Lawyer Pay

Associate Pay Cuts Won't Rebound with Economy


Cuts in associate pay are being blamed on the recession. But even when the market rebounds, consultants and law firm partners aren’t expecting associate pay to rebound with it.

“We do not see any movement to reinstate the pre-recession pay levels” in the medium term, James Cotterman, an Altman Weil consultant told the Am Law Daily.

The publication notes that since February, some 19 Am Law 200 firms have reduced entry-level pay, trimming between $15,000 and $30,000 from first-year salaries.

And more changes are ahead at an accelerated pace.

“We don’t view this as a temporary adjustment. This is a fundamental reset,” said Eugene Tillman, head of Reed Smith’s legal personnel. Last month, Reed Smith cut first-year salaries, billable hour expectations and adjusted training programs.

This week, Am Law Daily reported that DLA Piper joined the growing number of firms that have pledged to abandon the lockstep pay/advancement model.

Also see these related ABAJournal.com posts:

Orrick Reveals New Associate Pay Structure

Sutherland Eliminates Lockstep, Cuts 1st-Year Pay in Atlanta

Drinker Biddle Lays Off 22 Associates, Plans to Eliminate Lockstep

Reed Smith Sidesteps Lockstep, Creates 3 Classes of Associates

Morgan Lewis Axes 2010 Summer Program, Plans to Eliminate Lockstep

Megafirm DLA Piper Poised to Overhaul ‘Lockstep’ Model

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