Money

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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Texans Fill Their Ten Gallon Hats With Cash”

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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grandmother grandma old lady old woman Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe 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.

Vinson Elkins LLP logo Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWord 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.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Is Texas Biglaw Raising — Finally?”

Confirmed news of two more firms raising their clerkship bonus amounts:

1. Williams & Connolly: From $25K to $35K.

2. Orrick: From $15K to $40K.

If you get wind of clerkship bonus news, please send it our way (subject line: “Clerkship Bonus”). Thanks.

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):
Baker McKenzie small 2 first year associate salaries Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPG
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?

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver Hedges associate salary Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThis 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.

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house home Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgOops, 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)

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver Hedges associate salary Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe 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.

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