Money

Thompson Knight LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe can confirm the rumor that Thompson & Knight has raised first- and second-year associate salaries. Management recently circulated a press release to associates, along with this brief intro:

“This press release will go out shortly. We will elicit your thoughts on the more senior associate structure.”

The press release — which isn’t on the firm website yet, but should be soon — appears after the jump.
Update: The Texas Lawyer has an article about the raises available here.

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Susman Godfrey LLP Above the Law blog.JPGThe folks over at litigation powerhouse Susman Godfrey like to toot their own horn. But that’s okay, because they have a lot to boast about. The firm has been tremendously successful, and it pays its people very well (especially in terms of bonuses).
So this news should come as no surprise to anyone. From the Texas Lawyer:

Over the weekend, Houston-based Susman Godfrey joined the growing list of Texas-based firms opting to compensate Texas associates at rates comparable to their New York counterparts.

According to firm spokesman Shawn Raymond, the partners at Susman decided on July 21 to raise associate salaries effective Aug. 1 to $160,000 for first-years, $170,000 for second-years, $175,000 for third-years, $180,000 for fourth-years, and $190,000 for fifth years — after which lawyers at the firm are considered candidates for partnership.

“We want to attract the best and brightest at this firm,” Raymond says when asked about the changes.

That’s one short partnership track — which makes up for the relatively small salary increases after the second year. (And considering that pay levels for Texas associates beyond the second year are still up in the air, it’s not clear that Susman is even below market.)
Susman Godfrey Raises Associate Salaries, Effective Aug. 1 [Texas Lawyer]

pile of cash or money Above the Law legal blog.jpgOkay, that’s a bit of an understatement. Check out this interesting study, authored by Steven N. Kaplan and Joshua D. Rauh.
Here’s a money quote (hehe) from their paper (p. 31):

“[T]he representation of top corporate lawyers in the top 0.5% and top 0.1% AGI [adjusted gross income] brackets has increased substantially over time.”

Translation: Biglaw partners are taking up more and more space among the ranks of the rich.
What is happening to the pay of law partners? [Volokh Conspiracy]
Related: Sally Struthers Asks: ‘What About the Children Partners?’


Fulbright Jaworski LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgNo, 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.

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Harriet Miers money Harriet E Miers Harriet Ellan Miers Harriet Elan Miers Above the Law.JPGThe rumor is true. Locke Liddell & Sapp has raised salaries for first- and second-year associates. As noted by a commenter, “Now that they have Harriet Miers back, Locke Liddell’s future is blindingly bright.”
The news was reported in the Texas Lawyer. We’ve also gotten a copy of the email, sent out this afternoon by managing partner Jerry Clements (who actually isn’t a 300-pound, cigar-smoking Texan male, replete with handlebar moustache, but a rather attractive woman).
You can check out her email, plus a photo, after the jump.
As for Baker Botts in Texas, still no word, as of the time of this post. If you hear anything, please email us. Thanks.
Not to be Outdone, Locke Liddell Hikes Associate Pay [Texas Lawyer]

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Baker Botts LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law legal blog law tabloid.JPGFrom a verified source in the Washington office of Baker Botts:

Today, Baker Botts DC’s associates started receiving raise notices in the mail. They all appear to match the “real” DC market, not this V&E crap. Retroactive to July 1.

The notices only refer to the recipient’s salary; there isn’t a formal memo outlining all salaries, at least not one that I’ve seen yet.

So… What about Baker Botts back in Texas? Our Baker-DC source said:

I’ve heard nothing so far. The firm switched to the no-summary-memo trend after your site got popular. Coincidence? I doubt it.

If you have information about whether Baker Botts has raised base salaries for its Texas associates, please email us (subject line: “Baker Botts”). Thanks.
Update (6 PM): Apparently Baker Botts associates in Dallas have NOT yet received memos about raises.
Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Texans Fill Their Ten Gallon Hats With Cash
Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Is Texas Biglaw Raising — Finally?

