NYC to 180k

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wiseowl
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby wiseowl » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:04 pm

run26.2 wrote:
wiseowl wrote:With due respect because the guy is a baller, Desmarais is now basically a patent troll for hire. He can diversify back I'm sure, but for now, not sure how sustainable that business model is.

What do you mean by diversify back?


do something other than be a patent troll. poach some of his old book of business from K&E and just be a small-scale elite lit boutique.

concurrent fork
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby concurrent fork » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:11 pm

r6_philly wrote:
concurrent fork wrote:Questionable reporting by ATL on this one. I really doubt the big firms see any retention threat from an IP boutique moving to 180K. I also fail to see how this will "trickle down through recruiting" since 99% of law students don't have an EE degree.

I'm hopeful, but realistic.


So new IP associates to 180k? :mrgreen:

Maybe -- I'm actually surprised this hasn't happened yet. IP peeps should command a premium over sociology BAs due to higher demand.

run26.2
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby run26.2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:14 pm

concurrent fork wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
concurrent fork wrote:Questionable reporting by ATL on this one. I really doubt the big firms see any retention threat from an IP boutique moving to 180K. I also fail to see how this will "trickle down through recruiting" since 99% of law students don't have an EE degree.

I'm hopeful, but realistic.


So new IP associates to 180k? :mrgreen:

Maybe -- I'm actually surprised this hasn't happened yet. IP peeps should command a premium over sociology majors due to higher demand.

Some IP associates do have the potential to make more, depending on the firm (not even a "boutique").

Actually, IP associates did have a different pay scale at one time, although, I'm not sure base was every above 160. I think the rest of the associates simply caught up.

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Doritos
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby Doritos » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:15 pm

concurrent fork wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
concurrent fork wrote:Questionable reporting by ATL on this one. I really doubt the big firms see any retention threat from an IP boutique moving to 180K. I also fail to see how this will "trickle down through recruiting" since 99% of law students don't have an EE degree.

I'm hopeful, but realistic.


So new IP associates to 180k? :mrgreen:

Maybe -- I'm actually surprised this hasn't happened yet. IP peeps should command a premium over sociology BAs due to higher demand.


When IP associates decide to go in-house they are typically paid a fair amount more so you've got that to look forward to.

run26.2
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby run26.2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:18 pm

wiseowl wrote:
run26.2 wrote:
wiseowl wrote:With due respect because the guy is a baller, Desmarais is now basically a patent troll for hire. He can diversify back I'm sure, but for now, not sure how sustainable that business model is.

What do you mean by diversify back?


do something other than be a patent troll. poach some of his old book of business from K&E and just be a small-scale elite lit boutique.

Gotcha.

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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby r6_philly » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:25 pm

run26.2 wrote:
concurrent fork wrote:
r6_philly wrote:So new IP associates to 180k? :mrgreen:

Maybe -- I'm actually surprised this hasn't happened yet. IP peeps should command a premium over sociology majors due to higher demand.

Some IP associates do have the potential to make more, depending on the firm (not even a "boutique").

Actually, IP associates did have a different pay scale at one time, although, I'm not sure base was every above 160. I think the rest of the associates simply caught up.


Maybe the Desmarais move can push market higher, I can hope. Loyola seems to be full of employers this year, hopefully the demand increase will drive the price point up again.

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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:30 pm

yeah patent litigation can command a premium. last year, or maybe 2010, quinn emanuel offered some headhunter-premium for EEs, and then expanded that to all tech backgrounds. i dont think the ASSOCIATE got that money, but the headhunters sure did.

last semester, someone who gave a talk at my law school graduated with EE and a t6 law school, clerked on a patent-heavy district court, then on the federal circuit, and got some jumbo bonus (80k) or something from a patent litigation firm. but maybe that was for double clerking - although i know that some firms give slightly higher bonus if you clerk on the federal circuit.

i guess the federal circuit is to patents what a clerkship in delaware would be to corp.

run26.2
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby run26.2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:37 pm

r6_philly wrote:
run26.2 wrote:
concurrent fork wrote:
r6_philly wrote:So new IP associates to 180k? :mrgreen:

Maybe -- I'm actually surprised this hasn't happened yet. IP peeps should command a premium over sociology majors due to higher demand.

