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NYC to 200k

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:32 pm
by Anonymous User
Firms are raking in the paper and the top firms are busy as hell. Is this the summer we jump to 200k?

Rumors/thoughts/analysis in this thread.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:32 pm
by Anonymous User
no

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:32 pm
by Anonymous User
Considering that several firms have been secretly cutting junior/mid-level attorneys instead, I'd say no.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:08 pm
by albanach
With all the lifestyle complaints, maybe associates should be campaigning to get NY closer to 2,000 billable hours rather than more $$$?

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:51 pm
by oblig.lawl.ref
albanach wrote:With all the lifestyle complaints, maybe associates should be campaigning to get NY closer to 2,000 billable hours rather than more $$$?


Hell ya buddy

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:32 pm
by gaddockteeg
albanach wrote:With all the lifestyle complaints, maybe associates should be campaigning to get NY closer to 2,000 billable hours rather than more $$$?


I like you.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:53 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Considering that several firms have been secretly cutting junior/mid-level attorneys instead, I'd say no.


Has that been happening again recently? Or are you referencing the firms that did this after the last pay jump?

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:12 pm
by Love With The Coco
He's referring to firms that are not raking in the dough like the 10 firms that are at all relevant in this conversation. The top firms set market and that's all the matters for this convo.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:54 pm
by Anonymous User
If Kirkland goes to 200k, the other top players will follow. The other 95% will just give up trying to keep up.

But with cheaper legal options popping up regularly now, I don’t see it being that sustainable. At the end of the day, partners care more about their bottom lines than about associate happiness.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:17 am
by nealric
Anonymous User wrote:If Kirkland goes to 200k, the other top players will follow. The other 95% will just give up trying to keep up.

But with cheaper legal options popping up regularly now, I don’t see it being that sustainable. At the end of the day, partners care more about their bottom lines than about associate happiness.


The top 10-25 players (ish) are able to regularly attract work where cost is effectively no object. The next 75-100 or so firms on the list occasionally attract such work, but have to fill their dockets with lower margin stuff. They are getting squeezed by lower-cost options and an increased reliance on in-house staff by large corporate players.

Frankly, it was sort of crazy that the firms outside the very top have tried to play the "Cravath Scale" salary game at all. Problem was that once one firm did it, they felt like they had to or else be judged as "second tier." It's worth noting that a lot of them advertise the big-bold first year starting salary, but then dive below that scale in senior ranks or are considerably more stingy about bonuses (maybe not headline numbers, but in restricting the number of associates actually receiving market bonus).

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:10 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Considering that several firms have been secretly cutting junior/mid-level attorneys instead, I'd say no.


Has that been happening again recently? Or are you referencing the firms that did this after the last pay jump?


Which firms have been doing this?

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:29 pm
by Love With The Coco
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Considering that several firms have been secretly cutting junior/mid-level attorneys instead, I'd say no.


Has that been happening again recently? Or are you referencing the firms that did this after the last pay jump?


Which firms have been doing this?


None of the 3-4 firms that might move us to 200k.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:34 am
by Anonymous User
Nearing the 2 year mark and the V5 is wildly profitable yet bleeding midlevels. Feeling like summer 18 will be good to us.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:47 am
by jd20132013
at what point are firms going to accept that they bleed midlevels because they give them too much work to do in a humane fashion and not because they aren’t making 50k more

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:23 am
by MillllerTime
jd20132013 wrote:at what point are firms going to accept that they bleed midlevels because they give them too much work to do in a humane fashion and not because they aren’t making 50k more


Mostly true, but every man has his price. Raising salaries probably doesn't help much against the in house moves, but I don't think many midlevels at a v10 (or whatever silly metric you want to use) would jump to a v100 firm if they pay cut were substantial. The quality of life just isn't that different (on average), so you might as well take the money.