Aaron Charney apartment 1 Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgNo, not the Sullivan & Cromwell headquarters at 125 Broad Street. That happened months ago, not long after the young corporate lawyer sued his uber-prestigious employer, claiming anti-gay discrimination and retaliation by S&C.
We’re referring instead to Aaron Charney’s former home, a luxury apartment on the 53rd floor of the Orion — a new, high-rise condominium on the West Side of Manhattan. We previously profiled Aaron Charney’s apartment (above right) back in this post, wherein we wrote:

City records show that in late November, Charney closed on an $820,000 condominium in the fancy new Orion building, on the west side of Manhattan….

Charney financed this purchase with a $656,000 mortgage — 80 percent financing. Perfectly respectable; not overly leveraged. This means he put down about $164,000 for the purchase.

(Food for thought: Did S&C help him out with his down payment?)
Well, now Aaron Charney has gotten back all that money — and then some. NYC records disclose that he sold his apartment last month for $972,500 (and paid off his mortgage).
So Charney flipped a property he owned briefly, just over six months, for $152,500 more than he paid for it. If you’ve been wondering how Aaron Charney is supporting himself these days, there’s your answer (or at least part of it).
Nice work, Aaron! Even after closing costs — we doubt he paid the full 6 percent commission (who does these days) — he probably made a tidy profit. If Aaron Charney decides not to return to law, maybe he has a promising career in real estate.
Update / Correction: As discussed in the comments, “[h]e’ll have to pay both the NY ‘flip tax’ and federal capital gains tax because he held it for such a short period.” So maybe he’s not making as much of a killing as we originally thought.
Further Update: Detailed tax analysis here.
More details about Aaron’s pad, including text and images from the real estate listing, after the jump.

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Sullivan & Cromwell logo small S&C Sully Above the Law.JPGMaybe this is true. Or maybe it’s a joke. From the Greedy NY board:

Can we get confirmation…just heard from my wife’s friend at S&C (through my wife) but I don’t know her well enough to ask for the memo….thank you God.

We have emails and calls in to the firm. If you’re at S&C and can confirm, please email us. Thanks.
Update (12:42 PM): No official word back from the firm yet. But we just got off the phone with one associate there, who told us that he hadn’t heard any such thing.
Update (2:43 PM): The S&C spokesperson hasn’t called us back, maybe because she doesn’t want to dignify such silliness with a response. But a current summer associate at the firm tells us: “I’m a summer associate and I haven’t heard any such thing. I think that if they were going to go to that level, they’d tell summers for recruiting purposes, right?” Right.
Update (4:27 PM): The S&C spokesperson acknowledged receipt of our inquiry, which she passed along to the appropriate partners. She said that if they would like to comment (they might not), they will contact us.
Conclusion: The rumor is false. But hey, at least the S&C partners know that raises are eagerly anticipated — and expected any day now!
S&C to 190k! Let the games begin… [Infirmation / Greedy NY]

ten gallon hat cash money Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgFollowing closely on news of the Vinson & Elkins raise, Andrews Kurth has also raised salaries for first- and second-year associates, to $160,000 and $170,000, respectively. As explained in the memo, the firm is “still working on the details of the compensation structure for other associate classes.” Here’s an article from the Texas Lawyer.
What about other Texas firms? Here’s what we’ve been hearing:

Baker Botts: They should raise later this week or early next week. Prior to the V&E announcement, a Baker source speculated: “[T]hey seem to be waiting on V and E. I think they might be trying to leapfrog them, hoping V and E lowballs.”

Akin Gump: “They had an associates’ committee meeting [yesterday] and said there were working out a few details, but they would be raising in their Texas offices sooner rather than later. Who knows what any of that means.”

The Andrews Kurth memo, in the form of an email from managing partner Robert Jewell, appears after the jump.

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falafel Simpson Thacher Chow for Charity Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe’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.

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