Some IP associates do have the potential to make more, depending on the firm (not even a "boutique").

Actually, IP associates did have a different pay scale at one time, although, I'm not sure base was every above 160. I think the rest of the associates simply caught up.


Maybe the Desmarais move can push market higher, I can hope. Loyola seems to be full of employers this year, hopefully the demand increase will drive the price point up again.

Hmmm. Not sure if an oversupply of IP employers could do this. A lot of the GP firms are getting really strong IP practices (Wilmer, K&E, or possibly a non-GP like Quinn). I think those employers would be the ones to move the market, but I could be wrong. In any case, at least 2 of those 3 arguably pay above mkt with their bonuses already.

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sunynp
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby sunynp » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:45 pm

Are you guys serious? How can anyone think that the salaries are going up when firms are still getting over people being deferred, the top firms aren't giving spring bonuses and Dewey is on the verge of collapse? Plenty of qualified people go to firms for $160,000, where is the pressure for raising the salary? If you are talking about retention, where are people going to go to make more?

I'm not even sure how you can bother to have this conversation.

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Veyron
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby Veyron » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:47 pm

Its not only patent firms that are doing that but firms that specialize in other fields of law as well. Its only the big general practice firms that seem to be fixed into the 160 payscale.

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sunynp
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby sunynp » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:49 pm

Veyron wrote:Its not only patent firms that are doing that but firms that specialize in other fields of law as well. Its only the big general practice firms that seem to be fixed into the 160 payscale.


Ah, well, biglaw NYC is all I know about. So have at it!

r6_philly
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby r6_philly » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:06 pm

run26.2 wrote:Hmmm. Not sure if an oversupply of IP employers could do this. A lot of the GP firms are getting really strong IP practices (Wilmer, K&E, or possibly a non-GP like Quinn). I think those employers would be the ones to move the market, but I could be wrong. In any case, at least 2 of those 3 arguably pay above mkt with their bonuses already.


Maybe the GP firms will scoop up too many talents leaving the boutiques to up the pay? Perhaps it will be hard for GP firms to raise pay in one group, but perhaps they can pay better bonus?

Quinn is not at PLIP btw, interesting.

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Old Gregg
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby Old Gregg » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:22 pm

Elie is a fucking idiot. Big firms will sooner match boutiques like W&C and Boies before they match a glorified patent troll.

rad lulz
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby rad lulz » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:26 pm

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Last edited by rad lulz on Wed May 29, 2013 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:58 pm

Yeah but there is still an overabundance of eager entry level lawyers. Firms don't need to raise salaries to fill their ranks with median GULC kids anymore.

Law students: people who spend months of their lives using the Hand formula to figure out whether it's cool not to compensate innocent victims of railroad accidents because, like, rational choices will take care of it in the aggregate, and then complain that it's "unfair" when law firms don't pay them more money because the partners are making more. We are a bunch of fucking regressive socialists.

Renzo
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby Renzo » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:59 pm

sunynp wrote:Are you guys serious? How can anyone think that the salaries are going up when firms are still getting over people being deferred, the top firms aren't giving spring bonuses and Dewey is on the verge of collapse? Plenty of qualified people go to firms for $160,000, where is the pressure for raising the salary? If you are talking about retention, where are people going to go to make more?

I'm not even sure how you can bother to have this conversation.

