Biglaw Firm Finally Doles Out Raises, But Only for Some Associates

Biglaw Firm Finally Doles Out Raises, But Only for Some Associates

A major corporate law firm has given out  Raises to some of its associates — but only some of them, and only certain ranks of associate at that. Most junior associates, who have been stuck at the same salary level since they joined the firm three years ago, were once again left out in the cold. To add insult to injury, the few juniors who were lucky enough to get a raise can’t discuss their raises with anyone else at the firm. Not even other junior associates in their class can speak about their raises or those of their colleagues.

The Details: Why Partnering is So Important

Some associates may be celebrating as news of their  Raises trickles down from the partners at their firm, but if you haven’t seen an email about your raise just yet, don’t be surprised. It might not be because you weren’t on the partner’s radar or because they have a quota system in place and they already hit it. It could simply mean that as one legal professional put it, you missed your chance. And what is that?

The Details: Why Associate Salaries Stay Flat

In today’s competitive legal landscape, law firms have cut back on associate salaries Raises, and benefits to get a more favorable profit margin. This has led to anger from the rest of the workforce–and some of our alumni. Associate salaries are staying stagnant.

However, it is important to keep in mind that the rule was originally developed by Henry Manne (a professor of Law at George Mason University) back in 1965 to encourage firms to pay attention to other aspects of worker performance besides purely billing hours. More: The law only requires Raises equal pay for workers who perform equal work; so law firms can provide salary increases without any consequence under this model.

The Details: Ways to Get Noticed by Partners

#1. Make a good first impression on your first day. Everyone has one shot to make a great impression and that can never be overstated.

#2. Look at the part at all times: Think about how you would present yourself and dress like the partner you are trying to impress if possible.

#3. Go above and beyond when assigned tasks. Partners look for those who go above and beyond when they are given an assignment. They want someone who is going to take initiative in their work – so take some time outside of your normal hours to do some research or help out another lawyer with their workload (if it is appropriate).

#4. Take care of partners’ admin tasks- even small ones such as organizing their inboxes or straightening up their desktops when they’re not looking.

#5. Speak up at meetings and speak with authority when doing so. Yes, you may feel uncomfortable or scared but you must speak up to get noticed by the partners around the table.

The Details: How a Relationship with a Client Pays Off in the Long Run

In recent news Biglaw firm finally doles out raises, but only to some associates. This new policy aims to reduce the large salary differential among its workers and make employees feel more motivated. In other words, this new policy will only benefit those in the 20th percentile of salaries. At WIPLAW we don’t see these changes as a revolution or a movement for legal equality (although we would welcome such a thing), but instead as an example of how a relationship with a client pays off in the long run.

The Details: A.K.A. If This Seems Like Too Much Work…

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman got wind that this Biglaw Firm had only been paying the under-compensated interns and recent law grads a salary for their summer jobs. He didn’t find it fair that all of the hard work of some of these young upstarts was going unnoticed and thus requested an investigation.

The report found evidence Raises of four other firms with similar compensation arrangements, which resulted in the New York attorney general’s office sending cease and desist letters to all five firms in question.

So, while this particular firm may have eased up on its standards and be paying some of its associates more than they were receiving previously… don’t give up hope! It’s nice to know that there are people who will take care of things like this on your behalf.

Advice from Someone Who’s Been There Before You

If you’re getting a raise or not, it can be difficult to handle. Sometimes the person who needs a raise will be too embarrassed to ask their partner about it. As I discussed in my post on negotiating your salary if you are the junior partner, this is risky. Negotiating is not just something that should be done when you’re looking to change jobs or negotiating a new position with your current firm–Raises should also happen every time someone gets an annual review.

The easiest thing is to always have an open discussion with your manager at these annual reviews and let them know that as part of the review process they should always consider whether or not they think you deserve a raise and then try to work together to determine what makes sense in terms of compensation moving forward.

Keep browsing Law Scribd for more updates.

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