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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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@example.com, with your name, law school email address, and year of graduation. Thanks!
Our recent Career Center survey asked about whether the recession has affected clerkship bonuses and law firm hiring of clerks. Of respondents at law firms, a slight majority — 57% — indicated that their firms are not interviewing judicial clerks for Fall 2010 positions. Of respondents who are currently clerking, only 30% indicated that they have a position for Fall 2010 or have even been able to get interviews for such positions. Despite these depressing statistics for post-clerkship employment, a majority of law student respondents indicated that they are planning on clerking after law school.
Check out the full survey results after the jump — and visit the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link, for more on clerkship bonuses and hiring trends at firms across the country.
Welcome to Part 2 of our Ask The Experts article on long-term career planning, partnership prospects, and in-house careers, brought to you by the ATL Career Center, powered by Lateral Link. Last week, we shared advice about general career development from the Career Center’s Professional Development panelists: Morgan Chu of Irell & Manella, Mike Woronoff of Proskauer Rose, and Vivian Yang, General Counsel at Citysearch.
This week, we’re back with the panelists’ advice on the specific steps that associates need to take if they want to make partner or move in-house. Click here to read the full article and view other resources on the Career Center. If you have tips or questions that you would like covered in future Ask The Experts columns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can read Part One here, and Part Two after the jump.
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.
The head of our Asia recruiting, Evan Jowers will be in Seoul all next week and available for meetings. Evan was in Hong Kong all last week and was unable to meet with everyone who reached out, due to a completely booked schedule. Apologies for that. He is in Hong Kong monthly and Robert Kinney and Yuliya Vinokurova are often in Hong Kong as well, so feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a Hong Kong meeting for later this month or next month, or just a phone call if you prefer.
Kinney has had the privilege of representing and placing a number of Korean background US associates and counsels and one partner in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore over the years. We are now getting more involved in the expanding Seoul market. We are helping two of our law firm clients open up offices in Korea at present and that will be taking up some of Evan’s time, but he will have time also to meet with US, UK and Australia trained associates at international firms and Korean firms who would like to meet Evan or re-establish a connection with him. By all means any of the attorneys in Korea who we have worked with and placed in the past should also feel free to reach out to Evan as well at email@example.com. Having any reason to look for a move in the foreseeable future is never a pre-requisite to setting up a meeting with any of our Kinney Asia team. Most of the folks we meet and establish relations with over the years in Asia are not interested in considering a move at our first meeting (or the next several meetings). We always enjoy a good discussion on the market and an individual’s career plans. Ultimately, over 50% of those attorneys we place in Asia have had such discussions with us for 2 or more years prior. Some of our closest relationships in Asia we may never place because they are doing so well at their firm for years and have no reason to move, and that’s fine by us.
Connecticut plaintiffs-side boutique litigation firm (12 lawyers) seeks full-time associate with 2-4 years litigation experience, top tier undergraduate and law school education. Journal or clerkship experience a plus; highest ethical standards and strong work ethic required. Familiarity with Connecticut state court legal practice is preferred, but not required.
The firm handles sophisticated, high-end cases for plaintiffs, including individuals and businesses with significant claims in a wide array of matters. Our cases often have important public policy implications, and are litigated in state and federal courts throughout Connecticut. Representative areas of practice include medical malpractice, catastrophic personal injury, business torts, deceptive trade practices and other complex commercial litigation, and products liability.
Additional information can be located on our website, at www.sgtlaw.com.
We have several openings for experienced corporate associates in Chicago ranging from highly-regarded Am Law 100 law firms to prestigious commercial law boutiques.
• Class years 2008 – 2013
• Experience with Mergers & Acquisitions, Securities, Corporate Finance, Debt, Capital Markets, Private Equity, Corporate Governance, Investment Services, Private Funds and/or General Corporate Transactional matters.
• Excellent academic credentials and solid legal training from a peer law firm required.
Top benefits, interesting work, collegial work environments and strong hands-on experience all in one of the best cities in America!