Well before Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell was ever filed, the venerable law firm was dealing with some serious issues. As aptly summarized by New York Magazine’s Intelligencer, “Sullivan & Cromwell lost about 30 percent of its associates in 2004 and 2005. It might take more than a raise to fix that.”
fascinating rather interesting Wall Street Journal article by Peter Lattman (which we meant to write about yesterday, before we got swamped by all the pay raise news):
Faced with a surge in turnover of its associates, the prestigious law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has been putting on a charm offensive to hold onto junior lawyers.
The crash course in etiquette went into high gear at a partners meeting last February. To deal with low associate morale and high attrition, a confidential slide presentation reviewed by The Wall Street Journal urged partners to say things like “thank you” and “good work” to associates they supervise.
What else should partners do? “Return associates’ phone calls as quickly as you would a partner’s or client’s,” said one bullet. “Be sensitive to not canceling associates’ vacations,” said another.
Additional bullet-points made these helpful suggestions:
“Don’t tell gay associates that they like taking it up the ass (because they might be tops rather than bottoms).”
“Refrain from subjecting associates to profanity-laced tirades in which you tell them they should be fired.”