Salary Raises

We brought the matter to the Provost and although he is supportive of our goals he cannot bend the University rules to make this creative idea happen. However, we remain committed to finding ways to fund post-graduate opportunities and address other employment issues facing our graduates.

– Part of a statement issued by University of Oregon Law professors on the OregonLawBlawg, describing the status of their proposal to cancel law faculty raises to fund a jobs program for the school’s graduates.

(Keep reading to see the rest of their statement, plus the law school’s response to our media inquiry.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Professor Wastes RAGE On Faculty Raise Cancellation Plan That’s Dead On Arrival”

We all know that the employment landscape for recent law school graduates is still looking pretty bleak. Fifty-seven percent of 2013′s law school graduates are employed in full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage. If we exclude the percentage of full-time, long-term jobs funded by law schools, the legal employment rate drops to 55.3 percent. Meanwhile, 11.2 percent of 2013′s graduates are still unemployed nine months after receiving their degrees. The job market sucks, for lack of a better word, and law schools are sinking in the U.S. News rankings because of their terrible employment statistics.

That’s why law schools are doing anything and everything they can to try to put their graduates to work. It seems that some schools are even willing to go to extremely unconventional lengths to do so. For example, one law school is thinking about suspending faculty raises and using that money to create a new jobs program for its graduates.

A law professor there just found out that he may not be getting a raise this year, and he is PISSED….

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In late February, bonuses were announced at Jenner & Block. The firm has an individualized bonus system, so there’s no table to pass along.

And it’s harder to assess associate reactions to bonuses in a non-lockstep system. But we’ll give it a shot, and we’ll also share with you some information provided by the firm itself….

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* Andrews Kurth had such a good year that they’re not just giving their high performers bonuses, they’re giving raises to 25 associates! [Texas Lawyers]

* Davis Polk is taking a jump across the pond. [The Lawyer]

* When I’m struggling to think creatively, I have a drink. When that doesn’t work, I have another. [What About Clients?]

* How bloodthirsty do you have to be to believe that the death penalty, as applied, is actually working? [SAFE]

* If I had a kid, I’d start a parenting blog. I’d call it: How To Avoid Raising A Lawyer. [WSJ Law Blog]

Without paralegals, legal assistants, legal secretaries, clerks, and receptionists, the entire Biglaw model could come to a screeching halt. Speaking as a former legal assistant and full-time law clerk, I know this for a fact.

For some attorneys, if members of the support staff weren’t there to assist, important letters would go unwritten, coffee mugs would go unfilled, pleadings would go unproofread, and envelopes would go unlicked. So attorneys, always treat staff members graciously and respectfully — you never know when you’ll need them to get you out of a bind.

All that being said, we were a little bit shocked when we learned about what is allegedly happening at one of the world’s largest law firms, Baker & McKenzie. Apparently some members of the support staff aren’t getting the kind of support they need….

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Well that didn’t take long, did it? On Tuesday afternoon, we wrote about associates at Winston & Strawn who were upset over the lack of news on seniority-based salary bumps. Since we’re well into a new year, associates at top law firms should be getting raises, with first-years becoming second-years ($160K to $170K), second-years becoming third-years ($170K to $185), etc. But the Winston tipsters hadn’t heard anything — even though historically they’ve received pay raise news in early February, and now it’s mid-March.

Today, however, the Winston associates received some good news — very good news, in fact. “Salary memos went out today,” one Winston source reported. “The bottom line is that those who were not at market rate now are. They’ve abandoned the ‘merits-based’ system and have gone back to lockstep.”

Wow. Is merit-based compensation becoming a casualty of the economic recovery? Back when merit-based systems were all the rage, we created a category on ATL called Killing Lockstep. Perhaps now it’s time to create ones called Killing Killing Lockstep, or Lockstep Resurrected?

Regardless of whether or not this becomes a trend throughout Biglaw, Winston associates are happy — and grateful….

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As we’ve explained before, we want to hear about your law firm’s bonus news, even if it’s old. As long as we haven’t written it up yet, please consider it fair game. (Use our site search box in the upper-right-hand corner, or scroll through our Associate Bonus Watch archives, to see which announcements we’ve already covered.)

One firm that announced bonuses many moons ago: Winston & Strawn. This was well before the spring bonus phenomenon took hold, so the Cravath 2010 year-end bonuses were still the benchmark.

Find out what Winston did — and learn about an additional issue that is bugging some Winston associates (and maybe associates at other firms, too)….

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(And an additional issue about base salaries.)

Things haven’t been easy for Bryan Cave and its associates during this recession. But today is a good day. There is no need for an A.K.

Last night, we received word from tipsters that BC associates across most of the firm’s offices will be told that they are getting a raise:

Bryan Cave announced to associates that associates will be getting a pay raise effective august 1 and another at the “normal” pay raise date of January 1.

Our sources tell us that associates in all U.S. offices, and London, will receive a raise.

However, the salary bump will not affect first years. The BC starting salary will remain at $145K in Chicago.

The amount of the raise will obviously vary by office, but we’ve got some information for the Chicago people…

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