Biglaw Salaries going up?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 3864
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Why are people talking about vault rankings and not PPP rankings when deciding if firms will be able to raise salaries?

Excellent anonymous contribution.

Also, PPP "rankings" go both ways. Profits, of course, are revenue minus expenses. Some firms with really high PPP do a good job of keeping expenses down (think Quinn). Associate salary is one expense. You wouldn't necessarily expect these firms to be leading the "NYC to 190!" charge.

FSK
Posts: 6339
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby FSK » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:57 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why are people talking about vault rankings and not PPP rankings when deciding if firms will be able to raise salaries?

Excellent anonymous contribution.

Also, PPP "rankings" go both ways. Profits, of course, are revenue minus expenses. Some firms with really high PPP do a good job of keeping expenses down (think Quinn). Associate salary is one expense. You wouldn't necessarily expect these firms to be leading the "NYC to 190!" charge.


Many of the most profitable firms have huge institutional clients. Expectation of continued stability --> willingness to commit to salaries?

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:02 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:"Salaries will continue to go down in real dollars until morale improves." -Boomer managing partner



goddamned boomers MAF/ir8AF

User avatar
Cobretti
Posts: 2560
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:45 am

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby Cobretti » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:03 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Why are people talking about vault rankings and not PPP rankings when deciding if firms will be able to raise salaries?

Excellent anonymous contribution.

Also, PPP "rankings" go both ways. Profits, of course, are revenue minus expenses. Some firms with really high PPP do a good job of keeping expenses down (think Quinn). Associate salary is one expense. You wouldn't necessarily expect these firms to be leading the "NYC to 190!" charge.

+1

Also, with vault's bias towards NY transactional firms its a decent proxy for PPP. But like rpupkin said, PPP itself might not even be the best indicator. Revenue Per Lawyer is another metric that might be more relevant. 2014 top 10 for reference.

Also as a heads up the full AmLaw 100 ranking should be coming out really soon, should be interesting seeing how the top firms keep separating. Amlaw already said the top 17 NY firms saw 5.6% increased PPP overall though so it looks like the trend is continuing.

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:18 pm

Cobretti wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:If anyone on here wants to bet on base salary going up by January 1, 2017 let me know. I have $500 that says YES.

If anyone betting Hutz wants to double down, I'll take the same bet


I posted what I would bet above. I think we all believe a first year might be making 170k in NYC at 5 or so firms in NYC. THe real question is what about 20 firms in NYC or the secondary cities and what about 175k/180k/190k.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273139
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:57 pm

The managing partner who said he expects salaries to increase in the next year or two is from a top 10 firm judged by the metrics being discussed.

KM2016
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:20 am

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby KM2016 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:The managing partner who said he expects salaries to increase in the next year or two is from a top 10 firm judged by the metrics being discussed.


Just out the firm. You're anonymous.

mvp99
Posts: 1383
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby mvp99 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:45 am

Could someone answer the following.. isn't there some mild incentive to increase salaries of junior associates because it generally justifies higher rates which may translate into higher PPP... I mean.. could partners be earning 3 million if the base for junior was 70k?

User avatar
cookiejar1
Posts: 834
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:07 am

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby cookiejar1 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:51 am

KM2016 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The managing partner who said he expects salaries to increase in the next year or two is from a top 10 firm judged by the metrics being discussed.


Just out the firm. You're anonymous.

I was standing in line behind C. ALLEN PARKER at a Starbucks today when he ordered a skinny soy sugar free vanilla latte extra hot--190 degrees--while chuckling to himself. If this isn't definitive proof that NYC is going to 190K I don't know what is.

User avatar
twenty 8
Posts: 330
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:45 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby twenty 8 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:34 am

We recently hired a JA who had been offered by a couple BL firms. When the JA declined their offer the BL firm(s) asked where the JA was going and (as I hear it) the conversation then turned to compensation. Turns out the JA accepted around $20k less then what BL offered. Thing is, in terms of COL going to NYC would have more than eaten up that $20k in COL and taxes.

Point being, perhaps BL has to raise its conphensation around $185k to compete. To me it would be a lot harder to turn down $45k, even though it would still mean you’d be stuck in NYC.

FSK
Posts: 6339
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby FSK » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:08 am

twenty 8 wrote:We recently hired a JA who had been offered by a couple BL firms. When the JA declined their offer the BL firm(s) asked where the JA was going and (as I hear it) the conversation then turned to compensation. Turns out the JA accepted around $20k less then what BL offered. Thing is, in terms of COL going to NYC would have more than eaten up that $20k in COL and taxes.

