We’ve got two painfully funny / bad / uncomfortable lawyer-produced clips today. Normally, I wouldn’t seek out clips like this to write about, but both of these were submitted to us by their creators. So, I guess, be careful what you wish for.
After the jump, check out the mid-size California firm that hopes you’ll call them, maybe, and a war crimes lawyer turned comedienne who sings a love song to Mitt Romney — while wearing a bikini, of course…
First year salary has been reduced from $160K to $145K. A number of other associates (excluding first years) were informed that their salary would be reduced by 15% or 30%. Those associates were told that they were selected to receive “adjusted” compensation based on their hours, although the actual method for determining which associate would be subject to this salary adjustment was not disclosed and remains unclear.
We now understand that many mid-level and senior associates took a 20% salary hit.
But we also understand that a 20% salary cut has also been executed on the firm’s paralegal contingent. A tipster reports:
You did not mention that paralegals were grouped with associates and also had their salaries cut by 20%.
Associates and paralegals all met individually with two partners who notified us of the pay cut and told us that if we could manage to get our billable hours up to goal before the end of the year we would get the full 20% back. And if we could get to a slightly smaller goal, they would return 10%. There were no explanations about how they arrived at these various figures and at that time we didn’t know that first years’ salaries were only being cut 10%. We were told this measure was needed to avoid further layoffs although there were also a number of people let go that day.
We haven’t really heard about firms cutting salaries on paralegals. Paralegals have been fired for sure. But there just hasn’t seemed to be a lot of economic upside to shaving a few dollars on salaries of people who already don’t make very much money.
More news from Allen Matkins after the jump.
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
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 seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
We at Kinney Asia have made a number of FCPA / White Collar US associate placements in Hong Kong / China thus far in 2014. Most of such placements have been commercial litigation associates from major US markets, fluent in Mandarin, switching to FCPA / White Collar litigation. Some have already had FCPA experience, but those are difficult candidates for firms to find (this will change in coming years as US firms are now promoting FCPA / White Collar to their 2L summers who are fluent in Mandarin and have an interest in transferring to China at some point).
Legal Week quoted Kinney’s Head of Asia, Evan Jowers, extensively in the following relevant article here.
There is a new trend in the market, though, where mid-level transactional US associates, fluent in spoken Mandarin and written Chinese, are interviewing for and in some cases landing junior FCPA / White Collar spots in Hong Kong / China at very top tier US firms.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.