Money

100 dollar bill Abovethelaw Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGIt’s the Friday before a major holiday — and firms are scrambling to get their pay raise announcements out the door. It’s a nice way to send your bedraggled and overworked hardworking associates into a three-day weekend (assuming they don’t need to come in on Monday).
We’re about to sign off for the weekend, and we won’t be back until Wednesday. (Billy Merck, who has filled our shoes in the past, will be your guest editor on Tuesday.)
Before we go, here are the latest salary announcements that we’ve confirmed:

1. McDermott Will & Emery

2. Manatt, Phelps & Phillips (Hat Tip: Lateral Link)

But the Manatt “raise” has a catch. Its effective date? January 1, 2008.
HA. That’s kind of funny, in a sick sort of way — provided you’re not at Manatt.
Memos appear after the jump. And we’re out the door. Have a great holiday weekend!
Update (2:50 PM): We’ve verified the Pillsbury Winthrop raise news. Memo below.
Update (3:25 PM): Jeez, you’re going to make us miss our flight to Las Vegas. Memo from the D.C. office of Winston & Strawn, added after the jump.

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Okay, commenters, break it up. There’s no need to come to blows over the propriety of discussing clerkship bonuses in a salary post.
Here at ATL, there’s enough cyberspace for everyone. We’re putting an end to the turf wars, by giving you a new, dedicated thread for talking about clerkship bonuses.
We’ll kick things off with some news. First, a reader alerted us to a change made to Cahill Gordon’s website:

Sign-on Bonuses: The firm pays sign-on bonuses of $50,000 to judicial clerks and $15,000 to LL.M. (tax) graduates when they start at the firm.

Second, from a law clerk tipster, about Paul Weiss:

I’m clerking for two years. Paul Weiss just notified me, by phone, that they will be giving $70K bonuses to all two-year clerks. Hurray!

Congratulations, law clerks! Your Memorial Day holiday weekend is off to a good start.
Compensation & Benefits [Cahill Gordon & Reindel]

100 dollar bill Abovethelaw Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGIt’s a busy morning, right before the big Memorial Day holiday weekend. There’s breaking news of associate pay raises from Sidley Austin, Arnold & Porter (hi James Sandman!!!), and Brown Rudnick.
The Sidley Austin memo appears after the jump. The raise to the $160K scale covers Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington. It’s retroactive to May 1.
The Arnold & Porter news was reported by The BLT: Blog of Legal Times. If you have the A&P memo, please email it to us.
We learned of the Brown Rudnick raise by email. We don’t have the memo, but our source sent us a salary table, which also appears below the fold.
Discuss.

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Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky Popeo Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re a little tardy with this memo. It was issued on Wednesday, but we didn’t receive it until late yesterday.
Anyway, better late than never. The Mintz Levin pay raise announcement appears below the fold.

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Mayer Brown Rowe Maw equity partners fired Above the Law blog.jpgThe associate pay raise memo for the D.C. office of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, authenticated for us by a source at the firm, appears after the jump.
We have no reason to doubt the authenticity of the memos, posted in the comments, that appear to be from Mayer Brown’s offices in Los Angeles and Chicago. So it would seem that the firm has raised to the $160K scale in Washington, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
But if you can confirm them for us, please do so by email. Thanks.
(You don’t have to email us from your work account. A message from your personal, non-work email account — but disclosing your real name, so we can look you up on the firm website — is sufficient confirmation.)
P.S. Hopefully the firm won’t have to drop the ax on more deadweight partners to pay for these raises.
Update: The Mayer Chicago memo has been authenticated. We have posted it after the jump.
Further Update: The Mayer L.A. memo is legit. It’s also posted after the jump.

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Ropes Gray LLP Above the Law blog.jpgYes, that’s right. In its New York office, Ropes & Gray has upped its clerkship bonus to $50,000 (and $35,000 in its other offices). If you have two years of clerkship experience, you’ll get $70,000 — no matter what office you’re in.
From the firm website:

Our annual salary for first-year associates, in all of our offices, is $160,000. Associates joining Ropes & Gray from one or two years of clerking are treated as members of their law school class for compensation purposes. Associates joining our New York office receive a bonus of $50,000 if they clerked for one year and $70,000 for two years of clerking; associates joining our other offices receive a bonus of $35,000 if they clerked for one year and $70,000 for two years of clerking.

We haven’t heard much clerkship bonus news lately. If you know of a move that we haven’t previously reported on, please email us. Thanks.
Compensation & Benefits [Ropes & Gray]

We recently were sent this pay raise announcement, which we reprint with the permission of the sender:

Frank Feibelman Frank M Feibelman Above the Law blog.JPGI will pay my first year associate $175,000.

I just need to generate the income to hire someone at that pay level.
Frank M. Feibelman
Attorney at Law
5206 Markel Road
Richmond, VA 23230

Okay, here’s Mr. Feibelman’s real point, which is a fair one: “Bear in mind that not all of your readers are Big Law lawyers; some are sole practitioners.”
And here is one other thing to keep in mind. Biglaw attorneys, be thankful for your deep-pocketed clients, who allow you to practice law without too many cost considerations.
To be sure, even big corporate clients are becoming more cost-conscious — and complaining about high fees. But they’re still not as cheap cost-conscious as small businesses and individuals, the typical clients of sole practitioners, who freak out over legal bills when they reach into the five figures.
P.S. Speaking of solo practitioners — how much does the typical one earn? Their incomes can vary widely, but we’d be interested in a random sampling. If you’re a sole practitioner, please describe the nature of your practice and how much you earn, by posting in the comments. Thanks.
Frank M. Feibelman: Attorney at Law [official website]
Associate Salary Wars: The GCs Strike Back [WSJ Law Blog]

DLA Piper Above the Law blog.JPGIt’s been all over the comments, so it’s not exactly breaking news. But we have verified it with a source at the firm.
The DLA Piper memo, from your pals Larry, Moe and Curly Frank, Lee and Terry, appears after the jump.
P.S. We intend no disrespect to the work that Frank Burch, Lee Miller, and Terry O’Malley are doing as joint CEOs of DLA Piper. We just think the informality of signing memos as “Frank, Lee and Terry” is a bit forced.
C’mon, guys. You’re the heads of a major international law firm — not three guys we met down at the track.

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100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGSome more good news on the associate pay raise front:

1. Kirkland & Ellis: “The Firm Committee has approved increases to our associate base salaries in our California, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. offices, retroactive to May 1, 2007.”

So K&E is now on the $160K scale — not just in California and D.C., which was inevitable, but also in Chicago. Expect the other Chicago shops to follow suit

2. Sheppard Mullin: The firm has raised to the $160K scale in California and Washington. Not super-exciting; but it’s always nice to welcome a new member to the club.

Associate pay raise memos from Sheppard Mullin and Kirkland & Ellis, verified by multiple sources at both firms, appear after the jump.

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Sidley Austin Brown Wood LLP tax shelter Above the Law blog.jpgIf you’re an associate at a top Chicago law firm, hoping that Sidley Austin LLP will kick off a round of pay raises in the Windy City, we have some advice for you:

Don’t hold your breath.

(On the other hand, sometimes law firms boost associate pay to distract from bad publicity. Might Sidley take that approach here?)
Sidley agrees to $39.4 million penalty to IRS [Chicago Tribune]
Sidley Austin Settles Government Tax Shelter Investigations [Business Wire (press release)]

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