Point being, perhaps BL has to raise its conphensation around $185k to compete. To me it would be a lot harder to turn down $45k, even though it would still mean you’d be stuck in NYC.


But you're relying on law students to make a prestige based choice and not choose prestige. That's basically impossible.

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:20 am

Desert Fox wrote:Dc big law is still worth it. It's shocking how much better the firm's treat people.


ya?

hmmm

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby 2014 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:41 am

twenty 8 wrote:We recently hired a JA who had been offered by a couple BL firms. When the JA declined their offer the BL firm(s) asked where the JA was going and (as I hear it) the conversation then turned to compensation. Turns out the JA accepted around $20k less then what BL offered. Thing is, in terms of COL going to NYC would have more than eaten up that $20k in COL and taxes.

Point being, perhaps BL has to raise its conphensation around $185k to compete. To me it would be a lot harder to turn down $45k, even though it would still mean you’d be stuck in NYC.

Surely things like this could help you'd think. People talk about salaries being stuck because law firms don't really compete with non-law for talent, but if perceived talent is selecting away from NY for COL reasons it might compel NY to jack it up to compete, especially if it doesn't expect smaller primaries and secondaries to raise.


What I don't get is why a couple more V100 type firms haven't gone the Boies route and raised base salaries even marginally. Boies paying 178 or w/e was enough to hear classmates rumbling about taking it over the more usual blue collar firms and I can't see why that wouldn't be true if like Hughes Hubbard Reed or whoever did the same.

User avatar
cookiejar1
Posts: 834
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:07 am

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby cookiejar1 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:22 am

What I don't get is why a couple more V100 type firms haven't gone the Boies route and raised base salaries even marginally. Boies paying 178 or w/e was enough to hear classmates rumbling about taking it over the more usual blue collar firms and I can't see why that wouldn't be true if like Hughes Hubbard Reed or whoever did the same.


Cahill Gordon pays above market bonuses and nobody at our school seemed to give a shit.

People are choosing to go to Boies because of David Boies' ball busting prestige not necessarily the higher base comp. At least that's my impression.

User avatar
unlicensedpotato
Posts: 412
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:44 pm

Cahill Gordon pays above market bonuses and nobody at our school seemed to give a shit.

People are choosing to go to Boies because of David Boies' ball busting prestige not necessarily the higher base comp. At least that's my impression.


Firms like Boies and Susman currently pay above market in terms of nominal dollars. I'm not sure that they pay above the market on a per billable hour basis for the average associate. That's why it doesn't pressure traditional NY firms.

Hutz_and_Goodman
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:42 am

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:49 pm

I find it really hard to believe that NYC big law will hit the 10 year mark without any raise in 1st year comp. The number of law grads is way down and the percentage of law grads who want to and can do the work needed is (conservatively) less than 20% of grads.

FSK
Posts: 6339
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby FSK » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:52 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I find it really hard to believe that NYC big law will hit the 10 year mark without any raise in 1st year comp. The number of law grads is way down and the percentage of law grads who want to and can do the work needed is (conservatively) less than 20% of grads.


Skeptical of this. The classes sizes at the T14 are not much lower than they used to be. Biglaw don't care that cooley's shutting its doors.

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:00 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I find it really hard to believe that NYC big law will hit the 10 year mark without any raise in 1st year comp. The number of law grads is way down and the percentage of law grads who want to and can do the work needed is (conservatively) less than 20% of grads.


what's the source of pressure to raise base comp?

firms don't give AF cuz they're still gonna get top talent

and at a time when firms are racing to increase PPP, decrease costs and retain clients who don't want to pay for training juniors, there's just absolutely no reason to raise base comps for juniors

fck, before that happens I could see some sort of TTT "apprenticeship" where firms have a tranche of juniors that get paid like 80K to battle each other for a small % chance at a midlevel-esque position that starts at like 200K or something

Hutz_and_Goodman
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:42 am

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:21 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I find it really hard to believe that NYC big law will hit the 10 year mark without any raise in 1st year comp. The number of law grads is way down and the percentage of law grads who want to and can do the work needed is (conservatively) less than 20% of grads.


what's the source of pressure to raise base comp?

firms don't give AF cuz they're still gonna get top talent

and at a time when firms are racing to increase PPP, decrease costs and retain clients who don't want to pay for training juniors, there's just absolutely no reason to raise base comps for juniors

fck, before that happens I could see some sort of TTT "apprenticeship" where firms have a tranche of juniors that get paid like 80K to battle each other for a small % chance at a midlevel-esque position that starts at like 200K or something


