Law Firms

Eight Mayer Brown Associates Take $100K-Plus Pay Cut to Work In-house

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Mayer Brown has reduced the pay of eight associates by at least $100,000 and sent them to work for a year in the offices of law firm clients.

The associates—whose prior pay ranged from $160,000 to $200,000—are being paid $60,000 plus benefits to work in-house, with no guarantee of employment after the year is up, the Chicago Tribune reports. The deal may sound bad, but it’s an alternative to unemployment, the story says.

Chicago legal recruiter Art Gunther called the plan “a creative idea.” Mayer Brown made the offer after cutting 45 lawyer jobs in April and 33 in November.

“These are young lawyers, and they are not going to find another $160,000 job out there,” Gunther told the Tribune.

Companies taking on the Mayer Brown lawyers are United Airlines parent UAL Corp., Kraft Foods Inc., Fortune Brands Inc., Baxter International Inc. and W.W. Grainger Inc., the story says.

UAL senior vice president and general counsel Paul Lovejoy said two Mayer Brown lawyers are working in his legal department. “These are well-qualified people,” Lovejoy told the Tribune. “If they stay with us, we have the advantage of a nice, long tryout.”

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