Williams & Connolly

LEWW logo.jpgWe had a tough time picking our finalist couples this week, and LEWW will be the first to admit that we’re not totally certain we chose the right three. (We’re sure our commenters and e-mailers will let us know if we’ve dropped the ball.) Specifically, in addition to our three finalists, we considered these three couples, and if you work at Shearman, Simpson Thacher, Wachtell, Willkie, or Ropes & Gray, you might want to click on those links to read about your colleagues or their spawn.
But onward to this week’s finalists! Here they are:

1.) Nisa Leung and James Lin
2.) Beth Schonmuller and John Williams
3.) Virginia Boyd and J. B. Lockhart IV

More on these couples, after the jump.

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Joel Klein Joel I Klein Nicole Seligman 565 Park Avenue Above the Law blog.jpgAs we have previously bitterly lamented observed, sometimes it seems like all the blessings of life are reserved for Supreme Court clerks. And they include not just $250,000 signing bonuses and top-shelf legal jobs, but luxury real estate, too.
This latest Lawyerly Lairs post looks at the expanding digs of Joel I. Klein (Powell) and his wife, Nicole K. Seligman (OT 1984/Marshall). From the New York Observer:

New York is a city of poshly-housed public servants.

The mayor owns two mansions in the East 70’s; the governor goes rent-free in a terraced Fifth Avenue apartment (it’s owned by his dad); development chief Robert Lieber has a new $7.25 million condo at Trump International; and even Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum is in the Beresford.

Now Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has bonus space on Park Avenue. He and his wife Nicole Seligman, a Sony executive vice president (and an ex-lawyer for both Oliver North and Bill Clinton) have paid $1.7 million for their second apartment at 95-year-old 565 Park Avenue.

Yes, that’s right — their second apartment in this venerable building. The couple already own the unit directly above their new acquisition. Hello, duplex!
(C’mon, get real: Did you really expect Klein and Seligman to slum it in a sub-$2 million apartment? As people have observed countless times in these pages, $2 million doesn’t buy you much in NYC.)
More details after the jump.

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Sidley Austin One South Dearborn Chicago Above the Law blog.jpgAlthough the pace seems to be slowing, our open threads on Vault 100 firms continue to generate a decent quantity (and quality) of comments. So we’ll press on, for the benefit of those of you who are now in the throes of the law firm application process.
Please pose questions about and share insights into these five law firms (in Vault 100 order, with prestige scores in parentheses):

16. Williams & Connolly LLP (7.234)
17. Sidley Austin LLP (7.232)
18. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP (7.158)
19. O’Melveny & Myers LLP (7.105)
20. White & Case LLP (7.092)

You can discuss them in the comments. Thanks.
The Vault Top 100 Law Firms [Vault]
Earlier: Vault 1-5; Vault 6-10; Vault 11-15

Confirmed news of two more firms raising their clerkship bonus amounts:

1. Williams & Connolly: From $25K to $35K.

2. Orrick: From $15K to $40K.

If you get wind of clerkship bonus news, please send it our way (subject line: “Clerkship Bonus”). Thanks.

Over in the D.C. office of Baker & McKenzie, the natives are getting restless. They’ve prepared this cute little bar graph (thumbnail image; click to enlarge):
Baker McKenzie small 2 first year associate salaries Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPG
The graphic above also reflects that Williams & Connolly now pays starting salaries of $165,000. We hadn’t heard (or written) about that news, but it’s official.
Does anyone have a memo and/or more information about what Williams & Connolly pays beyond the first year? If so, please email us. Thanks.
Update / Correction: Whoops, we forgot that W&C raised salaries back in March. What we were thinking, and meant to write, is that Williams & Connolly hasn’t raised associate salaries in response to the latest round of nationwide pay hikes (as kicked off by Orrick).
Remember that W&C traditionally doesn’t pay year-end bonuses, but pays an above-market base to make up for it. Their current scale — 165, 180, 195, etc. — is still above-market, but not by as much as usual.
Further Update / Correction: Apparently Greenberg Traurig is still at $145K in Washington. We’ve revised the graph accordingly.
Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: What’s Up With Williams & Connolly?

Williams Connolly LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGWe recently asked for information about compensation developments at Williams & Connolly. We haven’t heard anything about base salary increases; but we do have information about two other topics.
First, we’ve confirmed that the firm’s clerkship bonus currently stands at $25,000. If you do a district and circuit clerkship, you get $50,000.
Second, on Tuesday of this week, summer associate pay at W&C was raised to $3100 a week, retroactive to whenever the summers started. The information was conveyed orally (so no memo). From a summer: “While most of us were not overly concerned about the previous differential, the raise is definitely a nice and welcome gesture.”
Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: What’s Up With Williams & Connolly?