First, I don't think salaries are going up. Desmarais isn't big enough to move the market. But, there is extraordinary pressure among law firms to conform to "market" pay and bonuses, because the whole industry is built on reputation, and the customers are savvy. So firms aren't paying $180, or even $160 to fill an office with anyone qualified, they are paying that much to attract a few superstars; the rest of the associate class is just free-riding on them.

if a firm isn't recruiting it's fair share of Harvard grads and Order of the Coif members, the firms won't be able to justify charging outrageous hourly rates for their time. If clients start to balk at bills, and the younger associates bring in less, that money comes straight out of a partner's pocket. If that partner doesn't have a contract, and has business, they are going to skip on down the road, and boom-you're Howrey.

And in biglaw, retention isn't about where are people going to go and make more, it's a matter of "are we paying these miserable fucks enough to keep them from quitting to go work sane hours at half the salary."

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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby thesealocust » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:06 pm

Renzo wrote: And in biglaw, retention isn't about where are people going to go and make more, it's a matter of "are we paying these miserable fucks enough to keep them from quitting to go work sane hours at half the salary."


This. People leave big law to earn less and also feel less suicidal, not to earn more. The point about retention is that when the market heats up (and it is) more opportunities for less shitty (and likely less well remunerated) jobs open up and firms start losing attorneys. They mess with salary and bonus to try and lose fewer attorneys.

As for base salary vs. bonuses vs. the supply of law students vs. the quality of those students vs. any number of other factors, it's all black magic figured out by the firms. A global base salary increase doesn't seem likely, but it's hardly out of the question just because there are more law students than big firm jobs. That's always been (extremely) true. At the height of the contraction we were looking at maybe 50K law students / year for maybe 4K big firm jobs; at the height of the boom it wasn't likely any more than 45K students / 6K big firm jobs. Salaries went up then even though the supply was super-saturated. The fact that it's more super-saturated now can't be terribly relevant, per Renzo's reasoning.

run26.2
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby run26.2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:12 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:Yeah but there is still an overabundance of eager entry level lawyers. Firms don't need to raise salaries to fill their ranks with median GULC kids anymore.

Law students: people who spend months of their lives using the Hand formula to figure out whether it's cool not to compensate innocent victims of railroad accidents because, like, rational choices will take care of it in the aggregate, and then complain that it's "unfair" when law firms don't pay them more money because the partners are making more. We are a bunch of fucking regressive socialists.

If you want to go do the best work in litigation or transaction, you pretty much have to go to the type of firm that pays market salary (there are a few exceptions but these jobs are extremely hard to get). Law students might be naive in some ways, but there aren't market solutions to the problem. The reason is that biglaw firms basically have a stranglehold on high dollar work. In this way, it is unlike business, where the barriers to entry are lower (i.e. a good idea, good salesmanship, and hard work and you're well on your way to making money).

So I don't really see that you can argue that you can start your own firm (assuming this is what you're implying) because your paycheck is going to be very low for a long period of time, essentially regardless of how skilled you are. Maybe in 8 or 10 years you can bring down high 6 figures, but by that time you're still behind someone that went the biglaw route. And the person from biglaw can strike out on her/his own at that point.

run26.2
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby run26.2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:17 pm

thesealocust wrote:People leave big law to earn less and also feel less suicidal, not to earn more.

Some do leave to earn more, e.g. a partner who's distributions are less than she could bring in on her own (e.g. Desmaris, Powers) or a senior associate that may not make partner at a biglaw firm but could do so at a smaller firm. But these are more exceptions than the rule.

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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:26 pm

run26.2 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Yeah but there is still an overabundance of eager entry level lawyers. Firms don't need to raise salaries to fill their ranks with median GULC kids anymore.

Law students: people who spend months of their lives using the Hand formula to figure out whether it's cool not to compensate innocent victims of railroad accidents because, like, rational choices will take care of it in the aggregate, and then complain that it's "unfair" when law firms don't pay them more money because the partners are making more. We are a bunch of fucking regressive socialists.

If you want to go do the best work in litigation or transaction, you pretty much have to go to the type of firm that pays market salary (there are a few exceptions but these jobs are extremely hard to get). Law students might be naive in some ways, but there aren't market solutions to the problem. The reason is that biglaw firms basically have a stranglehold on high dollar work. In this way, it is unlike business, where the barriers to entry are lower (i.e. a good idea, good salesmanship, and hard work and you're well on your way to making money).