It seems like the logic behind pay increases from Cravath et al is to separate themselves from the middle tier of firms that cannot afford to pay as much. It almost worked with the raise to 180k - another 20k would almost certainly separate a handful of firms from the pack.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:37 am
by jd20132013
MillllerTime wrote:
jd20132013 wrote:at what point are firms going to accept that they bleed midlevels because they give them too much work to do in a humane fashion and not because they aren’t making 50k more


Mostly true, but every man has his price. Raising salaries probably doesn't help much against the in house moves, but I don't think many midlevels at a v10 (or whatever silly metric you want to use) would jump to a v100 firm if they pay cut were substantial. The quality of life just isn't that different (on average), so you might as well take the money.

It seems like the logic behind pay increases from Cravath et al is to separate themselves from the middle tier of firms that cannot afford to pay as much. It almost worked with the raise to 180k - another 20k would almost certainly separate a handful of firms from the pack.


Fair point, I was thinking more about midlevels leaving biglaw altogether more than laterals “down.” I guess it would make a bigger difference for a midlevel who wants to stay in big law.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:52 am
by smokeylarue
MillllerTime wrote:
jd20132013 wrote:at what point are firms going to accept that they bleed midlevels because they give them too much work to do in a humane fashion and not because they aren’t making 50k more


Mostly true, but every man has his price. Raising salaries probably doesn't help much against the in house moves, but I don't think many midlevels at a v10 (or whatever silly metric you want to use) would jump to a v100 firm if they pay cut were substantial. The quality of life just isn't that different (on average), so you might as well take the money.

It seems like the logic behind pay increases from Cravath et al is to separate themselves from the middle tier of firms that cannot afford to pay as much. It almost worked with the raise to 180k - another 20k would almost certainly separate a handful of firms from the pack.


If that was the goal, it didn't "almost work", didn't work at all lol. Nearly everyone followed the move to 180k, even firms outside the national Vault100 firms.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:28 pm
by rahulg91
smokeylarue wrote:
MillllerTime wrote:
jd20132013 wrote:at what point are firms going to accept that they bleed midlevels because they give them too much work to do in a humane fashion and not because they aren’t making 50k more


Mostly true, but every man has his price. Raising salaries probably doesn't help much against the in house moves, but I don't think many midlevels at a v10 (or whatever silly metric you want to use) would jump to a v100 firm if they pay cut were substantial. The quality of life just isn't that different (on average), so you might as well take the money.

It seems like the logic behind pay increases from Cravath et al is to separate themselves from the middle tier of firms that cannot afford to pay as much. It almost worked with the raise to 180k - another 20k would almost certainly separate a handful of firms from the pack.


If that was the goal, it didn't "almost work", didn't work at all lol. Nearly everyone followed the move to 180k, even firms outside the national Vault100 firms.


It worked pretty well. Firms that are not as profitable have been skimping on bonuses in the last year (not to mention reports of benefits being cut at several firms). You are correct in that most firms were able to match 180k, but most firms were clearly not able to keep total compensation (base + bonus + benefits) competitive with Cravath, Kirkland, Skadden, etc. Another 20k should make this even more obvious.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:20 pm
by smokeylarue
rahulg91 wrote: It worked pretty well. Firms that are not as profitable have been skimping on bonuses in the last year (not to mention reports of benefits being cut at several firms). You are correct in that most firms were able to match 180k, but most firms were clearly not able to keep total compensation (base + bonus + benefits) competitive with Cravath, Kirkland, Skadden, etc. Another 20k should make this even more obvious.


Really not true at all. The point is, for the most part, the dude at Cravath is still making the same amount as the dude at a firm like Schulte Roth Zabel. Whatever firms lagging in compensation were already lagging before the 180k jump.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:16 pm
by OneTwoThreeFour
smokeylarue wrote:
rahulg91 wrote: It worked pretty well. Firms that are not as profitable have been skimping on bonuses in the last year (not to mention reports of benefits being cut at several firms). You are correct in that most firms were able to match 180k, but most firms were clearly not able to keep total compensation (base + bonus + benefits) competitive with Cravath, Kirkland, Skadden, etc. Another 20k should make this even more obvious.


Really not true at all. The point is, for the most part, the dude at Cravath is still making the same amount as the dude at a firm like Schulte Roth Zabel. Whatever firms lagging in compensation were already lagging before the 180k jump.


