What is the deal with McDermott Will & Emery's compensation?

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What is the deal with McDermott Will & Emery's compensation?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:53 pm

It looks like a few years ago they switched to a three-tiered compensation system at McDermott, where your base salary is $145k and bonuses are based on hours as well as "performance". I can't find any reliable information on the internet about exactly how this plays out in practice -- all I found is one claim that you do not even make the full $145k unless you hit 2000 hours. Can anybody clarify what this firm's salary policy actually is?

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JohannDeMann
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Re: What is the deal with McDermott Will & Emery's compensation?

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:10 pm

Chicago or where? I was under the impression they paid market while I was interviewing there.

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Re: What is the deal with McDermott Will & Emery's compensation?

Postby What the f.supp? » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:46 am

I am curious about this as well - thought/assumed they were market. Anyone know anything?

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Re: What is the deal with McDermott Will & Emery's compensation?

Postby DoveBodyWash » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:50 am

In the Chicago office they have three bands for associate compensation. Theoretically you can advance into the next band as soon as you demonstrate that you've "mastered" the necessary skills, but it basically takes two years to advance. The bands are 160, 175, 200. So from years 1-2 you're making 160, then 3-4 it's 175, and 5-6 it's 200k. Then you presumably stay there or make nonequity partner. So it's market for the first year and varies after.


ETA: interviewed with them during most recent OCI cycle, this is what all the partners i met post-offer told me.

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Re: What is the deal with McDermott Will & Emery's compensation?

Postby gk101 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:01 pm

cusenation wrote:In the Chicago office they have three bands for associate compensation. Theoretically you can advance into the next band as soon as you demonstrate that you've "mastered" the necessary skills, but it basically takes two years to advance. The bands are 160, 175, 200. So from years 1-2 you're making 160, then 3-4 it's 175, and 5-6 it's 200k. Then you presumably stay there or make nonequity partner. So it's market for the first year and varies after.


ETA: interviewed with them during most recent OCI cycle, this is what all the partners i met post-offer told me.

There are a couple of other Chicago firms that do this as well. Drinker Biddle, if I remember correctly, has a similar model

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Re: What is the deal with McDermott Will & Emery's compensation?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:18 pm

Vault mentions the different bands thing and claims that the majority of associates make market or above in total compensation, but I'd also be curious to know more about this.

Based on what Cuse said, seems like salary is below market except for the first year. If market ever does increase, I suppose this would also mean less pressure on the firm to raise salaries. For bonuses, they could also just tell everyone they performed at Band 1/2 and give nobody Band 3 and the associates probably wouldn't be any the wiser. The system also allows more leeway to reward performance, etc. Seems pretty smart from their perspective, maybe not good for the associates though.

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Re: What is the deal with McDermott Will & Emery's compensation?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:54 pm

cusenation wrote:In the Chicago office they have three bands for associate compensation. Theoretically you can advance into the next band as soon as you demonstrate that you've "mastered" the necessary skills, but it basically takes two years to advance. The bands are 160, 175, 200. So from years 1-2 you're making 160, then 3-4 it's 175, and 5-6 it's 200k. Then you presumably stay there or make nonequity partner. So it's market for the first year and varies after.


ETA: interviewed with them during most recent OCI cycle, this is what all the partners i met post-offer told me.


I had heard (anecdotally) that it was more like $145k, $175k, and $185k, but that to even receive a paycheck in the full amount of $145k, you must meet or exceed 2000 hours. Is that true?

ETA: I am referring to McDermott in an East-Coast satellite office (smaller market).

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Re: What is the deal with McDermott Will & Emery's compensation?

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:01 pm

well there are difference between what MWE will pay in Chicago and a smaller market, so both of these statements above could be true. Nobody that's chimed in so far has been speaking to smaller markets.

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Re: What is the deal with McDermott Will & Emery's compensation?

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:09 pm

the billable requirement sounds dumb though. because they pay your base salary for a year, and then when they find out you havent billed 2000, you have already collected 1 year of base pay (145/160 whatever it is). The billable requirement Im sure only affects your promotion within the tiered system and bonuses.

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Re: What is the deal with McDermott Will & Emery's compensation?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:50 pm

I had previously thought they paid market salary and just varied the bonuses, but I guess not. Kind of tricky of them to pay first years 160 as most people will look at that, Vault ranking, size, etc. and just assume they pay market.




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