So I don't really see that you can argue that you can start your own firm (assuming this is what you're implying) because your paycheck is going to be very low for a long period of time, essentially regardless of how skilled you are. Maybe in 8 or 10 years you can bring down high 6 figures, but by that time you're still behind someone that went the biglaw route. And the person from biglaw can strike out on her/his own at that point.

My point is that there is zero need for any of these firms to raise their starting salaries right now because there is an oversupply of adequately qualified people, by which I mean graduates from prestigious schools whose bios will look good on firm websites and who are likely to do solid work. There have always been far more law grads than biglaw jobs, but it used to be the case that there weren't many more interested T14 grads than there were biglaw jobs. There was some pressure on the entry-level labor market. That's gone totally slack now. Cravath doesn't need to demonstrate for anyone how elite they are by trying to leapfrog other firms in compensation. They can say "we're goddamn Cravath and if you don't think that's good enough, we'll just take the next guy from Harvard Law Review."

The whole retention issue on the backend is something I don't feel qualified to speak to, but this is how it looks to me on the front end recruiting side.

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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:26 pm

I realize that we are probably far from NY moving to 180k as a whole. But once that happens, does that force DC to 180k as well or has there historically been a lag before DC matches a new high?

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Old Gregg
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:08 am

I don't understand where you all are getting that the junior associate market for laterals is strong, or that firms are close to needing to raise salaries to retain them.

1) The lateral market, at the moment, is only strong for midlevel and senior associates. It's a little weaker than what it was this time last year, but it's still very strong. If there's to be a salary raise any time soon, it'll be for the scale at the middle and upper end of the salary spectrum.

2) No one cares about junior associates. I'm a junior associate, and yes I get recruiter calls about twice or three times a week, but it's the same bullshit jobs over and over again. Moreover, firms aren't super concerned about, and maybe even anticipate, the voluntarily departure of junior associates.

3) Don't look for junior associate salaries to go up any time soon. This is partly because of (2), but it's also mostly because demand for junior associates is permanently depressed. Yes, while top firms have returned their junior associate classes to pre-ITE levels*, most firms haven't, and the junior associate demand at not-so-top firms is what formed the bulk of the demand for junior associates. Clients don't want to pay for junior associates, even at top firms, but top firms have the revenue structure that allows for better writing-off junior associate hours than not-top firms. Keep in mind, my definition of "top" is strict. By "top" I mean the top 15 or so firms. That's not to say that the rest are TTTs

*And I don't understand why an associate would be attracted to a firm that has SA classes return to pre-ITE sizes. People act like this is a good thing. But here's the problem: Cleary, for example, is around 500-600 lawyers strong in NYC. And their summer class size is around 110-120? Assuming they all start, that would mean a growth in headcount at around 20% year after year. That's insane and unsustainable. And what it really means is that you truly have a clock on your head at which you better leave on your own or you're going to get fired. I realize that TLS already knows this conventional wisdom, but it's still somewhat funny that students will bemoan the revolving door in biglaw and then turn right around and praise how "well" their firm is doing. Moreover, there are top firms that don't have such ridiculous class sizes and where you don't have nearly as short a clock sitting on your head. Just food for thought.

But at the end of the day, whoever started this thread is dumb and this thread is overall just plain dumb.

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sunynp
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby sunynp » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:27 am

Renzo wrote:
sunynp wrote:Are you guys serious? How can anyone think that the salaries are going up when firms are still getting over people being deferred, the top firms aren't giving spring bonuses and Dewey is on the verge of collapse? Plenty of qualified people go to firms for $160,000, where is the pressure for raising the salary? If you are talking about retention, where are people going to go to make more?

I'm not even sure how you can bother to have this conversation.

