To all of you who have been complaining about the clerkship bonus policy of Latham & Watkins, the firm has heard your pleas. And it has taken action. But if you’re starting at the firm in 2007, you might not reap the benefits of your whining advocacy.
An LW offeree passed along this information to us:
Beginning in 2008, L & W will award on year of partnership progression credit plus $50,000 to clerks at federal court, the highest court in any state and the District of Columbia, and Delaware Chancery Courts. The firm will pay $70,000 to attorneys who clerk for more than one year in eligible clerkships.
We contacted a firm spokesman for confirmation. His comments appear after the jump. Update: Also after the jump, for those of you who are curious: Latham & Watkins’s Policies, Benefits & Compensation for US-Based Associates.
The person maintaining this Atlanta List of Shame needs to update it. The starting salary in the Atlanta office of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan is now $145,000 (effective January 1, 2008). The firm has also raised first-year salaries to $160,000 in Houston and Washington, DC (effective September 1, 2007).
For more senior associates, things are a little trickier. The firm will be using a “deferred salary” model, a la Vinson & Elkins.
For details, consult the memo, which appears after the jump.
The subject of today’s perk post may not jump to mind as a perk or fringe benefit, but we think it’s important and worthy of inclusion here. From a reader:
Please do a “perks” thread on pro bono work. What kind of opportunities are presented? How are the hours counted (if at all), both de jure and de facto?
Speaking for myself, it’s the main thing that makes White & Case different from other firms. The hours are counted 1:1, without limitation. I am permitted to seek my own pro bono assignments, and function at a very high level on those cases. I have “billed” 200-300 hours to pro bono every year I’ve been here, and received no feedback but encouragement (although my “real” hours have always been in the defensible range without consideration of the pro bono).
That’s impressive. We had a friend at a top 10 firm who spent hundreds of hours on pro bono work (which got the firm some nice publicity in the New York Times). But at a certain point, she got called in for a talk about how she was spending too high a percentage of her time on pro bono.
More discussion after the jump.
Since our last twothreads on Vault 100 law firms have generated healthy (and generally enlightening) discussion, we’ll continue to move on down the list.
Please pose questions about or share insights into these five law firms (in Vault 100 order, with prestige scores in parentheses):
A source at Jones Day has confirmed for us the rumor that the firm’s Atlanta office has raised starting salaries to $150,000. Here’s more detail:
First years are at $150,000, and senior classes are to be paid commensurate with Jones Day’s goals to pay at the top of each market in which it operates. There is also a bonus available starting in 2008, which is allegedly not to be based on hours, but is performance based.
I think it’s a nice move in this market. It doesn’t necessarily address compression, but I still think I am and will be paid pretty well for a great quality of life, relatively speaking. I’ve got no complaints.
We were pleasantly surprised by the robust and intelligent discussion in the comments to our earlier open thread, Fall Recruiting Open Thread: Vault 1-5. There were over 100 comments, and many of them were quite informative. So we will press on.
The next five firms up for bids, in Vault 100 order (prestige scores in parentheses):
Here’s an idea that we liked, from a thoughtful and helpful reader:
I was a big fan of your recruiting threads by city. Same goes for the firm benefits/perks threads. One problem, however, is that people often say what it’s like at their firm but fail to mention which firm those perks apply to. I understand the need for confidentiality, but it defeats the purpose of finding out what certain firms are like.
One possible way to remedy this is to do similar posts, but to list just a handful of firms to discuss for that day. Probably the best way would be to go down the Vault 100, since most people consider this gospel. For instance, the first day you could start a thread about the top 5 firms on Vault, to discuss perks, hours, recruiting, firm life, etc.
This way, if someone who posts does not want to discuss which firm they are at, people can still have a general idea [of what firms in that tier are like]. There aren’t too many differences between the top 1-5 firms, and same goes for the next five and the next five.
We like this idea, and we like Vault. They publish a great guide to law firms, they advertise on ATL, and they have a shout-out to us in their write-up of Wachtell Lipton (which you can see after the jump).
So we’ll give this a try. If the discussion is anemic and/or insipid, then we’ll just write it off as a failed experiment. But if the discussion is robust and informative, then we’ll keep on going. Here is today’s quintet of law firms (with Vault prestige scores indicated parenthetically):
In case you’re wondering what happened to the litigation support guy at Quinn Emanuel, who sent around an office-wide email reprimanding an associate for allegedly rude treatment, here’s an update:
The lit support guy got his walking papers almost immediately. The litigation associate to whom he directed the email was baffled by the entire event.
Apparently, he just told the guy that there was a mistake and that it needed to be fixed ASAP. Knowing this associate pretty well, I say it’s pretty inconceivable that he would treat someone like a “dog,” or even unprofessionally.
So maybe the associate didn’t do anything wrong, and the litigation support guy was just a bit unhinged — a beleaguered support staff member, on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Cf.The Patton Boggs librarian.
Since the litigation support guy got fired over his email, we hope he derived a lot of satisfaction from sending it. Earlier: ATL Practice Pointers: Be Nice to the Support Staff
First, it’s the right thing to do. Second, if you’re mean or rude to support staff members, they might start talking trash about you behind your back — not good for your reputation at the firm. They might also handle your projects with less care or speed in the future.
If you REALLY piss them off, they might tell you off directly. And cc everyone at the firm, just to make you look like a total d-bag (even if you’re generally known as a nice guy among your colleagues).
The following email was sent out this morning by a litigation support team member at Quinn Emanuel to a litigation associate. Copied on the message were (1) the entire New York office and (2) litigation support firm-wide.
From: [Litigation Support Guy] To: [Litigation Associate] Cc: [New York Office]; [All Litigation Support] Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 09:15:46 -0700 Subject: Respect
I don’t care who you are and what your title is…
Have respect for people when you speak to them. Education should teach you such life lessons. No one is your dog. If you want a dog go buy one or visit the zoo.
Sorry I did not see your wonderful screen shot as Trial Graphix did not see it either. People are human and make mistakes and I am sure you have made a few such as not providing the Bates number for us to cross reference.
Enjoy, [Litigation Support Guy]
We like this cheeky message, but we have a quibble. The zoo? Dogs aren’t really exotic enough to be in the zoo. Maybe try Michael Vick’s house?
Oh, sorry — you want a live one…
(The usual rules apply. Please don’t identify either the sender or the recipient of this message. Thanks.)
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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 protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.
Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.
Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.