Negotiating BigLaw First-Year Associate Compensation?

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Anonymous User
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Re: Negotiating BigLaw First-Year Associate Compensation?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:51 pm

Clearly people are referring to differing definitions of "Biglaw" when they are talking about this stuff.

The bigger and more lockstep the firm, the less likely you will be able to negotiate an individualized salary or bonus. The reason for this is that things like this have to go through one or more committees and people before they can be approved in a lockstep firm. In a firm where the partners have more shot-calling authority and lockstep isn't as big of a thing, you might be more able to negotiate because a partner can add on to his/her own personal overhead if they think it will pay returns but that only works if you officially belong to a particular partner, or at least a particular group.

Boutiques and patent firms/independent groups are always going to be a little easier to negotiate with because they are smaller and worry less about setting a bad precedent or generating inequity within the ranks. That being said, your bargaining position may not be great if you only have an offer from a biglaw firm that everyone knows isn't going to change its offer for a new associate.

JD/MBA and patent bonuses/perks are a little different because they are usually a firm policy and are not "negotiable." You either get them or you don't and the amount has been preapproved by the committees and shot-callers who care because attracting those categories of people matters to them for one reason or another.

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Cobretti
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Re: Negotiating BigLaw First-Year Associate Compensation?

Postby Cobretti » Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Kirkland gives a year upgrades for JD/MBA.

+Skadden (and I think most of the V10s)

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Re: Negotiating BigLaw First-Year Associate Compensation?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:30 pm

When I lateraled as a midlevel (to a V50), I was able to negotiate both class year (for a number of reasons specific to my situation that I can't get into) and signing bonus. I've not heard of anyone negotiating an individualized salary or bonus as a first-year associate, unless you count (1) lobbying to receive a particular standardized bonus that they weren't immediately eligible for (e.g., a state clerk successfully lobbying to receive a clerkship bonus where the firm's official policy was to pay federal clerkship bonuses only) or (2) lobbying for a higher start year, based on a valuable graduate degree or WE.




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