We’re late to the party on this one. Many of you have already emailed us this Slate piece, in which Daniel Gross goes to town on Simpson Thacher’s “Chow for Charity” program. Article title: “Fifteen Dollars Worth of Smug.”
We first read about Simpson’s program in this great New York Observer article:
[A]t Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, there’s a program called Chow for Charity: If summers and associates go out for a lunch that costs $15 or less per head, the firm donates the other $45 of each person’s lunch allowance to charities including Legal Aid, inMotion and Human Rights First.
For some, this is an appealing option: “It’s great for [the firms] to be able to say, ‘We realize these $60 meals are sort of stupid, so we give money to something good and everyone is happier,’” says an associate. Noblesse oblige never tasted so much like falafel!
The program is also discussed in the New York Times (fourth item) and the WSJ Law Blog.
What do you think of “Chow for Charity”? Take our poll, and opine in the comments, after the jump.
We continue our series examining perks or fringe benefits provided by legal employers. We’ve already covered technology allowances, gym memberships, marriage bonuses, and help with housing.
Today we tackle a subject that’s kinda boring, but very important: retirement benefits and financial planning. If you don’t think about this stuff now, you’ll be chewing ramen with your dentures in fifty years.
So what does your employer do on this front? Do you get a 401(k) or an IRA? Is there an employer contribution?
And one reader also wants to know: Do any firms provide their associates with help in terms of financial planning? Do they assist you in navigating the maze of confusing options?
Please discuss in the comments. Thanks.
Word on the street is that Vinson & Elkins has raised salaries for its Texas and Washington associates. But we haven’t confirmed it directly with someone at V&E. If you can confirm this rumor, please email us. Update (11:08 AM): That was fast; thanks! It’s confirmed: V&E has raised associate salaries for first- and second-year associates.
Things are more complicated for more senior classes. Basically they’re adopting a deferred compensation system, dependent upon hitting an hours target (2000 “Firm Credit Hours”).
For all the gory details, check out the memo, which is posted after the jump.
Over in the D.C. office of Baker & McKenzie, the natives are getting restless. They’ve prepared this cute little bar graph (thumbnail image; click to enlarge):
The graphic above also reflects that Williams & Connolly now pays starting salaries of $165,000. We hadn’t heard (or written) about that news, but it’s official.
Does anyone have a memo and/or more information about what Williams & Connolly pays beyond the first year? If so, please email us. Thanks. Update / Correction: Whoops, we forgot that W&C raised salaries back in March. What we were thinking, and meant to write, is that Williams & Connolly hasn’t raised associate salaries in response to the latest round of nationwide pay hikes (as kicked off by Orrick).
Remember that W&C traditionally doesn’t pay year-end bonuses, but pays an above-market base to make up for it. Their current scale — 165, 180, 195, etc. — is still above-market, but not by as much as usual. Further Update / Correction: Apparently Greenberg Traurig is still at $145K in Washington. We’ve revised the graph accordingly. Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: What’s Up With Williams & Connolly?
This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post about Quinn Emanuel, which was considering adopting a pay system in which associates with coveted electrical engineering degrees would earn higher base salaries than their less well-endowed colleagues.
We contacted name partner John Quinn, but he hasn’t gotten back to us. Through other channels, however, we’ve learned what we think happened in terms of this issue.
If you’re curious, read the rest of this post, after the jump.
Oops, we briefly dropped the ball on our continuing series about perks or fringe benefits provided by legal employers. In prior posts, we covered technology allowances, gym memberships, and marriage bonuses.
Recently a tipster asked us if any law firms out there would help him out with buying a house. We believe he was thinking in terms of financial assistance (e.g., a low-interest home mortgage).
We’re not sure about that. But we do know that some law firms will help out associates with other real estate and housing-related matters, such as moving expenses and broker fees.
Here’s an open thread for discussion of fringe benefits related to housing and real estate. Have at it! Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of perks and fringe benefits (scroll down)
We received an interesting email about a month ago. We meant to write about it back then, but never got around to it. But since we haven’t read about it elsewhere (please correct us if we’re wrong), we figure it’s still fair game for discussion.
Here’s the start of the email. It’s from John Quinn, name partner of litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel.