If this type of thing were going to happen it would have in the last 7 years.
Mark my words NYC to 170k (or more) by 2017. Law school classes (even at t14) are smaller and people with an offer in another market are increasingly taking it bc NYC is crazy expensive and compensation is not tracking COL. NYC big law firms will have to up the ante to keep up.
Last edited by Hutz_and_Goodman on Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cobretti
Posts: 2560
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:45 am

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby Cobretti » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:22 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I find it really hard to believe that NYC big law will hit the 10 year mark without any raise in 1st year comp. The number of law grads is way down and the percentage of law grads who want to and can do the work needed is (conservatively) less than 20% of grads.


what's the source of pressure to raise base comp?

firms don't give AF cuz they're still gonna get top talent

and at a time when firms are racing to increase PPP, decrease costs and retain clients who don't want to pay for training juniors, there's just absolutely no reason to raise base comps for juniors

fck, before that happens I could see some sort of TTT "apprenticeship" where firms have a tranche of juniors that get paid like 80K to battle each other for a small % chance at a midlevel-esque position that starts at like 200K or something

How do you figure?

There are substantially less graduating JDs now than 5 years ago, and the decrease is the greatest among the "top talent" applicants; meanwhile demand for talent has increased year over year since 2011. And if firms didn't buy into "top talent" equating to a combination of grades/law school prestige we wouldn't see firm hiring being driven almost entirely by those factors like it has been for years. If firms really thought everyone at the T14 was top talent that they would be happy with hiring, they would place more emphasis on interviews and less emphasis on grade cutoffs.

FSK
Posts: 6339
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby FSK » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:27 pm

Cobretti wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I find it really hard to believe that NYC big law will hit the 10 year mark without any raise in 1st year comp. The number of law grads is way down and the percentage of law grads who want to and can do the work needed is (conservatively) less than 20% of grads.


what's the source of pressure to raise base comp?

firms don't give AF cuz they're still gonna get top talent

and at a time when firms are racing to increase PPP, decrease costs and retain clients who don't want to pay for training juniors, there's just absolutely no reason to raise base comps for juniors

fck, before that happens I could see some sort of TTT "apprenticeship" where firms have a tranche of juniors that get paid like 80K to battle each other for a small % chance at a midlevel-esque position that starts at like 200K or something

How do you figure?

There are substantially less graduating JDs now than 5 years ago, and the decrease is the greatest among the "top talent" applicants; meanwhile demand for talent has increased year over year since 2011. And if firms didn't buy into "top talent" equating to a combination of grades/law school prestige we wouldn't see firm hiring being driven almost entirely by those factors like it has been for years. If firms really thought everyone at the T14 was top talent that they would be happy with hiring, they would place more emphasis on interviews and less emphasis on grade cutoffs.


How do you figure top talent has decreased? I'm not sure that the total number of T14 students has gone down substantianlly, and if it has its likely not more than the decrease of biglaw positions accross the big firms.

Hutz_and_Goodman
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:42 am

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:29 pm

Flawschool kid: the # of JD grads has decreased and the % who have "elite" LSAT scores has decreased. So you have fewer bodies + fewer top performers.

FSK
Posts: 6339
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:47 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby FSK » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:32 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Flawschool kid: the # of JD grads has decreased and the % who have "elite" LSAT scores has decreased. So you have fewer bodies + fewer top performers.


Well, Harvard still churns out 600 a year with Law school GPAs. Do firms actually care about credentials before law school in a meaningful way, compared to how much they care about what LS you attended + Class rank?

If anything, having less elite applicants puts less pressure on law firms. There's probably less people with solid w/e (IB/PE/or whatever) that actually have a shot in hell of finding alterantive careers.

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:32 pm

id be elated if i end up being wrong

im not wrong that often, tho

re last comment - we already have top-tier/boutiques with alt models above "market" and things haven't changed much, other than w&c responding to bigger bonuses

this is a business brah, it's a race to the bottom on junior associate comp when all the focus is on PPP

we're not special snowflakes entitled to top dollar...hell, lots of firms write-off juniors hours

also, r u all 0Ls/in LS?

User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14396
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: Biglaw Salaries going up?

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:38 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Flawschool kid: the # of JD grads has decreased and the % who have "elite" LSAT scores has decreased. So you have fewer bodies + fewer top performers.


I'm not entirely sure that decrease has been consistent among the elite LSAT scores. T14 median LSATs aren't down that much.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.