Money

If you’ve been feeling bad for Jin Nam and Soo Chung, the dry cleaners sued by crazy-ass pseudo-judge ALJ Roy Pearson for $54 million — over a pair of pants — now you can help:
Custom Cleaners Defense Fund Soo Chung Jin Nam Chung Chungs Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPG
As for what’s going on in the case, Marc Fisher has this update in today’s Washington Post. The trial is over; expect a ruling from Judge Judith Bartnoff sometime next week.
Wearing Down the Judicial System With a Pair of Pants [Washington Post]
Custom Cleaners Defense Fund [official website]

King Spalding LLP logo Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgFirst, King & Spalding is now on the $160K salary scale in Washington, DC. We hear that the associates back in Atlanta, who have not seen any raise action, aren’t happy campers. Memo after the jump.
Second, with respect to the rumor that Hogan & Hartson has raised salaries for its lower-hours track, we’d appreciate it if someone would send us confirmation and/or a memo. Thanks.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Two D.C. Developments”

upper midwest mid west Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe welcome your suggestions of legal markets to cover in our grand tour of these here United States. We won’t necessarily adopt them (and we can’t cover every single market in the entire country). But we do appreciate your recommendations, which we often follow.
A recent commenter had this idea:

How ’bout the upper midwest in one shot (Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Detroit and maybe Cleveland)?

We previously covered Cleveland as part of our Ohio post. But we are happy to devote today’s post to the Upper Midwest.
How does one define the Upper Midwest? Apparently there’s some disagreement. Per Wikipedia:

The Upper Midwest is a region of the United States with no universally agreed-upon boundary, but it almost always lies within the US Census Bureau’s definition of the Midwest and includes the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as at least the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The Upper Midwest often includes the rest of Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and sometimes extends further southwest to include Missouri, east to Ohio, and sometimes west to North Dakota and South Dakota, and the parts of Montana east of the Rockies.

We’ll adopt the definition that includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, and Illinois. This includes the cities of Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Indianapolis (but not Chicago, which we cover extensively as part of our national coverage).
With this definition in mind, please discuss associate compensation at Upper Midwest law firms in the comments. Thanks.
Upper Midwest [Wikipedia]
Related: Open threads focused on Denver, Hartford, Philadelphia, Seattle, New Jersey, Phoenix, Atlanta, Charlotte, Ohio, Miami.

Fried Frank Harris Shriver Jacobson LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgHey everyone, remember those things called clerkship bonuses? After a long period of radio silence — the most recent news was from before Memorial Day — we have more information to share.
We just got off the phone with a Fried Frank spokesperson, who informed us as follows:

1. The firm has raised its clerkship bonus to $50,000.

2. This bonus doesn’t change depending upon whether you have one or two years of clerkship experience. (Most of the firm’s clerks join the firm from one-year clerkships.)

Are you aware of any recent clerkship bonus announcements that we haven’t mentioned in these pages? If so, please email us (subject line: “Clerkship Bonus”). Thanks.

Miami South Beach Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe’re big fans of Miami. We greatly enjoyed the visit we paid back in March, when we got to meet up with readers at an ATL Happy Hour.
So we’re more than happy to make Miami the next stop on our tour of the nation’s legal markets. Here’s a summary of the lay of the land, courtesy of the Daily Business Review:

Playing its hand in the South Florida associate pay stakes, Greenberg Traurig raised the starting base salaries of its rookie lawyers in Miami and Fort Lauderdale to $135,000 and their total compensation packages to more than $150,000….

The base salary of Greenberg’s first-year lawyers now will match that of White & Case, which in February announced that it had raised first-year salaries to $135,000 in Miami.

Holland & Knight, Hogan & Hartson and Akerman Senterfitt recently raised salaries for rookie lawyers to $130,000 in South Florida.

