As firms start to unfreeze salaries, all in different ways, we at Above the Law have started to notice a lot of confusion about what these unfrozen salary structures look like. We’ve been seeing a lot of comments and emails like this one:
wtf is a true up vs. a thaw…dude…not everyone reads this blog 24/7…these are critical details that you are leaving up to assumption that the reader knows wtf nerd language you are talking about…
To help clarify things, we have put together a little chart. To make things easier, we have looked at the salary of a fictitious soon-to-be third year from the incoming class of 2007. It seems appropriate to look at this class of people; since they are about to enter their third full year of work, they’ve experienced the recession in all of its glorious forms. And looking at one class’ salary over the years is less confusing than looking at everybody’s salary at every level.
To refresh your memory, here’s what our class of 2007 associate has been paid at a top tier firm that didn’t freeze, year-by-year. A person working at Davis Polk, for instance: FIRM THAT NEVER FROZE
’07 (stub-first year) = $160K
’08 (full first year) = $160K
’09 (second year) = $170K
’10 (third year) = $185K
But not everybody can work at Davis Polk (or someplace similar). How the other half lives after the jump.
We received over 1,000 responses to last week’s Career Center survey on whether your vacation plans have been affected by the economic downturn. The results reveal that almost 70% of associates are still taking vacation time, regardless of whether they have met their billable hours or not. Less than 10% of respondents say that they are not taking vacation because they worry it might look bad. However, almost a quarter of respondents report that they are actually too busy to use their full vacation time this year.
Check out the full survey results after the jump — and visit the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link — for more on which firm has deferred start dates again, which firm recently announced a mega-merger with a London-based firm, and which firm reportedly awarded 2009 bonuses of up to $90,000.
Full survey results, after the jump.
The two-thirds of the Above The Law team in New York report that it’s starting to look and feel a lot like Christmas in the Northeast. Some of those reports are overly graphic. The one-third of the team spending the holiday in Florida attests to warmth and sunshine.
This post is dedicated to the loved ones in your life, who want last minute shopping advice. For many lawyerly types, a new job would be the best gift of all, but that’s hard to wrap. Though not impossible.
We’ve got five easier gifts to give, after the jump.
Yesterday, we reported that K&L Gates cut salaries for its incoming associates. The salary cut is just for a few of the firm’s many offices, but it looks like I got the offices wrong. The firm still hasn’t responded to my request for clarification, but tipsters who work at K&L Gates have helped set the record straight.
Yesterday’s report was based on phone calls the firm made to incoming associates over the weekend. But K&L Gates also held meetings on Friday with associates in the firm’s various offices. The salary cuts on incoming associates will only affect four of the firm’s offices: Charlotte, Dallas, Raleigh, and Seattle. But the cuts will affect each office differently. A tipster reports:
They cut salaries for incoming first years in only 4 of the 33 offices, and the salary cuts depended upon which city they’re in. For instance, Dallas incoming salaries were dropped from 160k to 150k.
Okay, but that’s just the bad news and it only affects people about to start with the firm. For associates already at the firm, there was a lot of good news from the Friday meetings.
Details after the jump.
It has not been a great year for Latham & Watkins. Everybody knows that the firm laid off a ton of people — 440, to be exact — in February. But it was the firm’s decision to fire first-years who had been at the firm for just a few months that seemed to shock the conscience of Above the Law readers.
The firm took a major hit in the Vault prestige rankings, plummeting from #7 to #17. And we’ve heard anecdotal evidence that Latham had a rough go of it on the recruiting trail this fall.
But perhaps Latham & Watkins is poised for a comeback? Back in October, we reported that the firm was considering unfreezing associate salaries. Last week, we speculated that Latham might be prepared to pay mega-bonuses this year.
Now additional details are leaking out about the firm’s planned salary thaw, and its bonuses. And things are looking good. After a year in the Biglaw doghouse, it looks like Latham may finally be trying to buy its way back into the light.
Details after the jump.
* The law firm at the center of the mini-Tiger cover-up story. [WSJ Law Blog]
* You can’t imprison every whack job who disagrees with you. [The Legal Satyricon]
* The Clintons are so last century. [ABA Journal]
* Not only is being naked in your own home a crime in Virginia, it’s also comparable to being a bank robber. Virginia, please get the stick out of your butt. [True/Slant]
* Additional ideas on lawyerly holiday cards. [Courtoons]
* Why does the shortest day of the year always feel so long? [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* They probably should ban bullfighting. It’s progress. But I can’t help feeling like a little something will be lost as society does the right thing. [Transracial]
We mentioned this story on Friday (second item). But since we’re continuing to get tips about it, we thought it might merit further mention.
From today’s New York Daily News:
A lawyer got his nose bent out of shape during an altercation over an occupied bathroom stall — and retaliated by chomping off part of a man’s schnoz.
Mark Lambert admitted during an interview with WMC-TV to biting off a portion of Greg Herbers’ nose, according to a report on the TV station’s Web site. The bite occurred during a fracas at Memphis-area hot spot Dish.
Herbers is now reportedly suing Lambert, claiming he needs plastic surgery and might have to wear a prosthetic nose. He also claims Lambert swallowed what he bit off.
Silly lawyer! Noses are for picking, not for eating.
For the record, Lambert denies eating Herbers’s flesh — he claims that he spat, didn’t swallow.
More details, plus a gory picture, after the jump.
Condé Nast, which publishes Vogue, GQ, and a number of other publications that can be found at the airport, is suing to defend its pictures. Fashionista reports:
This morning brings news of a more literal form of infringement, filed by none other than Condé Nast. Who are they battling, you ask? An internet hacker–which is vaguely ironic given the company’s somewhat tepid relationship with the web for so many years.
Man, why hack when you can “fair use” your way out of so many problems? This hacker clearly should have gone to law school like everybody else these days.
Still, the weight of a major publishing company arrayed against one internet hacker is hardly a fair fight … for Condé Nast. But they have to try.
Click on the link below to read all of the details. Adventures in Copyright: Hackers Edition [Fashionista]
The bonuses were basically on the Cravath scale, provided you meet “the bonus criteria set forth in the bonus policy.” We’re advised that the bonus criteria focus for the most part on hours, with bonuses triggered at around 2000 hours (1900 billable).
In other CWT news, we hear that two real estate partners — Alan Lawrence and John Busillo — are leaving the firm for Arnold & Porter. Sources describe them as “heavy hitters” who “still have some business.”
We previously expressed skepticism towards the notion of a salary thaw. As Elie wrote, “Ha. Haha. Unfreezing? Yeah. Let me just ride my unicorn down the streets of El Dorado and see what there is to see.”
But perhaps the joke is on us. It seems that some firms are unfreezing salaries. On this subject, of course, we are happy to be wrong. Green shoots, an end to the recession — yay!
On Friday, we reported on Allen & Overy’s decision to unfreeze associate salaries. Today we bring you news of a similar decision by Akin Gump.
Memo after the jump.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
Are you challenged by the costs and logistics of maintaining your office, distracting you from the practice of law?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.
Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.
Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.