Last week we put up a post about associate compensation issues at Jones Day. It generated a torrent of comments. As always, some were negative, some positive.
A few readers were upset by the negative comments and came to their firm’s defense. Here’s what one wrote:
I am a third year lawyer at Jones Day. I enjoy my job and am paid well (and I mean darn well) above market. I hesitate to respond to such mudslinging by persons who are either disgruntled or misinformed, but as a current happy third year lawyer at Jones Day, I felt the need to set the record straight.
People who are unhappy with their compensation at Jones Day are in fact underperformers. Believe me, if I were in charge, I would fire those people rather than giving them a $160,000 “hint” that they aren’t Jones Day material and should consider a career change. Because anyone who thinks that paying a third year lawyer the published salary of a first year lawyer is not a “message” about work quality is delusional. In no other profession do competent, mature people complain about being compensated based on their performance (or lack thereof).
To reiterate: I did not clerk. I have never billed more than 2100 hours. I have received bonuses despite billing slightly under 2000 hours. I have had many fantastic substantive opportunities (read: not two years of document review). I enjoy my job and colleagues. I am paid based on the quality (again, not quantity) of my work, which turns out to be more than most 4th year lawyers billing 2000-2100 hours at big firms in NY.
And the beauty of our confidential system is that other greedy jealous underperforming associates aren’t blogging about my pay stub. Instead, those “lawyers” have gotten the Jones Day “hint,” and are now spending their time at a new employer – not representing clients, but blogging about their ex-employer who figured out that they were worthless.
Ouch. That was way harsh, Tai.
But it’s a fair point. Why shouldn’t a firm pay associates what it thinks they’re worth on an individual basis, and if the associates don’t like it, they can leave? This is effectively what investment banks do with their personnel.
Additional commentary about JD, plus a photo of some of their paralegals at play, after the jump.