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Why Foley Hoag Midlevel Associates Are Happier: Money and Better Communications

Posted Sep 8, 2011 5:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Midlevel associates are finding Foley Hoag more likable since the Boston law firm improved communications and raised pay.

Foley Hoag jumped 92 spots in the American Lawyer’s survey of midlevel associate satisfaction, the highest one-year jump of any firm in the 2011 survey. An American Lawyer story examines the reasons why the firm earned its 23rd place finish.

William Kolb and Adam Kahn reached out to associates after they were named co–managing partners of the firm in January 2010. They learned associates wanted more dialogue with firm leaders. As a result, the firm’s executive committee meets with associates four times a year, rather than twice a year. Based on an associate’s suggestion, a committee gathers anonymous questions that are addressed at the meetings.

The firm also holds informal monthly breakfast meetings with groups of associates and seeks to demystify the partnership process with clearly established expectations and goals.

Foley Hoag addressed compensation issues, too. Pay for new associates was restored to $160,000 in 2010, while other associates also got a boost in pay.

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