I'm not going to go back-and-forth with you. Look around the ATL bonus updates. There's a noticeable uptick in below-market bonus and Jones Day "black boxes" where associates get screwed out of bonuses. More firms are requiring a certain number of hours or some other barrier to bonus. Look at Baker McKenzie as the most obvious example of a firm trying to get out of paying market compensation (most likely because its poor financial health) https://abovethelaw.com/2018/03/facing- ... ssociates/.

It's pretty clear. Deny it if you want. NY to 200k.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:18 pm
by jbagelboy
smokeylarue wrote:
rahulg91 wrote: It worked pretty well. Firms that are not as profitable have been skimping on bonuses in the last year (not to mention reports of benefits being cut at several firms). You are correct in that most firms were able to match 180k, but most firms were clearly not able to keep total compensation (base + bonus + benefits) competitive with Cravath, Kirkland, Skadden, etc. Another 20k should make this even more obvious.


Really not true at all. The point is, for the most part, the dude at Cravath is still making the same amount as the dude at a firm like Schulte Roth Zabel. Whatever firms lagging in compensation were already lagging before the 180k jump.


All of my friends who arent at top flight firms like davis polk/cravath/quinn/ect. have seen weird shit happen with their comp structures. Usually this means cutting some associates out of a bonus for hours or staggering bonuses so they are no longer market, but I am familiar with several V50 firms that have not increased associate pay in lock step beyond the 180k starting. And even if firms are not literally underpaying associates in base or bonus, they are playing accounting tricks by fudging payout dates (march instead of december for bonus, starting the salary jump two months late, ect.).

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:51 pm
by thisismytlsuername
jbagelboy wrote:All of my friends who arent at top flight firms like davis polk/cravath/quinn/ect. have seen weird shit happen with their comp structures. Usually this means cutting some associates out of a bonus for hours or staggering bonuses so they are no longer market, but I am familiar with several V50 firms that have not increased associate pay in lock step beyond the 180k starting. And even if firms are not literally underpaying associates in base or bonus, they are playing accounting tricks by fudging payout dates (march instead of december for bonus, starting the salary jump two months late, ect.).


Subtle Quinn trolling.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:29 pm
by OneTwoThreeFour
jbagelboy wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:
rahulg91 wrote: It worked pretty well. Firms that are not as profitable have been skimping on bonuses in the last year (not to mention reports of benefits being cut at several firms). You are correct in that most firms were able to match 180k, but most firms were clearly not able to keep total compensation (base + bonus + benefits) competitive with Cravath, Kirkland, Skadden, etc. Another 20k should make this even more obvious.


Really not true at all. The point is, for the most part, the dude at Cravath is still making the same amount as the dude at a firm like Schulte Roth Zabel. Whatever firms lagging in compensation were already lagging before the 180k jump.


All of my friends who arent at top flight firms like davis polk/cravath/quinn/ect. have seen weird shit happen with their comp structures. Usually this means cutting some associates out of a bonus for hours or staggering bonuses so they are no longer market, but I am familiar with several V50 firms that have not increased associate pay in lock step beyond the 180k starting. And even if firms are not literally underpaying associates in base or bonus, they are playing accounting tricks by fudging payout dates (march instead of december for bonus, starting the salary jump two months late, ect.).


+1. Firms are trying to keep up with the Joneses and failing. They're covering it up by screwing associates wherever possible.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:07 pm
by cfcm
Stipulating that it worked, what exactly has the benefit been to Cravath? I’ve never really understood the separation theory.

Re: NYC to 200k

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:20 pm
by 2013
I understand this separation theory comment, but did Cravath ever consider any non-v10 firm competition? Very few people would have turned down Cravath, etc. to go to Nixon Peabody or something.

The only firms Cravath is concerned about all are capable of paying first year associates 200+ if they so choose to.

Also, to the person above who mentioned the dearth of senior associates, how does raising first year salary help with that? The only way to fix that problem is to give massive bonuses to senior associates (50% like these boutiques are doing).