got a voicemail left for us basically saying we’re matching in NY the recent raises and LA and DC are getting bumps too. I didn’t write down the numbers, but the LA and DC base salaries are not the same as for NY.
Another tipster confirms the LA and DC raises, with more detail: “O’Melveny is bumping first years from $135K to $145K in DC.”
2. Simpson Thacher (summer associate addendum). This isn’t exactly a surprise. But for the record:
The wave of postings and comments in response to Simpson’s announcement to raise associate salaries has left some of you wondering what the application will be to the summer class. I wanted to confirm that summer associates will be paid the same salary as first year associates, prorated on a weekly basis, which is $3080 per week. A copy of our Chairman’s memo appears below.
Consider the rumors about Dewey Ballantine and Fried Frank joining in the associate pay raise fun to be confirmed. We’ve been in touch with multiple sources at both shops.
We’re working on getting a copy of the DB memo. Here is the text of the Fried Frank announcement (which reportedly went out by email at 2:11 PM today): FRIED FRANK
To: All DC and New York Associates and Special Counsel
cc: All Partners
From: Valerie Jacob, Justin Spendlove
We are pleased to announce an increase to the associate base salary scale as follows:
Class Year Adjusted Base Salary
This increase is retroactive to January 1, 2007, and will be reflected in the February 9, 2007 payroll. Bonuses for 2007 will be determined at year-end, as usual.
Base salaries and bonuses for Special Counsel will be determined on an individual basis in the Spring, as usual.
The Firm’s continued success depends upon the support and contribution of all our associates. We are very appreciative of the efforts and hard work of all our attorneys during this fiscal year and we look forward to continued success next year.
As several of you noted in the comments, news of a pay raise sounds even sweeter when it comes from a man named “Justin Spendlove.” Earlier: Previous announcements of law firm associate salary increases (scroll down through “Skaddenfreude” archives)
It looks like the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Law Association of New York (“LeGal”) has gotten tired of receiving angry emails from random gay law students at Columbia, NYU, and Fordham.
Over at their website, LeGal has posted an interesting statement (gavel bang: Soloway) about Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. LeGal, you may recall, is the gay rights group whose vice-president, John Scheich, spoke out publicly in defense of S&C (as discussed here and here).
The statement, issued by LeGal’s Board of Directors, reads as a whale of a bitchslap stinging rebuke of Jack Scheich. It’s unintentionally amusing, in a smirk-inducing, Schadenfreude-ish sort of way.
We reprint (1) the LeGal Board’s statement, and (2) a personal email that Scheich sent to Charney — yeah, seriously!!! — after the jump.
Capitalization in the original. All lowercase is very appropriate for the youthful, fun, California-based Quinn Emanuel firm.
From: John Quinn
Sent: Wed 1/24/2007 12:14 PM
beginning february 1 the firm will match the recently announced increases in base salaries for years 2001 through 2006. incomes of more senior lawyers will be dealt with on a case by case basis, given the firm’s partnership track.
John B. Quinn
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, LLP
We’ve been DYING for a photograph of Shanetta Cutlar, the Bitch Goddess Chief of the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section, whom we have written about extensively in these pages. So we were absolutely delighted to receive the photograph at right, which one of you dug up for us on an archived DOJ web page.
As you can see, Shanetta Cutlar is attractive and stylish. We love the combination of the pearl necklace and the pearl-gray pinstripe suit (with hints of purple in the sleeve). Her smooth mocha skin and glossy red lips couldn’t be more alluring. Her hair is fabulous; it looks professionally styled.
Just like Paris Hilton, another one of our favorite women on planet Earth, Shanetta Cutlar takes a great still photograph. We’re reminded of what cosmetics heir and art collector Ronald Lauder recently said, to the New Yorker, about socialite Adele Bloch-Bauer, whose portrait was painted by Gustav Klimt (a portrait Lauder recently bought for $135 million):
“She had a salon, she had a personality, and you can feel that personality. Unlike The Kiss, this is a painting that is alive.”
The same can be said of Shanetta Cutlar. Love her or hate her, the woman has personality. Unlike so many of those “DOJ Official In Front Of A Flag” photos, which are generic and interchangeable, Shanetta’s photo portrait is alive. You can practically hear her yelling at a line attorney for including extra spaces in a document, or upbraiding a summer intern for failing to say hello.
For those of you who are as obsessed with “SYC” as we are, we reprint the text that accompanied this Shanetta-licious image, after the jump.
What does it mean to be “newly admitted?” To us, it means endless possibilities!
We recognize that you already possess the ability and intelligence to succeed in a variety of legal professions. Our job is to expose you to various practice areas in a way that ensures those very attributes are successfully applied. Our seasoned and successful faculty present unique programs that provide an approachable and practical understanding of the avenues of achievement available as you launch a fruitful, enjoyable and promising career.
Our Live Bridge the Gap weekends satisfy the entire year of New York Newly-Admitted CLE Credits in only two days!
After physically attending a full weekend, you will receive:
• 3.0 Ethics CLE credits,
• 6.0 Skills CLE credits, and
• 7.0 Professional Practice and/or Law Practice Management CLE credits
Date: Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, 2013 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:35 p.m. (EST) Location:
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New York, NY 10006
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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