Posted Jan 12, 2010 03:16 pm CST
At least nine big law firms in Texas sent out job offer letters without specifying the salaries they would be paying their new associates. Some firms also declined to set a start date.
But that didn’t stop summer associates from accepting, Texas Lawyer reports.
An example is the offer letter sent out to those invited to join the 2010 class at Vinson & Elkins. The letter promises a $3,000 graduation bonus and a salary advance of up to $10,000, the story says. But the letter goes on to say that “the annual salary for the class of 2010 has not been set yet.”
The letter isn’t specific about a start date, either. “Currently, we anticipate that the reporting date for the class of 2010 will be in the fall of 2010,” the letter says, adding that the specific date will be set by the management committee in the first quarter of 2010.
Seventy percent of 77 summer associates who were offered full-time jobs at V&E accepted, compared to a 2008 acceptance rate of 53 percent, according to Texas Lawyer.
The story identifies other large law firms that declined to specify starting salaries. They are Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell; Strasburger & Price; Thompson & Knight; Haynes and Boone; Bracewell & Giuliani; Andrews Kurth; and Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Yet acceptance rates are up at 14 out of 17 large Texas firms that provided Texas Lawyer with information about offers extended and accepted. Rates were down at only three firms: Akin Gump, Hunton & Williams, and Weil Gotshal.
Charles Gibbs, Akin Gump’s Dallas office hiring partner, told Texas Lawyer his firm’s lower acceptance rate is due to a difference of just one person declining an offer. “It’s really a function of having a smaller class, so one person’s decision moves the needle,” he said.