Williams Connolly LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.JPGBy email and in comments, readers have expressed significant curiosity about associate compensation at Williams & Connolly, the elite, Washington-based litigation boutique. We’d like to help; but we don’t have anything to report at the current time.
Here are some questions that we’d like your thoughts on:
1. Base Salaries. Historically the firm has paid above-market base salaries, but no bonuses. Back in March, Williams & Connolly raised to $165K. At that time, when homegrown D.C. firms were paying 145/155/170, a starting salary of $165,000 was well above the market.

But now that Washington-based firms have raised to 160/170/185, will Williams & Connolly raise again to stay ahead of the competition? Or might they stay at $165,000, but start paying bonuses?

2. Clerkship Bonuses: Speaking of bonuses…. The last we heard, Williams & Connolly paid a clerkship bonus of $25,000. Is that still correct? Do they differentiate between district and circuit court clerkships? What about people with two years of clerkship experience? Inquiring minds want to know.

Update: A current offeree confirms that the W&C clerkship bonus is still at $25K.

3. Summer Associates. A rumor, from a tipster:

The word is that summers aren’t being paid the first-year associate rate. They’re getting $2500 a week, while other DC summers are getting $3100.

Is this whiny? Sure. But whining about minor salary differences is our stock in trade here at ATL.
If you can shed any light on these matters, please email us (subject line: “Williams & Connolly”). Thanks.
Earlier: Skaddenfreude: Williams & Connolly Weighs In

Legal Eagle Wedding Watch NYT wedding announcements Above the Law.jpgLast week, we exhorted candidates to step it up for the high wedding season, and this week’s couples really responded. In fact, they brought the fabulosity in such a big way that LEWW has spent some anguished nights picking the three most deserving entries for this column.
Consider this: Our three featured couples are all lawyer-lawyer matings in which the least prestigious JDs are the two from Harvard! In order to narrow our list, we had to eliminate a gorgeous Harvard-Columbia offering with Skadden overtones and a robust NYU-Stanford entry with a wonderful floral bouquet.
LEWW is just sick about passing over all these shiny credentials. Now we know what a dean of admissions at a top-10 law school feels like!
Here are the amazing couples who made the initial cut:

1. Sara Galvan and Luke Bronin

2. Emily Thacher-Renshaw and Christian Pistilli

3. Rebecca Charnas and Scott Grant

Also, back by popular demand: registry links!
More on this week’s couples, after the jump.

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100 dollar bill Above the Law Above the Law law firm salary legal blog legal tabloid Above the Law.JPGWe didn’t receive this information from a verified source at the firm, so please treat it as unconfirmed. We’re going to fact-check this information “blog-style”: we’re going to throw it out there, then wait for somebody to tell us it’s wrong (or to confirm it).
Anyway, here it is, from an email from an anonymous source:

On Tuesday, Williams & Connolly LLP raised its salaries across the board, retroactive to January 1. Starting salary for first-years is now $165,000.

1st years: 165,000.
2nd years: 180,000.
3rd years: 195,000.
4th years: 210,000.
5th years: 225,000.
6th years: 245,000.
7th years: 265,000.

You’ll note that these numbers are higher, at least in the most junior years, than what appears to be the new standard for Washington: 145/155/170/190. They’re also higher, at least in the first three years, than the new NYC scale (which also applies to the D.C. offices of New York firms): 160/170/185.
But this is consistent with the Williams & Connolly pay scale of years past. Their base salaries are somewhat higher than market; but they don’t pay year-end bonuses.
As noted, if you know this information to be incorrect — or if, on the other hand, you can confirm — please email us. Thanks!
Update: The information appearing above, concerning Williams & Connolly, has been confirmed.

house plant potted plant Brendan Sullivan Above the Law blog.jpgLegendary litigator Brendan Sullivan, who has been involved in some of the most high-profile cases of the past few decades, ensured his place in Bartlett’s when he quipped at the Iran-Contra hearings: “I’m not a potted plant.”
But despite not being a potted plant, Sullivan was unable to prevail against two of our former colleagues, Michael Martinez and Craig Carpenito, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey. Martinez and Carpenito, a pair of superb young lawyers, were given the daunting task of handling the third trial of former Cendant chairman Walter Forbes. Their triumph over Sullivan and his Williams & Connolly team is chronicled in a fascinating article by Andrew Longstreth in this month’s American Lawyer.
More discussion of the piece, with a few added comments from us, after the jump.

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