Perhaps taking a page from ATL’s Biglaw Perk Watch, the Texas Lawyer recently published a survey of the perks offered to associates at some of the state’s biggest law firms. It’s not available online, sadly, but a tipster sums it up:
Most are either trivial or to be expected, but the one that stands out it the “automated electronic defibrillator” offered by Fulbright & Jaworski.
Aren’t they essentially saying to new associates, “We anticipate that you may be afflicted with cardiac arrest while working here”? Why on earth would this be touted as a “perk”?!
Indeed. Even if you do have defibrillators on the premises, which most large organizations probably should have, it seems odd to boast about them. It’s like telling your recruits that you offer fire extinguishers — nice to know, but not exactly a “perk.”
You can check out the full list of Fulbright perks after the jump.
Yesterday we posted an open thread on law firms that screw over no-offer lots of their summer associates. This post is about the flip-side: firms that dole out summer associate bonuses.
This topic has been raised by two tipsters, in two different contexts. First, this tipster reports on two firms that pay bonuses to summer associates, regardless of whether you previously summered with them:
I’m just starting to get offers, as callbacks are rolling along. I have offers from Baker Botts and Fulbright & Jaworski, both in Dallas — and both are offering a week’s pay ($3077 and $2700, respectively) as a bonus! Baker pays out on the start date, and Fulbright pays if you spend the first half with them.
And from a second source, news of bonuses paid to 1L summers who return to the same firm:
I received an offer to come back for a second summer at Foley & Lardner… with a catch: If I come back for the whole summer, and do not split or spend time anywhere else, I receive a $5,000 bonus. The bonus pays out when I accept this fall, not next summer. I have no idea if all the offices do this, but I should add that I am not at all in a major market.
Interesting. Are you aware of other firms that either (1) pay bonuses to summer associates or (2) pay bonuses to 1L summer associates who return for a second summer (and don’t split)? Please discuss, in the comments. Thanks. Earlier: Fall Recruiting Open Thread: No-Offer Factories
Law firm mergers have transformed the Biglaw landscape over the past decade. Several of the five firms in our latest open thread on Vault 100 firms have been involved in merger mania.
Here are the firms to talk about this morning:
The executive committee of Fulbright & Jaworski just took this action with respect to associate compensation in Texas:
“After due consideration of all relevant data and after listening to our clients, our partners, and our associates on the issue at hand, the Firm has determined that we will raise base compensation for associates in Texas offices in the classes of 2006 and 2007 to $160,000 per annum, effective today, August 1, 2007.”
“The Firm has commenced a comprehensive review of associate compensation and related recruiting and retention issues. These matters are of great importance to our partnership. We hope to complete this review by mid-autumn.”
Our tipster’s take:
“So F&J has punted even more than other Texas firms, only raising first years, probably because they already announced $165K for second years in DC with the deferred comp model.”
No, we haven’t heard anything about Fulbright & Jaworski raising associate salaries in Texas. If you hear anything, please email us.
But how about D.C.? That we can help with. From a tipster in Fulbright’s Washington office:
Fulbright has raised. There’s still no memo available, and no one expects one, as the numbers were announced orally at a meeting last Friday. I’m an F&J associate… and was at the meeting.
So no memo. But we do have the firm’s schedule of base salaries and bonuses, payable at different hours levels (up to 2500 hours — yikes).
You can check it all out — it’s a pretty elaborate scale, we’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on it — after the jump.
The LIST OF SHAME is shrinking, albeit slowly.
We were down to eight firms as of last Friday morning. Then we learned about Baker Hostetler matching market. And today we get this associate pay raise news (from a verified source at the firm):
You can remove Fulbright & Jaworski from the List of Shame. We raised associate base salaries in the New York office to market today (retroactive to January 1, 2007). There was a meeting of all the associates so there is no memo or voicemail.
This leaves us with the following (ranked by Vault 100 numbers on the left, ’cause that’s how the list started out, but with AmLaw 100 numbers supplied parenthetically on the right):
43. Baker & McKenzie (3)
77. Bryan Cave (56)
82. Reed Smith (33)
83. Dorsey & Whitney (68)
86. McGuireWoods (65)
100. Seyfarth Shaw (66)
If any of these firms doesn’t belong, please email us, with supporting documentation (if any). Thanks.
The mini-scandal that erupted after it was reported that Fulbright & Jaworski partner uttered “the n word” during a recruiting event at Duke Law School has pretty much blown over.
Much wind was taken out of the racist sails when it came to light that the partner said the magic word while “recount[ing] a story about Leon Jaworski’s defense of an African-American man in a murder trial in Waco, Texas in the 1920s.” The partner uttered the racial epithet “in an effort to display the depth of racial hostility that Jaworski and his client faced.”
In case you’re still interested in this story — and we understand completely if you’re not — an account of yesterday’s meeting, between Fulbright & Jaworski lawyers and law students at Duke, appears after jump.
When we first posted about a Fulbright & Jaworski partner using “the n word” in a recruiting event at Duke Law School, we left open this possibility:
[U]nless the story was about, say, the partner’s pro bono representation, in a civil action for damages, of a hate crime or police brutality victim who was attacked and called “the n word,” it was hugely inappropriate….