From: John Quinn To: Associates Cc: Partners Date: 6/18/2007
we have a possible solution to a problem that we want to run by all of you. its controversial–or has the potential to be such–so we don’t want to consider it further if it will be a problem.
our firm desparately needs more patent litigators with electrical engineering degrees. its not just that we have more and more cases calling for that expertise. we also have clients who insist on staffing their cases with electrical engineers. we are beyond capacity limited in this area. its to the point that we are being instructed to off load some work to other firms that have ee degrees. the truth of the matter is that we could probably put a dozen of these people to work right now if we had them.
we have constantly been looking for people with this credential. unfortunately, so are alot of other firms. the demand clearly exceeds the supply.
You can probably guess where this is going. Read the rest of John Quinn’s email, after the jump.
We’re back. It’s Monday. We don’t like Mondays. We’re feeling sluggish today.
So we’ll take the path of least resistance, and start a thread about an ATL staple: clerkship bonuses. We have some good news about two new (and non-New York) firms.
First, the rumor about O’Melveny & Myers can be treated as confirmed. We received lots of emails about OMM. Here are two:
“O’Melveny and Myers has raised their federal clerkship bonus to 50k. District Court and Appellate. Not sure about second year bonus of 70k.”
“O’Melveny and Myers just raised their clerkship bonus from 35k to 50k. As far as I know, they’re the first non-NY based firm (aside from Susman) to go to 50k. And it’s straight 50k — it doesn’t include a bar stipend like that Latham nonsense.”
Second — from just one source, so let us know if it’s erroneous — we hear that Morrison & Foerster has joined the $50K Club:
“Noticed the clerkship bonus list of shame (7/02/07). A co-clerk of mine is joining MoFo this fall and the clerkship bonus is listed as 50K (nationwide) in the documents he has received.”
If you have clerkship bonus information not previously reported on ATL, please email us (subject line: “Clerkship Bonus”). Thanks.
Ann Althouse, call your dean! A Wisconsin lawmaker wants to address what he thinks is an overpopulation of lawyers in the state — by ending state funding for the University of Wisconsin Law School.
State Representative Frank Lasee (Lah-SAY’) says the state doesn’t need any more ambulance chasers or frivolous lawsuits. The Green Bay Republican convinced his colleagues in the GOP-controlled Assembly to include his plan in their version of the 2-year budget approved Tuesday.
But the proposal appears to have little chance at becoming law. Governor Doyle called it ridiculous and bizarre during an appearance today in Milwaukee.
The plan would cut state funding for the law school over the next three years before eliminating it completely in 2010. Lasee says the school would be forced to raise tuition to cover the cuts or stop admitting as many students.
You can follow Lasee’s other exploits on his blog, which includes jokes, French-bashing, and other random musings.
(Of course we’re mocking Lasee’s proposal, but we should note that it’s not unheard-of for a public law school to reduce its dependence on state funding. UVA’s law school, for example, has done it voluntarily.) Update: Ann Althouse’s post on this subject appears here.
Ms. JD is hosting their 2nd annual cocktail benefit to raise money for the Global Education Fund. The event will be held on August 21, 2014 at 111 Minna in San Francisco. Our goal is to raise $20,000 to fund the legal educations of four dedicated law students in Uganda who count on our support to continue their studies at Makerere University during the 2014-15 academic year.
The Global Education Fund enable womens in developing countries to pursue legal educations who otherwise would not have access to further education. According to the World Bank, investment in education for girls has one of the highest rates of return to promote development. In Uganda, more than 45% of women over the age of 25 have no schooling at all, and men are more than twice as likely as women to have access to higher education. Together, we can work to end educational inequality. For more information about the program, please visit http://ms-jd.org/programs/global-education-fund/
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We at Kinney Asia have made a number of FCPA / White Collar US associate placements in Hong Kong / China thus far in 2014. Most of such placements have been commercial litigation associates from major US markets, fluent in Mandarin, switching to FCPA / White Collar litigation. Some have already had FCPA experience, but those are difficult candidates for firms to find (this will change in coming years as US firms are now promoting FCPA / White Collar to their 2L summers who are fluent in Mandarin and have an interest in transferring to China at some point).
Legal Week quoted Kinney’s Head of Asia, Evan Jowers, extensively in the following relevant article here.
There is a new trend in the market, though, where mid-level transactional US associates, fluent in spoken Mandarin and written Chinese, are interviewing for and in some cases landing junior FCPA / White Collar spots in Hong Kong / China at very top tier US firms.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.