Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

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Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:18 pm

Most Michigan firms still start between 110-125. Anyone have any news on potential increases? What was arguably a reasonable disparity is now much more difficult to justify and it probably only increases will class years. Lower cost of living does not come close to making up a 70k+ difference. Granted I don't have enough salary data on Michigan firms to confirm my thoughts for older class years.

There are a select few firms that pay slightly above that amount but they are much smaller offices of larger firms (Jones Day, Foley), who probably won't have an effect on salaries either way.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:21 pm

Also wondering this...

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:27 pm

Foley is taking it under consideration, should have something by end of month mgmt meeting. Detroit currently pays 140-145 i think. Jones day, is at the same level as Foley --> my guess with both is they'll do a 15-20k raise but not go to 180k firmwide. I could be wrong, but it seems highly unlikely.

GundersonDettmer, who has an office in AA, went 180k firmwide but they don't have associates in AA as of yet. I imagine when they do that associate will be living pretty.

I've heard from friends at some of the traditional Michigan firms that they are considering pay raises, but to the tune of 5-10k, nothing close to NYC/Chicago market rates, which is fair and not expected.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:32 pm

Interested in this as well, as I'm interested in getting out of CA and back to the Midwest.

From what I remember, it's dirt cheap to live in Detroit (and MI) in general though. Looking at cost of living calculators, 180 in NY translates into about 115 in Detroit, so not sure how current Detroit pay doesn't make up the difference (except on the low end of the range).

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Interested in this as well, as I'm interested in getting out of CA and back to the Midwest.

From what I remember, it's dirt cheap to live in Detroit (and MI) in general though. Looking at cost of living calculators, 180 in NY translates into about 115 in Detroit, so not sure how current Detroit pay doesn't make up the difference (except on the low end of the range).


Detroit is cheap, but there are pockets of pretty expensive housing. If you're looking to live downtown and rent a 1br, you're looking to start around $1,100 but can go as high as $2,200. It goes up from there.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:45 pm

I just found a cost of living calculator and $180,000 in Manhattan is equal to $76,209 in Detroit.

Sure, things *can* get expensive in Detroit, but they also can in NY/SF/LA/Chicago. A junior associate salary in NY is not going to have you balling out, so to point out the potentially high-end cost of high-end stuff in Detroit is not really availing.

Don't get me wrong, I like Detroit and I went to school in Michigan - but not sure you have a great argument for Detroit's salary being raised. If nothing else, people who go work at firms in Michigan are people who want to be in Michigan, it's not exactly a competitive market with NY/SF/LA/Chicago

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:42 pm

Definitely can't compare Michigan to any major markets but there are plenty of secondary markets that are comparable and pay 145k+. However, if you look at Chicago, which is a better comparison to Detroit: 180k Chicago Salary = 148k Detroit Salary (which is closer to what a small select few firms pay in Detroit).

NY is only really on par with SF in terms of expense -> Associates in those 2 areas deserve more than associates in other areas in all honesty. You can apply the cost of living calculator example to pretty much every other city to justify why they shouldn't have gotten a bump in salary but the fact is they all did and even most of the secondary cities that weren't at market are seeing an increase. For Example: COL in Houston/Austin is on PAR with Detroit but many of the firms in Texas are moving to 180k.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:Most Michigan firms still start between 110-125. Anyone have any news on potential increases? What was arguably a reasonable disparity is now much more difficult to justify and it probably only increases will class years. Lower cost of living does not come close to making up a 70k+ difference. Granted I don't have enough salary data on Michigan firms to confirm my thoughts for older class years.

There are a select few firms that pay slightly above that amount but they are much smaller offices of larger firms (Jones Day, Foley), who probably won't have an effect on salaries either way.


Honigman went up to 125 this year so not sure if they will move.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Honigman went up to 125 this year so not sure if they will move.


I know they were at 125 a long time ago and went down to 110 about 7 years ago during the recession... Most firms that lowered salaries raised them back up within the next couple of years. For a Michigan Firm, Honigman has an extremely healthy 900Kish PPP

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:04 pm

Thoughts now that JD has increased to $160,000 in Detroit?

If Foley matches will that force movement out of the other firms?

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thoughts now that JD has increased to $160,000 in Detroit?

If Foley matches will that force movement out of the other firms?


I think Foley will have to match - also with Gunderson at 180 (although they have no associates there, yet) - so there is upward pressure for Foley to do so. Also, PepperHamilton is downtown too, but i don't think they'll move yet as they havent in other markets.

I can't see the other detroit firms doing the same. It's a completely different market between the JD/Foley firms and Dickinson, Dykema, Honigman, Bodman. I guess i could see them taking it up 5-15k, but i doubt they'd climb to 140 or 160.

If anyone it would be Honigman, but their comp is somewhat black box post-1st year, if i understand it correctly.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:21 pm

-

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thoughts now that JD has increased to $160,000 in Detroit?

If Foley matches will that force movement out of the other firms?


I think Foley will have to match - also with Gunderson at 180 (although they have no associates there, yet) - so there is upward pressure for Foley to do so. Also, PepperHamilton is downtown too, but i don't think they'll move yet as they havent in other markets.

I can't see the other detroit firms doing the same. It's a completely different market between the JD/Foley firms and Dickinson, Dykema, Honigman, Bodman. I guess i could see them taking it up 5-15k, but i doubt they'd climb to 140 or 160.

If anyone it would be Honigman, but their comp is somewhat black box post-1st year, if i understand it correctly.


Honigman is so under leveraged that they could move comp with a minimal change in profits per partner. They have 206 partners and only 52 associates.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thoughts now that JD has increased to $160,000 in Detroit?

If Foley matches will that force movement out of the other firms?


