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Sonnenschein Sets New 3-Tier Pay Plan for Associates, Confirms Staff Layoffs

Posted Dec 15, 2009 7:24 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Apparently implementing a strategic initiative announced earlier this year, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal has announced a new three-tiered associate compensation plan.

Billed as offering flexibility to all associates and a faster track to partnership and higher pay to star performers, the new plan features merit-based pay tied to advancement, based on demonstrated skills, from associate to managing associate to senior managing associate, according to the St. Louis Business Journal.

"In addition to measuring formal criteria such as written and verbal communication, strategic thinking, organization and other components of legal excellence, the new model assesses associates on their drive to succeed and also their dedication to clients and the firm," Sonnenschein explains today in a press release. "The latter attributes give consideration to such intangibles as the ability to take ownership of a project, along with client responsiveness and business development, teamwork, crisis communications, and mentoring to peers and younger attorneys."

Meanwhile, Sonnenschein confirmed an unspecified number of recent staff layoffs, reports Above the Law. The legal blog says they were made on Friday.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Sweeping Sonnenschein Pay Plan Eliminates Lockstep, Offers ‘Flexibility’"

ABAJournal.com: "WilmerHale Joins Growing Group of Law Firms in Eliminating Lockstep Pay"

Updated at 7:20 p.m. to link to subsequent ABAJournal.com post.

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