First, I don't think salaries are going up. Desmarais isn't big enough to move the market. But, there is extraordinary pressure among law firms to conform to "market" pay and bonuses, because the whole industry is built on reputation, and the customers are savvy. So firms aren't paying $180, or even $160 to fill an office with anyone qualified, they are paying that much to attract a few superstars; the rest of the associate class is just free-riding on them.

if a firm isn't recruiting it's fair share of Harvard grads and Order of the Coif members, the firms won't be able to justify charging outrageous hourly rates for their time. If clients start to balk at bills, and the younger associates bring in less, that money comes straight out of a partner's pocket. If that partner doesn't have a contract, and has business, they are going to skip on down the road, and boom-you're Howrey.

And in biglaw, retention isn't about where are people going to go and make more, it's a matter of "are we paying these miserable fucks enough to keep them from quitting to go work sane hours at half the salary."



Clients balk at bills from junior associates and don't give a damn what school they are from. Clients know that they are paying to train people who don't know anything. They don't say well that guy went to Harvard so I guess this bill is worth it. Firms recruit top students because they want smart people who can do good work.

I also think firms worry less about retention because repaying loans are going to keep most associates locked in for a solid few years. And they don't care if you leave unless you are insanely talented. Even then, they get over it.

gulcregret
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby gulcregret » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:58 am

I was going to post a long entry about why firms aren't going to raise salaries, but then I realized this thread was for fun. So now I am just going to say DC to 180 plus 2007 bonuses of 35k for first years! Loans will be gone in 3 years.

legalnoeagle
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Re: NYC to 180k

Postby legalnoeagle » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:40 am

Fresh Prince wrote:I don't understand where you all are getting that the junior associate market for laterals is strong, or that firms are close to needing to raise salaries to retain them.

1) The lateral market, at the moment, is only strong for midlevel and senior associates. It's a little weaker than what it was this time last year, but it's still very strong. If there's to be a salary raise any time soon, it'll be for the scale at the middle and upper end of the salary spectrum.

2) No one cares about junior associates. I'm a junior associate, and yes I get recruiter calls about twice or three times a week, but it's the same bullshit jobs over and over again. Moreover, firms aren't super concerned about, and maybe even anticipate, the voluntarily departure of junior associates.

3) Don't look for junior associate salaries to go up any time soon. This is partly because of (2), but it's also mostly because demand for junior associates is permanently depressed. Yes, while top firms have returned their junior associate classes to pre-ITE levels*, most firms haven't, and the junior associate demand at not-so-top firms is what formed the bulk of the demand for junior associates. Clients don't want to pay for junior associates, even at top firms, but top firms have the revenue structure that allows for better writing-off junior associate hours than not-top firms. Keep in mind, my definition of "top" is strict. By "top" I mean the top 15 or so firms. That's not to say that the rest are TTTs

*And I don't understand why an associate would be attracted to a firm that has SA classes return to pre-ITE sizes. People act like this is a good thing. But here's the problem: Cleary, for example, is around 500-600 lawyers strong in NYC. And their summer class size is around 110-120? Assuming they all start, that would mean a growth in headcount at around 20% year after year. That's insane and unsustainable. And what it really means is that you truly have a clock on your head at which you better leave on your own or you're going to get fired. I realize that TLS already knows this conventional wisdom, but it's still somewhat funny that students will bemoan the revolving door in biglaw and then turn right around and praise how "well" their firm is doing. Moreover, there are top firms that don't have such ridiculous class sizes and where you don't have nearly as short a clock sitting on your head. Just food for thought.

But at the end of the day, whoever started this thread is dumb and this thread is overall just plain dumb.



:?
So because DPW or Cleary or S&C has 100+ class sizes, you would avoid them in favor of, say, Cravath or Skadden or STB because their class sizes are 20 lower? Are we ignoring the fact that the top firms that have not yet returned to 'pre-ITE' levels were also the firms that deferred associates? Are we assuming that junior associate turnover is largely coerced and not voluntary at top firms?




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