Lawyer Pay

Growing number of law firms at least partly roll back salary cuts

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Salary cuts are easing for lawyers and staffers at many law firms that adopted austerity measures to controls costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most firms that are restoring pay are doing so on a partial basis, according to (here and here). Many firms are acting because of better-than-expected financial performance.

Marcie Borgal Shunk, president of the Tilt Institute, a legal consulting firm, explained why financial numbers are improving. Work is increasing in some practice areas, while firms have lowered costs by cutting back on events. Firms also “understand if they continue at reduced salary, they are at risk of losing talent,” Shunik told

These law firms have recently announced that they are trimming salary cuts or restoring pay:

• Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, which reduced pay cuts for associates and counsels from 20% to 15%, for staff making more than $100,000 from 15% to 10%, and for staff making between $75,000 and $100,000 from 10% to 5%. The firm also said reductions in compensation in the first half of the year are being repaid in full. (

• Crowell & Moring, which is fully restoring pay for associates, counsels and staff. Still in place are 25% cuts to equity partner draws and 20% cuts to the pay of income partners. (, Bloomberg Law, Law360)

• Stoel Rives, which is trimming pay cuts of 20% to 10% by half. Staff members whose pay was cut by only 5% and those who earn less than $75,000 will have their pay and schedule fully restored. (Law360, Above the Law,

• Holland & Knight, which is restoring 30% to 50% of pay cuts that ranged from 17.5% to 10%. (Bloomberg Law,

• Loeb & Loeb, which is reducing by 60% pay cuts of 10% to 15%. Cuts of 20% to monthly capital partner draws will continue. (Bloomberg Law, Above the Law)

Law firms that previously announced rolled back salary cuts include Fox Rothschild; Reed Smith; K&L Gates; Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton; Katten Muchin Rosenman; Lowenstein Sandler; Cozen O’Connor; Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner; Baker Botts; and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.

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