While layoffs dominated the law firm landscape in 2009, the worst of the downsizing seems to be behind us. But it looks like 2010 will be bringing major changes to compensation structures at law firms. Check out the ATL Career Center, powered by Lateral Link , for the latest information about which firms are moving away from lockstep compensation and how they are doing it. In the last week, we have updated the firm snapshots for Kramer Levin, Mayer Brown, Kirkland & Ellis, Weil Gotshal, Cravath, Quinn Emanuel, Hogan & Hartson, Wachtell Lipton, K&L Gates, Cadwalader, Akin Gump, and Jones Day.
Below are a few of the latest updates from the Career Center’s firm snapshots:
• This firm announced it would be moving to a hybrid lockstep compensation structure. Salaries will no longer be tied to seniority level, but based on a combination of objective and subjective factors.
• This firm’s new compensation structure regroups associates into three seniority levels rather than class years. Under the new plan, the firm will also withhold 15% of associates’ salaries until a year-end performance review.
• This firm is phasing in a new compensation structure over the next two years in which a larger percentage of each attorney’s total compensation will be in the form of individualized bonuses.
Use the Career Center’s firm snapshots and comparison tool to learn about other bonus news at firms around the country. And as always, we encourage to send information about your law firm experience to email@example.com.
We received over 1,000 responses to last week’s Career Center survey on whether your vacation plans have been affected by the economic downturn. The results reveal that almost 70% of associates are still taking vacation time, regardless of whether they have met their billable hours or not. Less than 10% of respondents say that they are not taking vacation because they worry it might look bad. However, almost a quarter of respondents report that they are actually too busy to use their full vacation time this year.
Check out the full survey results after the jump — and visit the Career Center, powered by Lateral Link — for more on which firm has deferred start dates again, which firm recently announced a mega-merger with a London-based firm, and which firm reportedly awarded 2009 bonuses of up to $90,000.
Full survey results, after the jump.
With the holidays approaching, associates find themselves facing a quandary. Since work is still slow at many firms, associates may be tempted to take vacation before the economy bounces back and brings 70 hour work weeks with it.
On the other hand, does taking vacation in a recession send the wrong message? This week, our ATL / Lateral Link survey asks what you think about using vacation time while the chips are still down. 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. Thanks!
This firm announced that that it would not only be continuing its pay freeze and keeping 2010 salaries at 2008 levels, but it would be further cutting salaries for those associates who fail to meet their billable hour goal by more than 300 hours.
This firm debuted its new compensation structure: associates will be grouped into three levels, and advancement from one level to the next will be based on merit, not class year.
This firm matched Cravath for first- through sixth-year associate bonuses, but is giving seventh-year associates a $5,000 bump up from Cravath levels.
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 email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s that time of year again when JDs are starting to apply for 2L summer jobs and 2L summers are deciding which practice area to focus on.
For those JDs with an interest in potentially lateraling to or transferring to Asia in the future, please feel free to reach out to Kinney for advice on firm choices, interviewing and practice choices, relating to future marketability in Asia, or for a general discussion on your particular Asia markets of interest. This is of course a free of cost service for those who some years in the future may be our future industry contacts or perhaps even clients.
For some years now Kinney’s Asia head, Evan Jowers, has been formally advising Harvard Law students with such questions, as the Asia expert in Harvard Law’s “Ask The Experts Market Program” each summer and fall, with podcasts and scheduled phone calls. This has been an enjoyable and productive experience for all involved.
If you are considering a virtual law practice, you know that many of today’s solo firms started that way. But why are established, multi-attorney law firms going virtual?
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:
Reduces malpractice risk
Enables you to gather the best attorneys to fit the firm, regardless of each person’s geographic location
Leverages mobile devices and cloud technology to enable on-the-spot client and prospect communication
Transitioning in-house is something many (if not most) firm lawyers find themselves considering at some point. For many, it’s the first step in their career that isn’t simply a function of picking the best option available based on a ranking system.
Unknown territory feels high-risk, and can have the effect of steering many of us towards the well-greased channels into large, established companies.
For those who may be open to something more entrepreneurial, there is far less information available. No recruiter is calling every week with offers and details.
In sponsorship with Betterment, ATL and David Lat will moderate a panel about life in-house and we’ll hear from GCs at Birchbox, Gawker Media, Squarespace, Bonobos, and Betterment. Drinks, snacks, networking, and a great time guaranteed. Invite your colleagues, but RSVP fast, as space is limited.