I think Foley will have to match - also with Gunderson at 180 (although they have no associates there, yet) - so there is upward pressure for Foley to do so. Also, PepperHamilton is downtown too, but i don't think they'll move yet as they havent in other markets.

I can't see the other detroit firms doing the same. It's a completely different market between the JD/Foley firms and Dickinson, Dykema, Honigman, Bodman. I guess i could see them taking it up 5-15k, but i doubt they'd climb to 140 or 160.

If anyone it would be Honigman, but their comp is somewhat black box post-1st year, if i understand it correctly.


Honigman is so under leveraged that they could move comp with a minimal change in profits per partner. They have 206 partners and only 52 associates.


Is that including "partners" post 4th/5th year? I know they do something funky by moving people to partner/senior counsel by 5th year or so but i always thought there was a 2-tier system of equity/non-equity and other. maybe i'm wrong.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Thoughts now that JD has increased to $160,000 in Detroit?

If Foley matches will that force movement out of the other firms?


I think Foley will have to match - also with Gunderson at 180 (although they have no associates there, yet) - so there is upward pressure for Foley to do so. Also, PepperHamilton is downtown too, but i don't think they'll move yet as they havent in other markets.

I can't see the other detroit firms doing the same. It's a completely different market between the JD/Foley firms and Dickinson, Dykema, Honigman, Bodman. I guess i could see them taking it up 5-15k, but i doubt they'd climb to 140 or 160.

If anyone it would be Honigman, but their comp is somewhat black box post-1st year, if i understand it correctly.


Honigman is so under leveraged that they could move comp with a minimal change in profits per partner. They have 206 partners and only 52 associates.


Is that including "partners" post 4th/5th year? I know they do something funky by moving people to partner/senior counsel by 5th year or so but i always thought there was a 2-tier system of equity/non-equity and other. maybe i'm wrong.


I don't know. But if they have blackbox, they only have to increase the minimum amount per associate or funky partners.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:46 pm

I want to say Honigmans ratio is closer to 1:1. Still wouldn't cost the partners much to bump the associates in line with the new national firms in Michigan as their PPP is over 800k.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I want to say Honigmans ratio is closer to 1:1. Still wouldn't cost the partners much to bump the associates in line with the new national firms in Michigan as their PPP is over 800k.


That's a good point. Based on NALP it seems like they have about 140 equity partners and about 60 non-equity. Assuming that it would be a small hit to PPP but then again, would they be willing to do it - who knows.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:14 pm

Detroit to 160!!! :D

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:42 am

There are a couple of firms still hovering below the $110K mark to begin with. Hopefully at least those firms will move a little bit in terms of pay, especially with Honigman hitting $125K.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:47 am

Anonymous User wrote:There are a couple of firms still hovering below the $110K mark to begin with. Hopefully at least those firms will move a little bit in terms of pay, especially with Honigman hitting $125K.


Agreed. I think both Dickinson Wright and Miller Canfield are at $100,000.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:50 am

And I think Bodman is at 105.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:35 pm

The Michigan salaries are way off compared to the market.... at most there should be a 20% difference from market pay (assuming you bill 1850+). Most of the AM Law 200 firms now have their secondary markets paying 145 or more.

Michigan is possibly being held back by a lack of national firms - no competition to fight for associates give the Michigan firms no reason to increase pay. Michigan associate pay has gone down or practically stayed flat in the last 15 years, while the rest of the market has gone up 50% or more.

Michigan 2016 First year Associate Pay:

Jones Day: 160K
Foley: Currently 145k(Unknown if moved)

Miller Canfield: 100K
Dickinson Wright: 100K
Honigman: 125K
Dykema: 105K (was 130k in 2011?)
Butzel: 95K
Bodman: 105K
Warner Norcross: 105K

Michigan 2006-07 First year Associate Pay:

Miller Canfield: 100K
Dickinson Wright: 100K
Honigman: 125K
Dykema: 105K
Butzel: 105K
Bodman: 105K
Warner Norcross: 105K

Michigan 2000-01 First Year Associate Pay:

Miller Canfield: 90K
Dickinson Wright: 90K
Honigman: 115K
Dykema: 90K
Butzel: 90K
Bodman: 90K
Warner Norcross: 90K

In that same 17 year span, the market for associates has gone from the around 90k - 180k Doubling.... In Michigan, the needle has barely if at all moved. The more Jones Days, Foleys and other national firms that come through the better.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:01 pm

Interesting. Where'd you get the historical data?

I know my firm has at least tried to keep pace with the annual pay raises, but is definitely behind Foley, Jones Day and Honigman as far as starting salary goes. It seems doubtful that the raises will bridge the gap as I'm confident they aren't out-raising those firms.

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just found a cost of living calculator and $180,000 in Manhattan is equal to $76,209 in Detroit.

Sure, things *can* get expensive in Detroit, but they also can in NY/SF/LA/Chicago. A junior associate salary in NY is not going to have you balling out, so to point out the potentially high-end cost of high-end stuff in Detroit is not really availing.

Don't get me wrong, I like Detroit and I went to school in Michigan - but not sure you have a great argument for Detroit's salary being raised. If nothing else, people who go work at firms in Michigan are people who want to be in Michigan, it's not exactly a competitive market with NY/SF/LA/Chicago


This is exactly why the cost of living argument is BS for anyone paying hefty loans or saving a majority of their earnings (Which is most law school graduates): https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-cost-living-doesnt-matter-you-have-studentdebt-jordan-locke

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Re: Michigan Firms - Any news on salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:36 pm

Foley took their Detroit office to 160, but it's not effective until Feb 1. Not sure about older class years. Memo is coming later this year. Expect some compression, maybe topping around 280-300k.




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