The 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]
No, 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.
The 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]
No, 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 thesedays) — 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.
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]
Following 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.
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.
As part of a nationwide tour, Above the Law is coming to the great city of Chicago.
Join preeminent law firm management consultant Bruce MacEwen, Katten Muchin Chicago managing partner Gil Sofer, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. assistant general counsel Jason Shaffer for a panel discussion (sponsored by Pangea3) on the evolutionary and market forces bearing down on the law firm business model. Come on by Thursday, November 20, at 6 p.m., for thought-provoking discussion, food, drink, and networking.
Space is limited and there will be no on-site registration, so please RSVP
Average law school debt for graduates of private universities hovered around $122,000 last year. With only 57% of new attorneys actually obtaining real lawyer jobs, recent graduates have a lot to consider when it comes to managing their student loan payments. Thanks to our friends at SoFi, today’s infographic takes a look at student loan debt, including the possible benefits of refinancing for JDs…
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.