The rumor that Wachtell Lipton has raised starting salaries to $200,000 for first-years is not true.
From a source at our former home (where we kept a pair of Ritz-Carlton hotel slippers under our desk, for walking around on late nights and weekends):
Not only is the $200K rumor false, but we just got our monthly paychecks, and they’re still at the old rates. So if we do raise, it won’t be effective until March 1.
That settles it. You’ll have to wait until December — or at least the summer or fall, if WLRK does midyear bonuses again — to start feeling envy towards your classmates who went there.
This is the morning open thread. Please add your compensation comments here. If you can verify any of the memos that have been recently posted in the comments, please email us (from either a work account or a non-work account bearing your real name).
If you’re afraid of getting in trouble, make your message cryptic (e.g., completely blank, except for a subject line reading “Yes” or “Confirmed”). We will figure out what you’re talking about. Thanks.
P.S. On the subject of gargantuan bonuses, can someone tell us a little more about Susman Godfrey and their compensation scheme? Why don’t we hear about them as much as Wachtell, considering how well they pay their associates?
* His world may have collapsed, but his lung won’t. [MSN]
* They probably weren’t staying together for the kids. [Judicial Reports (third item)]
* Some African-American college students are, in fact, just African. Another way to summarize this “finding” is that “Not All [insert color here] People Are the Same” (or, as many a clever columnist would no doubt call it, the “Barack Theory”). [Althouse]
* I’m not sure what constitutes innovation in law practice management, but I wouldn’t nominate Sullivan & Cromwell. [Adam Smith, Esq]
* No need for a state-funded “Inner Change Program.” After they get stabbed by a pick fashioned out of a bed spring and gang-raped in the shower, inmates usually turn to God of their own will. [ACSBlog]
* Be careful when deciding what to call your party on Sunday night. [Overlawyered]
A pretty boring day in terms of law firm associate compensation news. We haven’t heard anything new about Latham & Watkins, Wachtell Lipton, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, or any of the other firms that people have asked about in comments.
Of course, if we’re missing the boat on something, please email us.
Friday will probably be more interesting, since it will mark the end of the week. And if news is disappointing, or at least not positive — e.g., not upping the market, but just matching — then Friday afternoon is the best time to release it.
Okay, comment time. Reenact the cost-of-living debate for the ten millionth time, after the jump.
Welcome to this morning’s open thread for associate salary information and news about pay raises. First, here are a few links to mainstream media coverage of associate compensation from the past few days. We’ve noted which firms are discussed in each article, so you can decide whether you wish to click through and read the whole piece.
1. Three More Firms Raise First-Year Associate Pay [Legal Times]
Firms discussed: WilmerHale, Steptoe & Johnson, and Patton Boggs.
2. Most Calif. Firms Still Not Matching N.Y. Associates’ Pay [The Recorder]
Firms discussed: O’Melveny & Myers; Morrison & Foerster; Sheppard Mullin; Paul Hastings; Quinn Emanuel.
3. Fish & Richardson, Covington & Burling Join Salary-Raise Parade [Legal Times]
Firms discussed: Fish & Richardson; Covington & Burling.
4. The First One Falls [Fulton County Daily Report]
Firms discussed: Troutman Sanders; Morris, Manning & Martin; Sutherland Asbill & Brennan; Kilpatrick Stockton. Second, after the jump, a verified memo from Hughes Hubbard & Reed. If your firm has a memo or email announcement that hasn’t previously appeared on the main page of ATL, please email it to us. We will then add them as updates to this post, or publish them in a subsequent post. Thanks.
We’ve reached the end of another exciting day in the salary wars.
Okay, exciting may be an overstatement. But it’s obvious that reader interest in this subject remains high.
After the jump, we reprint a pair of non-announcements — or perhaps they could be called “placeholder announcements” — from DLA Piper and Morgan Lewis & Bockius. We also provide space for you to chime in on the latest compensation news, argue over pay differentials in different cities, and bitch about your hours.
To quote Hillary Clinton: “Let the conversation begin!!!”
We haven’t seen as many films this year as we usually do. But one of our favorites, either our #1 or #2 pick for the year, is The Queen (directed, and brilliantly so, by Stephen Frears).
Here’s a decent plot summary:
In late August 1997, just as Prime Minister Tony Blair was moving into 10 Downing Street, Princess Diana died in a Paris car wreck. England went into traumatized mourning deeper than anyone could have predicted, while the royal family — Diana’s estranged former inlaws — offered no public reaction at all.
As resentment toward the royal cold shoulder built into a monarchical crisis of public opinion, young Mr. Blair [attempts to intervene] with the Queen, [urging] the House of Windsor [to make] a public demonstration of something like humanity.
But Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) resists Blair’s call for a more public show of empathy. She is a deeply traditional woman, and as far as she’s concerned, Diana’s death is a “private matter” — since Diana, divorced from Prince Charles some time ago, was no longer a “royal” or “HRH” at the time of her death.
The Queen’s commitment to tradition makes her tone deaf on the public relations front. She does not know how to navigate the complex and challenging world of the modern mass media. The Queen fails to see the crisis in confidence that is looming — a crisis that threatens the institution of the monarchy, which she loves above all.
What we must now ask is:
Is H. Rodgin Cohen, the chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell, the Biglaw version of “The Queen”?
The Justice Department’s Shanetta Cutlar isn’t the only idiosyncratic manager in the legal profession. The WSJ Law Blog offers up some interesting blind items about bosses from hell challenging supervisors in the world of private practice.
From the main post:
[Wall Street Journal columnist Carol Hymowitz] interviewed Gary Hayes, a psychologist and consultant, who says he worked with a New York law firm where a senior partner flung heavy law books across the room at an associate.
“The associate told me it was all right since the partner intentionally threw to miss — not hit him,” says Hayes. “But the associate soon moved to another firm.”
It’s okay to hurl F.3ds at your underlings, as long as you have crappy aim.
And from the comments:
“In the eighties there was a story making the rounds about a partner at a major firm (yes I do know which one) who punctuated a heated discussion by ripping a telephone out of the wall and flinging it across the room at another partner. Does partner v. partner mean it’s ok?”
“There is a certain partner at a certain well-known firm who is reputed to have hit her secretary in the head with a phone.”
“It just happened to me on Monday. A partner started yelling at me, reaching a high-pitched crescendo, because I handed him a photocopy of the wrong e-mail in an informal discussion. I almost started laughing, which infuriated him even more. The guy was on the verge of a stroke. I pity the man. He is a punishment to himself.”
If you’d like to enlighten us about these blind items, or speculate as to the individuals involved, you may do so — at your own risk — in the comments.
We will remind you, as we’ve done before, that under Section 230, YOU are responsible for any defamatory comments you post. We are providing the forum for discussion, but YOU are the speaker or publisher of your own remarks.
(And only YOU can prevent forest fires.) The Scream [WSJ Law Blog]
We’ve confirmed the fact that Wilmer Hale has raised associate base salaries, in Washington and New York. We don’t have a memo, though, because associates received personal latters.
More about what we’ve learned, plus an open thread for your comments, after the jump.
A few more confirmed announcements of associate pay raises have rolled in. We collect and reprint them after the jump, where you should also feel free to continue the discussion from yesterday’s open thread. Thanks. Update: If you read the earliest version of the post, please note that we have added quite a bit of new material to it since we first published it. Refresh your browser to see the latest additions.
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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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
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