We’re glad we left ourselves that escape hatch. We now have more context about the incident, thanks to an email from the Fulbright & Jaworski executive committee:
Because you may hear about or be asked about a recent situation at a law school where attorneys participated in training interviews of students, we want to bring it to your attention. One of our lawyers recounted a story about Leon Jaworski’s defense of an African-American man in a murder trial in Waco, Texas in the 1920s. During the retelling, in an effort to display the depth of racial hostility that Jaworski and his client faced, the attorney used a racial term that characterized what the district attorney in the case said about the defendant. After review of the situation, all involved concluded that such terms, although recounted without ill intentions, are inappropriate for our firm, which values diversity and strives for inclusiveness.
We are addressing the situation, and Steve Pfeiffer and other senior partners are en route to meet with the students. One of the other attorneys who participated in the training session acted immediately when the incident was called to his attention and responded with an electronic letter of explanation and appropriate apology. Any inquiries should be directed to the firm’s Hiring Partner, Gerry Lowry.
Here’s some further evidence suggesting that the Duke law school community may be overreacting. Per a current law student at Duke:
This partner was relating what another person said in the context of telling a story. Now everyone is piling on him. The student [who voiced the complaint] has been goaded on by some super liberal professors.
This morning we wrote about the recent scandal at Duke Law School, in which a Fulbright & Jaworski partner uttered “the n word” during the course of a recruiting event. We published an email from Dean Katharine T. Bartlett to the student body about the incident.
Unfortunately, there’s still so much that we don’t know. To those of you with knowledge of the underlying events, here are a few things we’re curious about:
1. What type of event was this — a meeting, a one-on-one interview, etc.? Was the complaining student the only one who heard “the n word”?
2. In what context was “the n word” uttered? In other words, what exactly was the “story” that the partner was telling to the student(s)?
3. Who was the Fulbright & Jaworski partner who said this racial slur?
The email reprinted below, from Dean Katharine T. Bartlett, just went out to everyone at Duke Law School. It was forwarded to us by a source at the school.
Yes, we know: the partner who pulled a Michael Richards used “the n word” in the context of telling a story, in which the racial epithet was uttered by a character in the story. He didn’t use “the n word” to refer to any student or interviewee.
We don’t know the nature of the story being told by the partner. But unless the story was about, say, the partner’s pro bono representation, in a civil action for damages, of a hate crime or police brutality victim who was attacked and called “the n word,” it was hugely inappropriate for the partner to use a racial slur in this context (or, for that matter, any other context).
>>> Kate BARTLETT / 11:21 AM >>>
To The Duke Law School Community:
The purpose of this letter is to address a recent incident of concern arising out of a law firm recruitment visit to Duke. A Duke student reported that a partner from Fulbright & Jaworski who was meeting students on campus told a story in which “the n word” was attributed to one of the characters in the story. Understandably, the use of the word offended the student.
Upon learning about this episode, pursuant to the Law School’s Anti-discrimination Policy, http://www.law.duke.edu/career/pdf/discriminationcomplaintform.pdf, the Career Center staff immediately asked the student if they could approach the employer to investigate the incident. The student agreed, and Tia Barnes called the recruiting manager to say that this was a serious situation that needed to be promptly addressed.
The hiring partner called back within minutes, clearly upset at the behavior of his partner. Shortly thereafter he reported back that he raised the issue to the highest levels of the firm, that the firm was taking internal measures dealing with the individual involved, and that the offending lawyer will not be permitted to return to Duke to meet with students.
The offending lawyer admitted his use of the word in question and reportedly recognizes that it was wrong to do so. The firm also sent an official apology to the student through us, as the student wished to remain anonymous.
As part of its remediation efforts, a partner at the law firm has asked to come to Duke to meet with students to describe the incident, to apologize to the community publicly, and to explain the measures that the firm has taken. Bruce Elvin has arranged for this meeting to take place tomorrow, February 22, at 4:30, in Room 3041.
This situation is ongoing, but to help the community better understand what has occurred thus far in the face of stories circulating on the grapevine, we asked for the student’s permission to describe what happened and to write this letter, and the student agreed. As is understandably often the case, the student still wishes to remain anonymous, and we have done our best to respect that wish, particularly given the importance of ensuring that our follow-up to incidents of this sort encourages students in the future to come forward to report such incidents, and does not discourage them from doing so.
This incident creates an opportunity to restate that the law school does not tolerate offensive or discriminatory conduct behavior by employers, whether occurring during interviews, mock interviews or summer employment. Pursuant to our policy, complaints of such behavior are investigated and we evaluate the response by employers to determine if their remedial action in response to the behavior is adequate. If you experience such behavior, please let us know either in person or by using the complaint form referenced above.
I appreciate the strong feelings this incident has raised and seek to work with the community as an ongoing matter to facilitate communication about how to make our climate here free from discrimination in the career services context and in all other dimensions of our Law School.
Katharine T. Bartlett
Dean and A. Kenneth Pye Professor of Law Duke University School of Law Update: We now have more details and context about the incident — and it’s not as bad as it initially sounded. Details here.
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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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@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.
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