Law Practice Management

Reed Smith Sidesteps Lockstep, Creates 3 Classes of Associates


It’s a move billed as offering enhanced attorney training. But Reed Smith is also sidestepping traditional lockstep advancement—and annual pay increases—for associates in a new CareeRS program announced today.

Associates will now be classified as junior, midlevel or senior. Their status will depend not only how long they’ve worked as lawyers but whether they have demonstrated skills that the more than 1,600-attorney Pittsburgh-based international law firm considers “core compentencies,” reports the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

“The most painful conversation you can have with a client is to tell him that that all of a sudden, you’re charging more for an associate just because the associate has aged a year,” firm chairman Greg Jordan tells the newspaper. “Something needed to change. The recession made that clear.”

More details are provided in a law firm press release.

Additional coverage:

Recorder: “Reed Smith the Latest Big Firm to Drop Associate Lockstep”

Updated on Oct. 28 to link to Recorder article.

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