With all the salary freezes, thaws and permanent meltdowns over the past year, it’s hard to keep track of what associates at law firms are actually making these days. And associates are learning that an annual lock-step raise is no longer a sure thing under new compensation systems at many firms.
This week our ATL / Lateral Link survey asks about starting salaries and annual salary increases at your firm. We’ll use the information to update the ATL Career Center and bring you the results next week.
If you have information about your firm that you want to share with other career center users, please email us at [email protected].
The ATL Career Center, powered by Lateral Link, is constantly being updated with responses from users and the latest news from the legal markets. While layoffs seem to have abated for the most part, many firms are now coping with the effects of the economic downturn by making major changes to compensation structures and partnership prospects.
Click here to find out what kind of salary increase associates at a certain Chicago-based firm can look forward to under the firm’s new compensation structure.
Click here to find out what associates at a certain "pedigreed" New York firm think about their chances for partnership under an increasingly "up and out" promotion system.
Use the Career Center’s firm snapshots and comparison tool to find the most up-to-date information on compensation structures, benefit programs and layoffs at dozens of Big Law firms across the country.
As always, we encourage to send information about your law firm experience to [email protected].
Welcome to the next article in our Expert Insights series, brought to you by the ATL Career Center. This week, we spoke with Katy Lewis, Associate Director at Lateral Link, who works with associate candidates on law firm searches in Chicago and the Midwest, and with candidates seeking in-house positions. Katy has worked closely with associates, recruiting coordinators and hiring partners at many national firms, so we asked her to share her Top 10 list of what they want to see in junior associates. Whether you are a new associate or just considering a career move, the Top 10 list is useful checklist of what you can do to succeed at a firm.
As a reminder, all Career Development articles, as well as additional career coaching information, are available in the Resources section of the Career Center.
Top 10 Tips for Junior Associate Success
10. Take advantage of slow periods. Use the time to organize your office, attend a CLE, catch up on business/legal current events (WSJ, NY Times DealBook, AmLaw Daily, etc.).
9. Develop a good working relationship with your assistant and paralegals. The better your relationship with the staff, the easier your job will be.
8. Learn how to use technology. Become proficient with firm software – learn to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Westlaw, Lexis, document compare software. Understand how to use the telephone – learn to transfer, conference call, dial international, etc. Nothing is below you as a junior associate.
Special thanks also to Practical Law Company for sponsoring tonight’s cocktail party here in New York. If you’d like to attend, there are still openings — just click here, then click on the RSVP button.
Our recent Career Center survey asked about how the economy has affected the practice area choices of associates and law students. A large majority – 80% – of law firm respondents indicated that they have not had to work outside their chosen practice area to meet their hours.
Of the 20% of law firm respondents who have had to work in practice areas other than their own, more than two-thirds of them have picked up litigation work and almost half of them have billed hours to bankruptcy matters. Almost half of law student respondents indicated that their practice area choices have been affected by market conditions, with litigation the new top choice among law students.
Check out the full survey results after the jump — and visit the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link for more on which firms are leaders in the practice areas you are interested in.
It’s a talk, it’s a party, it’s an opportunity for us to tell you how to increase your chances of landing an offer from your summer associateship. Save the date: April 13th, at Amity Hall. Your Above the Law editors will be heading to the Summer Associate Kick-Off Party, hosted by the Practical Law Company (read more about PLC here).
We’ll be holding a panel discussion about the Do’s & Don’ts Of Being A Summer Associate. Some of the don’ts are obvious: don’t hit a strip club with colleagues, or get into a drunken argument with a partner. Others aren’t so much. Do you know how to run a closing? Perform due diligence? Draft NDA’s? Yeah, didn’t think so. We’ll address how to build these skills before you show up to work, so you can actually add value instead of just adding stations to Pandora.
So come to Amity Hall on April 13th, where we can teach you how to stay on the straight-and-narrow and be more prepared for your summer position — or at least turn up so we can share some of the summer stories we couldn’t print. And yes, there will be an open bar (and food), in case anybody wants to put our lessons to immediate practical use.
The event gets started at 6:30. Space is limited and priority is given to incoming summer associates, so click here to rsvp. Hope to see you there.
P.S. As if you need another reason to go, attendees will get access to a Summer Associate Survival Guide, which teaches you the nuts and bolts of transactional assignments firms will expect you to complete this summer. Non-attendees can access the guide too, but they won’t get the free booze or food. Bummer.
If you can’t make the event but would like access to the guide, just send an email to [email protected], with your name, law school email address, and year of graduation. Thanks!
@OurReaders — we’re on Twitter. You can follow Above the Law at atlblog. There’s been no sign of the “fail whale” at Twitter in recent weeks, but here at ATL, we’re sure you’ve noticed our technical difficulties. We will use our Twitter feed to communicate with you when our site is down.
But it’s not your father’s ATL Twitter feed. We’re doing more than just pushing out our posts via Twitter. Now we’re down there dropping knowledge, 140 characters at a time. We will be signing our tweets individually, so you’ll know whom to get mad at.
Your three editors also have personal Twitter accounts, as Gawker recently noted. You can find (and follow) us at davidlat, elieNYC, and kashhill.
As for our tech issues, we apologize once again. They frustrate us, as writers, as much as they frustrate you, as readers. Our servers can’t handle our popularity, so we’re exploring other options. Please bear with us over the next few weeks.
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.