Lockstep Salary Different by City?

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Anonymous User
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Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:00 pm

If I get into a top 10 law firm, then what is the difference in the long term lockstep salary over time between that SAME firm's locations in different cities? For example NYC/LA/Chicago/Boston/DC etc? Still higher exponential salary in NYC? If that's the case isn't it offset by NYC's high taxes and high living expenses?

KidStuddi
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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby KidStuddi » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:19 pm

Top 10 as defined by whom?
If you're referring to Vault rankings, you can be fairly sure that associates at V10 firms are payed on the same lockstep scale, regardless of location. This is the case at a sizable portion of the Vault 100 firms, not just the top 10.

Regarding NYC's cost of living: http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010

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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:45 pm

I have a similar question. Does this also differ by firm? i.e., if a firm says that it follows lockstep compensation, and it pays market for first years, is it guaranteed to follow this scale? Or can some lower V100s (or other firms) follow smaller raises, albeit while still being "lockstep?"

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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:09 pm

KidStuddi wrote:Top 10 as defined by whom?
If you're referring to Vault rankings, you can be fairly sure that associates at V10 firms are payed on the same lockstep scale, regardless of location. This is the case at a sizable portion of the Vault 100 firms, not just the top 10.

Regarding NYC's cost of living: http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010


How much better off would I be if I was making 140k in Miami vs 160k in NYC

Omerta
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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby Omerta » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:09 pm

Definitely varies by firm. For example, A+B pays the same first year associate salary as K&S. However, K&S has larger pay increases as associates become more senior. It would be correct to say that some firms pay market, but do not follow lockstep increases.


Anonymous User wrote:How much better off would I be if I was making 140k in Miami vs 160k in NYC

idk

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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:13 pm

Omerta wrote:Definitely varies by firm. For example, A+B pays the same first year associate salary as K&S. However, K&S has larger pay increases as associates become more senior. It would be correct to say that some firms pay market, but do not follow lockstep increases.


Anonymous User wrote:How much better off would I be if I was making 140k in Miami vs 160k in NYC

idk


I dont understand that whole buying power crap. Over my head.

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thesealocust
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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:00 am

NB: Almost every Prestigious firm in a Big city pays a $160,000 starting salary, but the lock-step raises each year can vary dramatically. The most obvious example I recall is texas firms, where your yearly raise pales in comparison to firms in NYC for the most part.

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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:17 am

thesealocust - Your answer is generally correct, but I think it is more complicated.

V&E's pay structure is New York lockstep contingent on hitting 2,000 hours, so they have a back-loaded compensation program.

Baker Botts' compensation structure is complicated, but the all-in is comparable to New York firms I think.

And this is notwithstanding the Weils, Lathams, Sidley Austins, Akin Gumps, Patton Boggs, and Jones Days of the Texas world -- they pay national market.

And I've yet to see what this Texas lockstep is. I do believe you, but a portion of Texas firms do not fit in the compressed lockstep model.

KidStuddi
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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby KidStuddi » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:Top 10 as defined by whom?
If you're referring to Vault rankings, you can be fairly sure that associates at V10 firms are payed on the same lockstep scale, regardless of location. This is the case at a sizable portion of the Vault 100 firms, not just the top 10.

Regarding NYC's cost of living: http://www.nalp.org/buying_power_index_class_of_2010


How much better off would I be if I was making 140k in Miami vs 160k in NYC


It's not too hard. The article says $78,370 in Miami is equivalent to 160,000 in NYC.

160000/78,370 = 2.04159755008294. Every $1 in NYC = $2.04 in Miami.
140,000*2.04159755008294 == 285,823.6570116116

So if this data is to be believed, earning 140k per year in Miami is the functional equivalent of making ~286k per year in NYC.

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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby de5igual » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:thesealocust - Your answer is generally correct, but I think it is more complicated.

V&E's pay structure is New York lockstep contingent on hitting 2,000 hours, so they have a back-loaded compensation program.

Baker Botts' compensation structure is complicated, but the all-in is comparable to New York firms I think.

And this is notwithstanding the Weils, Lathams, Sidley Austins, Akin Gumps, Patton Boggs, and Jones Days of the Texas world -- they pay national market.

And I've yet to see what this Texas lockstep is. I do believe you, but a portion of Texas firms do not fit in the compressed lockstep model.


the thing with Texas lockstep is that it's more or less a blackbox. Most sources don't mention salaries past year 1, and so it's hard to gauge as an associate whether what you're paid is really market. While this source is outdated, it gives you an idea of how some Texas firms with 160K starting salaries progress (see, e.g., Porter Hedges): http://www.infirmation.com/shared/search/payscale-compare.tcl?city=Houston . As you mentioned, some firms have adjusted to be more in line with New York firms, but I highly doubt that to be the case with the more Texas-focused firms (e.g., AK, HB, TK et al).

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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:07 am

But, see the highest bonuses are still in New York City, right? That's the dealbreaker, right? Base salary and lockstep for top law firms are the same everywhere for the same firm in all cities.

de5igual
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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby de5igual » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:But, see the highest bonuses are still in New York City, right? That's the dealbreaker, right? Base salary and lockstep for top law firms are the same everywhere for the same firm in all cities.


I don't think you realize just how tiny bonuses are now

http://abovethelaw.com/2011/11/breaking ... us-season/

There are a multitude of reasons for choosing NYC, but pay is never one of them.

bdubs
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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby bdubs » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:But, see the highest bonuses are still in New York City, right? That's the dealbreaker, right? Base salary and lockstep for top law firms are the same everywhere for the same firm in all cities.


Most lockstep firms pay the same bonuses in large secondary markets too.

I don't know why this is so hard, just research the firm to find out if it is not lockstep. If it is lockstep, the assumption is that it follows the Cravath scale for both salary and bonus. Everything outside of lockstep is the wild west, anything goes.

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IAFG
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Re: Lockstep Salary Different by City?

Postby IAFG » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:31 pm

f0bolous wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:But, see the highest bonuses are still in New York City, right? That's the dealbreaker, right? Base salary and lockstep for top law firms are the same everywhere for the same firm in all cities.


I don't think you realize just how tiny bonuses are now

http://abovethelaw.com/2011/11/breaking ... us-season/

There are a multitude of reasons for choosing NYC, but pay is never one of them.

All these people assuming perpetual shit bonuses are gonna be tso mad in 3-5 years.

That said, it takes a LOT of money to make up for the COL differences.




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