Willkie Farr

We’ve gotten away from plowing through the latest Vault Rankings, but fear not. Your firm is coming up soon.

We’ve been through the top 30 firms. But now we’re getting into a group of firms that really utilized the cost-cutting measures of salary cuts and layoffs to weather the recession of 2009. Did these guys take a big prestige hit? Not really. Here’s the next batch of firms:

31. Mayer Brown
32. Milbank
33. Paul Hastings
34. Akin Gump
35. Allen & Overy
36. Fried Frank
37. Irell & Manella
38. Freshfields
39. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
40. Willkie Farr & Gallagher

Just off the top of my head, does anybody else think that Irell is coming in a little low?

Anyway, let’s get into these firms…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fall Recruiting Open Threads: Vault 31 – 40 (2011)”

At the end of the summer, Willkie Farr & Gallagher told offerees that they would be able to start at the firm on time, in the fall of 2010. It turns out that Willkie’s promise wasn’t something intelligent law students should have relied on. Here’s the email that went out to the summer class, yesterday:

Hope everyone is enjoying this summer-like weather. We are looking forward to your return and wanted to provide you with details about arrival date, salary advance and other important matters.

Orientation Date: The orientation date for the new associate class is Wednesday, January 5th.

Salary Advance: The Firm offers a salary advance for all incoming associates. You have the option of receiving up to $20,000 (payable in any month from June to October) as an advance on your first year salary. The amount advanced will be deducted from your salary over a period of one year. If you are interested in taking an advance, please complete the attached form and return it to me.

What a breezy, matter-of-fact email communicating that you don’t intend to keep your promises. But associates headed to Willkie weren’t bothered by the tone. The substance, now that pissed them off…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Willkie Farr: Defers Incoming Associates to 2011, 3Ls Pissed by Late Notice”

Willkie logo.JPGOn Friday evening, we created an open thread for discussion of which firms are providing their associates with the customary salary raises, now that a new year is here. We cited Willkie Farr as one notable example of a firm that had not yet told its associates whether they’d be getting the usual salary bumps.
Time to take Willkie off the list of salary laggards. From a WFG tipster:

It appears that Willkie has raised salaries for all classes in keeping with the standard NY scale ($170k for 2008, $185k for 2007, etc.).

The news was transmitted via a one-line email this morning from the Chief Legal Personnel Officer, sent to each class separately, which stated:

“The 2010 salary for the class of [ ] is $[ ].” The recipients were BCC’d and no names were included on the TO or CC lines.

Called out on ATL on Friday evening; raises announced by Monday morning. Anything else we can help you out with?
Earlier: Open Thread: Firms That Have Raised Salaries As Usual

lolmoney.JPGWe’ve been reporting on firms that have announced pay freezes for 2010, but at some firms, the salary outlook for 2010 is still unclear.
For example, associates at Mayer Brown and Willkie Farr are huddled in the dark, not sure if they’re freezing. From a junior Willkie associate:

I’m a second-year associate at Willkie. I just learned that traditionally, associates are told about their imminent salary bumps at their year-end evaluations. I’ve discussed it with some friends, and nobody has heard anything about salary freezes or bumps at WFG.

And from an MB associate:

Mayer Brown’s still frozen. Granted they’ve put off addressing salary raises until February in the past, but we got our first 2010 paychecks today with no raises, and not a peep from the partnership to let us know they’ve even considered the issue. As of now I’m two years behind where I’d be at Dechert. This sucks.

We can’t confirm whether salaries at these firms are frozen for the year, but we can encourage a conversation about firms that are raising salaries. We hear from a Paul Weiss associate, for example, that an email went out letting them know salaries there are warm. Our tipsters says that PW checks this month will have the “usual bump” up.
Here’s an open thread for discussion of raises as usual. Who’s warm and toasty this January?

Ferrell.jpgHoly crap.
We did not Photoshop this picture. It actually appeared in a New York Times wedding announcement. Chuckle at it, if you must. But know that when you do, you’re fiddling while a venerable institution goes up in flames.
December isn’t a great month to get married, and this December was particularly bad. Still, our final Legal Eagle Wedding Watch couples for 2009 have some surprisingly strong Biglaw credentials. Here they are:

1. Nicole Schreier and Matthew Kaplan
2. Rachel Lu and Jimmy Gao
3. Elizabeth Cronise and Joe McLaughlin

Check out these couples’ bios, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: Rabbit, Rabbit”

2009 Associate bonus watch above the law.JPGBonus season is now in full swing. Sources report that Willkie Farr has announced bonuses that match the Cravath scale.
Here’s the breakdown:

From: The Executive Committee
To: ASSOCIATES – NY; ASSOCIATES – DC
Cc: PARTNERS – FIRMWIDE
Sent: Fri Nov 20 11:11:01 2009
Subject: 2009 Associate Bonuses

The Executive Committee is pleased to announce the following year-end bonuses for associates:

Class of 2008: $7,500
Class of 2007: $10,000
Class of 2006: $15,000
Class of 2005: $20,000
Class of 2004: $25,000
Class of 2003: $30,000
Class of 2002 and senior: $30,000

Bonuses will be paid on December 18, 2009, consistent with our customary practices. The Firm greatly appreciates the efforts of our associates over the course of the year.

