Law School Discussion

Law firm salary increase already?

Re: Law firm salary increase already?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2007, 09:09:03 PM »
try working at one of those firms and in a year you will wish you were dead. What do they average? 80 hours a week of mind numbingly boring work?

No, I doubt they average anywhere near 80 hours a week.  Do the math: assuming you bill 80% of the time you're in the office, and work 48 hours a year, billing 80 hours a  week would amount to 3,072 hours billed a year.  Ask around, it's extremely rare to bill this much.  Also, in a recent mid-level survey, I think only Wachtell associates reported working 70 or more hours per week on average.  (And no arguments from me that working at Wachtell is awful, though I certainly never had the chance to try it.)

I work at a biglaw firm, not in NY, and average b/w 50 and 55 hours a week (worked, not billed).  The idea that biglaw is some kind of living hell is generally not true IMO.  Granted, it's not a walk in the park either, and like most associates I doubt I'll stay more than a few years, but it's really not as bad as it's made out to be on these message boards.   

TDJD84

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Re: Law firm salary increase already?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2007, 09:28:30 PM »
I wonder when the Chicago market will raise associate pay from $135,000 to $145,000??

Re: Law firm salary increase already?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2007, 09:40:37 PM »
try working at one of those firms and in a year you will wish you were dead. What do they average? 80 hours a week of mind numbingly boring work?

No, I doubt they average anywhere near 80 hours a week.  Do the math: assuming you bill 80% of the time you're in the office, and work 48 hours a year, billing 80 hours a  week would amount to 3,072 hours billed a year.  Ask around, it's extremely rare to bill this much.  Also, in a recent mid-level survey, I think only Wachtell associates reported working 70 or more hours per week on average.  (And no arguments from me that working at Wachtell is awful, though I certainly never had the chance to try it.)

I work at a biglaw firm, not in NY, and average b/w 50 and 55 hours a week (worked, not billed).  The idea that biglaw is some kind of living hell is generally not true IMO.  Granted, it's not a walk in the park either, and like most associates I doubt I'll stay more than a few years, but it's really not as bad as it's made out to be on these message boards.   

What's the salary offered at your firm for first year associates?

UChi2L

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Re: Law firm salary increase already?
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2007, 08:50:22 AM »
I wonder when the Chicago market will raise associate pay from $135,000 to $145,000??

Before 2/15.

Re: Law firm salary increase already?
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2007, 05:44:33 PM »
try working at one of those firms and in a year you will wish you were dead. What do they average? 80 hours a week of mind numbingly boring work?

No, I doubt they average anywhere near 80 hours a week.  Do the math: assuming you bill 80% of the time you're in the office, and work 48 hours a year, billing 80 hours a  week would amount to 3,072 hours billed a year.  Ask around, it's extremely rare to bill this much.  Also, in a recent mid-level survey, I think only Wachtell associates reported working 70 or more hours per week on average.  (And no arguments from me that working at Wachtell is awful, though I certainly never had the chance to try it.)

I work at a biglaw firm, not in NY, and average b/w 50 and 55 hours a week (worked, not billed).  The idea that biglaw is some kind of living hell is generally not true IMO.  Granted, it's not a walk in the park either, and like most associates I doubt I'll stay more than a few years, but it's really not as bad as it's made out to be on these message boards.   

What's the salary offered at your firm for first year associates?

$135,000. 

UChi2L

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Re: Law firm salary increase already?
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2007, 04:57:40 AM »
I wonder when the Chicago market will raise associate pay from $135,000 to $145,000??

Before 2/15.

Well, I was technically right ... but it happened yesterday and will continue today.

Firm at 160:
Skadden (of course); their summers will now make in 12 weeks what a state's attorney makes in an entire year b/c of the paycut downtown.

Firms at $145:
Sidley
Mayer
Jenner

Firms yet to announce:
Kirkland (everybody's watching)
Everyone else

DC is a much more interesting market re: pay raises right now (California, too) because about half of the firms went to $160 and some others (including biggies like Hogan & Hartson) "raised" to $145.  We'll see if they end up having to re-up; Hogan is going to lose a lot of top grads if they're that far below the new market standard.

Re: Law firm salary increase already?
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2007, 09:20:21 AM »
are you sure about DC going to 160?

i have a buddy who is an associate at DC latham and watkins and the general consensus for the district seems to be 145.....

TDJD84

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Re: Law firm salary increase already?
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2007, 11:25:56 AM »
I wonder when the Chicago market will raise associate pay from $135,000 to $145,000??

Before 2/15.

Well, I was technically right ... but it happened yesterday and will continue today.

Firm at 160:
Skadden (of course); their summers will now make in 12 weeks what a state's attorney makes in an entire year b/c of the paycut downtown.

Firms at $145:
Sidley
Mayer
Jenner

Firms yet to announce:
Kirkland (everybody's watching)
Everyone else

DC is a much more interesting market re: pay raises right now (California, too) because about half of the firms went to $160 and some others (including biggies like Hogan & Hartson) "raised" to $145.  We'll see if they end up having to re-up; Hogan is going to lose a lot of top grads if they're that far below the new market standard.

Are you sure that Skadden in bumping its Chicago Office up to $160,000??  If that was the case, I am sure the other firms (Sidley, Jenner, etc) would match that .

are you sure about DC going to 160?

i have a buddy who is an associate at DC latham and watkins and the general consensus for the district seems to be 145.....

http://www.law.com/jsp/llf/PubArticleLLF.jsp?id=1170151352241

UChi2L

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Re: Law firm salary increase already?
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2007, 12:32:27 PM »
Skadden has been $15K above the rest of Chicago for years. It's firm policy that compensation and bonuses are lockstep (same for all associates in each class across all offices).  Sidley and Jenner are both at $145, and staying there.  The only question left is Kirkland (although not much of one); they may separate themselves by going up to $150 but it's not likely given how ridiculous their bonus structure is.

Half of DC is up to $160, the other half is at $145.  Also, Latham hasn't announced whether it's increasing salaries at all yet (they undoubtedly will within days).