Hunton & Williams has raised its first-year salaries to $145,000 in Miami. Two New York-based firms, Weil Gotshal & Manges and Boies Schiller & Flexner, pay first-years $160,000 in their South Florida offices.

This article was published back in April. A quick spin through the NALP forms suggests this information is still correct.
But sometimes the NALP forms aren’t updated immediately. Has anything changed since April — or is anything about to change in the near future?
Please discuss associate compensation in the Miami legal market in the comments. Thanks.
Business of Law: Greenberg raises first-year salaries, urges pro bono work [Daily Business Review]
Related: Open threads focused on Denver, Hartford, Philadelphia, Seattle, New Jersey, Phoenix, Atlanta, Charlotte, Ohio.

tombstone cemetery RIP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgFrom the Department of Astute Observations:

“Some former Steel Hector partners suggested it may have been unwise to make a large loan to a partner allegedly on the brink of bankruptcy.”

Ya think?
Firm Sues Estate of Dead Lawyer for Loan Repayment [Daily Business Review (Miami / South Florida)]

Chicago Sears Tower Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgTwo items pertaining to associate pay raises in Chicago:

1. LeBoeuf Lamb just announced that its Chicago office will be on the $160K pay scale. The firm’s presence in the Windy City isn’t huge, but the move does confirm that the market rate for Chi-town really is $160K. Memo after the jump.

2. Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal: To the commenter who keeps on asking if this memo is confirmed, the answer is yes. A source at the firm has verified it for us.

But you didn’t need us to tell you that. Just pick up the June 5 issue of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (subscription):

Although a law firm chairman says double pay hikes for associates in 2007 harm those associates, more major law firms in Chicago have jumped on the bandwagon to raise starting pay to $160,000.

“My strong view is this is not good for associates at all,” said Elliott I. Portnoy of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal LLP.

Portnoy compared the new pay raises to a poker game. Some of the nation’s top firms “up the ante” on pay “and want to see who stays in the game.”

Nevertheless, Portnoy announced Tuesday that Sonnenschein will raise the salary for first-year associates to $160,000 in its Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., offices.

It’s not as vociferous as Sandman’s Rant, but at least we get to call it Portnoy’s Complaint.
The LeBoeuf Lamb and Sonnenschein memos appear after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: More Chicago News”

Ohio Cleveland Columbus Cincinnati Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGAfter our recent swing through the south, including Atlanta and Charlotte, we now head back to the midwest. ATL readers, it’s time to say hi to Ohio!
Today we turn our attention to the Buckeye State. We cover Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, in one fell swoop.
Please discuss associate salaries in these legal markets, as well as any other issues of interest, in the comments to this post. Thanks.
Related: Open threads focused on Denver, Hartford, Philadelphia, Seattle, New Jersey, Phoenix, Atlanta, Charlotte.

Sopranos small The Sopranos New Jersey Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgSunday night’s open thread on the series finale of The Sopranos — which had a legal connection, since a law firm expressed an interesting in hiring Meadow Soprano at a starting salary of $170K — drew many interesting comments.
There were tons of interesting theories bandied about concerning the ending of the show. Some of these theories are addressed in an interesting article in the Newark Star-Ledger, based on an interview with Sopranos creator David Chase.
For those of you who (1) follow the show and (2) don’t mind spoilers, there’s more discussion — plus a reader poll — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Sopranos: More on the Finale (and a Reader Poll)”

Townsend Townsend Crew LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgThe keeper of the California LIST OF SHAME needs to remove Townsend and Townsend and Crew. As pointed out by another commenter, the firm has raised to the $160K pay scale.
We’ve confirmed the raise with sources at the firm. We also have a copy of the memo.
Townsend has raised its the minimum billable hour requirement to 1900 hours annually. The memo also contains an interesting discussion of the possibility of a two-track system, with respect to hours and compensation. The firm explains that it considered, but ultimately rejected, such a structure.
You can check out the full memo after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: Townsend Goes To Town”

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