Don’t feel bad, guys; there are a lot of great things you can do with $7,500.
More on Willkie’s bonuses after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Associate Bonus Watch: Willkie Matches Cravath and Full-Cravath”

comparing.jpgAs we roll through the next segment of the 2010 Vault rankings, we get into some firms that have been caught testing the stealth layoff waters. To refresh your memory, here is the next list of firms:

31. Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy
32. Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker
33. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
34. Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson
35. Winston & Strawn
36. Allen & Overy
37. Willkie Farr & Gallagher
38. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
39. Baker Botts
40. Munger Tolles & Olson

Check out the big move by Munger. It’s up 11 spots on this year’s list. And let’s not forget about the firm’s #1 A-List ranking by Am Law earlier this year. Munger’s managed to do all of this without laying off a massive number of associates. Hopefully other Biglaw firms (and current 2Ls) will take note.
We know people have strong opinions about some of the firms on this list. Let’s get into them after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Fall Recruiting Open Thread: Vault 31 – 40 (2010)”

champagne glasses small.jpgRejoice, wedding fans! We have some compelling mid-summer material for you this week: Wachtell, SCOTUS, lesbians, French nobility — read on for the details on all of that and more, as reported in the New York Times and filtered by us.
Our finalist couples:

1. Rebecca Gutner and Rodman Forter Jr.
2. Laura Hammond and Christopher Hemphill
3. Laure de Vulpillières and Vanessa Dillen

Admire these couples’ achievements, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Legal Eagle Wedding Watch 7.12: French Kissing”

Willkie logo.JPGLast week, a very angry comment appeared in one of our threads:

Well its official Wilkie [sic] Farr Gallagher has started the rounds of FIRINGS. It is utterly despicable that these firms can turn around and fire people under the guise of “poor performance”. After treating their associates as two bit whores for years they sending them out when the fleet is in. As soon as the ships leave the harbor the partners at these firms toss their associates out like the used prophylactic used to service their clients. Its understandable that in a bad economy that belts have to be tightened but to have the outright GALL to place the blame on the associates who have worked 80 hour weeks and worked through weekends for you, just to stamp them with “sub-par” is outrageous.

The truly troubling point is that the Mayor of New York Mr. Bloomberg seems to be ok with such behavior. Since he has no in house council he attorneys are Wilkie attorneys, so in a sense his own employees. I for one am not sure I can vote for or abide by a man that allows his own employees to flat out degrade associates like that. Since there is a growing number of individuals who seem to come across a similar situation maybe a statement needs to be made. Bloomberg wants to be mayor again, maybe he should side those of us that need his help and damn the disreputable firms, otherwise we’ll have to find someone who will.

For those of you who are not fluent in ATL commenter-speak, allow me to translate: “Willkie is doing stealth layoffs. I’m voting for Bill Thompson because I got fired from Bloomberg News for poor performance. I think sailors look so cute in their little hats.”
After running down sources for almost a week, Above the Law can now confirm that stealth layoffs have actually occurred at Willkie Farr, and more formal moves could be coming.
We get into the details after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Stealth Layoff Watch/Impending Layoff Watch: Willkie Farr”

staff attorney contract attorney doc review.jpgYesterday’s staff layoff post generated a lot of tips and rumors. Please keep them coming. It appears that staffs are taking it on the chin even worse than associates and partner profit margins.

While we are still playing “fact or fiction” with some of the rumors, we can now report these additional staff reductions around the world of Biglaw.

First off, Julie Kay at the National Law Journal reports that Squire Sanders laid off a number of staff from a variety of positions:

Alvin Davis, managing partner of Squire Sanders’ Miami office, said on Friday that Miami employees laid off at the firm on Thursday include “a couple runners, some staffers and a few people in accounting.”

Times are so bad firms can’t even afford the accountants who tell them how bad times are.

There were conflicting reports as to whether any attorneys got caught in the crossfire:

But while Davis said no lawyers were laid off, sources inside the firm said that lawyers indeed had been laid off, but were still working at the firm until they find jobs elsewhere.

After the jump, more staff layoff news.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Staff Layoff Watch: Roundup Number 2″

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