Job Survey

If you’re in Biglaw, chances are that not all of the first-year associates currently working at your firm are of the fresh-out-of-law-school-and-still-tan-from-post-bar-trip variety. With many firms just now welcoming back some Class of 2009 associates after a yearlong deferral, Class of 2010 associates have to wait their turn to start work in 2011 or 2012. But now that the great recession is over, surely business has picked up enough so that there is plenty of doc review and due diligence to go around for first-year associates, right? Or is work still so slow that the more senior associates have to hoard all the grunt work?

In this week’s survey, we want to know whether the first-year associates at your firm are being welcomed with open arms, or viewed as the competition…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Survey: How are the First-Year Associates Faring?”

We hear lots of stories about screamers — the abusive partners that all associates dread getting assignments from. But what about those partners that associates seek out — the ones who are good mentors, who give younger lawyers pointers about how to become better lawyers?

This week our ATL / Lateral Link survey asks you to take a minute to nominate the partner you most like to work for — and tell us why. Don’t worry, you won’t be asked for your name, so give your honest feedback. We’ll tally the data and in the coming weeks, we will present the top partners to work for throughout the country…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Survey: Who’s the best partner to work for?”

A recent study by economists at UC Berkeley gives employers a nice argument for keeping salaries a secret. Well, luckily for you, I’m not your employer. Therefore I have no qualms about sharing with you Part 2 of the results from our small-firm salary survey.

In your emails following Part 1, many of you asked that I take the practice experience element of the survey and show how it correlates to salary. Good point. I actually had that in mind from the start, but ended up pushing it into my Part 2 draft when I decided to split up the post.

But you don’t care; you just want the numbers. So, with the final caveat that I’m sure I’ll never be able to fully satiate your salary hunger, here’s the latest snack…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Small Firm Salary Survey: The Results (Part 2)”

Over 650 of you responded to last week’s salary survey. In poring over the results, I learned several lessons:

(1) Don’t make salary questions fill-in-the-blank. It creates a host of problems, including the inadvertent omitting/adding of zeroes, and makes data compilation and analysis unnecessarily difficult.

(2) Do include open-ended “anything else” questions; people write all sorts of amusing things given the chance.

(3) Don’t misspell “where” on question number seven.

So, let’s get to the $64,000 question: How much money are small firm lawyers making?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Small Firm Salary Survey: The Results (Part 1)”

Go... Firm!

In part 1 of the results of the Associate Morale Survey, brought to you by Lateral Link, we revealed that 74% of respondents felt that associate morale was either the same or worse than last year. Though not entirely surprising, this result is troubling, given that low employee morale is not helpful to the economic recovery.

What, then, can firms do to boost struggling associate morale?  The top solution, according to 67% of survey respondents, is for firms to be more open and transparent about decisions that affect associates. The next most popular option is for firms to unfreeze salaries and/or reverse pay cuts, cited by 44% of respondents. So to our Biglaw partner readers, remember that a little candor can go a long way with associates, and salary cuts and freezes are so 2008.

What additional responses made the wish list?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Associate Morale Survey Results – Part 2″

Biglaw salaries are no secret. You can find numbers all over the internet, including places like oh, I don’t know, Above the Law (not just the home page, but also the Career Center).

But what about information for everyone else? You already know what I made during my time at a small firm, but that doesn’t really help unless you’re looking for a job at my old firm (surprise, they’re not hiring).

Those looking to smaller firm options need information — law students especially. The OCI music has stopped, and there are plenty of people left standing. The good news is that there are other places to sit down. The bad news is that nobody can tell whether sitting in those seats will earn them enough to keep their creditors at bay.

With that and a general interest in the dissemination of information in mind, please take this short survey, so I can begin compiling some hard numbers on small firm salaries. As always, survey responses are kept completely confidential. I’ll sort, analyze and package the results in some kind of eye-pleasing manner.

Please click HERE to take the SURVEY. And please pass the survey along to any of your friends at small firms; the more responses I get, the more accurate and reliable the findings will be.

If you’d like to offer any other salary-related information or clever commentary, or have tips or story suggestions, please email me at Little Richard at gmail dot com. Thanks!

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of small law firms

Go... Firm!

A key issue for the workplace, both during recession and recovery, is employee morale. In last week’s survey, we asked Biglaw associates how current associate morale at their firms compares to morale from one year ago.

For those of you who need a quick refresher on what the fall of 2009 was like, envision a time when the majority of the massive associate bloodletting had ended, but firms were still reeling from the aftermath; salary freezes and cuts were the trends du jour; and associates who were lucky enough to receive 2009 bonuses saw drastic reductions from the previous year. Could fall 2010 possibly be any more demoralizing for associates?

Find out, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Associate Morale Survey Results – Part 1″

Go... Firm!

Good news: the recession is officially over– and actually has been since June 2009, according to a group of economists. Are Biglaw associates everywhere breathing a collective sigh of relief? Or does the recovering economy have little effect on associate morale?

This week, in our ATL / Lateral Link survey, we ask whether morale among associates has changed since last year, and what it is about your firm that is either bothering you or bolstering your spirits. Please take our short survey to give us your input (as always, survey responses are kept completely confidential). We’ll bring you the survey results next week.

We’ll use the information to update the ATL Career Center and bring you the results next week.

If you have information about your firm that you want to share with other career center users, please email us at

We’ve completely updated the Summer Associate Program sections in each of the Firm Snapshots with the 2010 summer associate survey results and the latest news.  With on-campus interviewing already underway at most schools, law students won’t want to miss getting the inside scoop on the highlights – and lowlights – of each firm’s summer program.

So head on over to the Career Center to see how the firm you summered at, or want to interview with, stacks up. Highlights include:

  • Summer associates at this litigation powerhouse brag that their “workload is super light,” completing one to five assignments over the course of the 12-week summer program, and typically spending about five hours a day on billable work.  Just don’t expect to be making the lunch rounds at the city’s trendiest restaurants.  Summers eat in at the firm’s dining room, which serves free but “excellent” lunch daily.
  • It certainly pays to have high-profile clients at this firm, which treats its summer associates to unique social events like the Tony Awards and the NBA Draft.
  • The line between summer and full-time associates is blurred at this firm, with summers “put[ting] in well over 80 hours” during some weeks to complete 15 or more assignments during the eight-week summer program.  Despite their high work demands, these summer associates still find the time to be do-gooders by volunteering to cook at the Ronald McDonald House for kids and their families.
  • The good old days never left this firm.  Summer associates typically bill about four hours a day on assignments, leave at 5:30 p.m., play softball at Fenway Park, and still get 100% offers. But you might want to think about taking an extended post-bar trip, since you might not start work on time as a first-year associate.
  • No complaints at this firm, which gives summer associates “exactly the work that they want” and still provides a “very generous” $65 lunch budget in New York.  Be sure to brush up on your foreign language skills; one-third of the summer class gets to spend up to three weeks working in one of the firm’s overseas offices

For information on the summer programs at all the top firms visit the Career Center.

Ah, the end of summer. For many law students, this time of year ushers in the arrival of the fall on-campus recruiting season (or what’s left of it), the dreaded wait for a permanent offer of employment following graduation, as well as a new diet regime for those summer associates who took their firm’s “unlimited lunches” policy a little too literally.

While your summer associate experience is still fresh in your mind, please take our short survey. Responses will be kept entirely confidential, of course.  So give us your raw insights into the stuff that no one told you about summer programs, such as how many hours you really work a day, whether the assignments you receive are “real” or just busy work, and which social events are worth attending.

This is last call on the survey for this summer as it will be closed on Friday, so please share your insights before then. Thanks!

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