NY to 210k

(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.
Npret

Gold
Posts: 1986
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: NY to 210k

Post by Npret » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Npret wrote:I do understand how billing works. Clients care because, as mentioned above, they don’t want to pay for training juniors. I know the clients who have posted here don’t care. I have heard clients joke, more than once, about art or the views of offices and say they must be paying too much. As everyone seems to agree, clients object to paying more for legal work just because the firm gives a raise to associates. So where is the money for the raises going to come from?

Wasn’t the first raise in 10 years a few years ago? I’m sure it was post recession, so I don’t agree that salaries haven’t increased. You understand that costs increase apart from salaries.

My experience of big law is partners don’t lightly part with their money. I have yet to see anyone post a reason why firms would need to give raises at this time.

They could have kept the salary at $160,000 and still filled their classes.

Just my view.
Occasional jokes are hardly evidence of meaningful opposition to increasing first-year salaries.

And, even though there may have been little reason to do so, firms have increased salaries past $160k, twice: first to $180k in June 2016, then $190k in June 2018.
The opposition is that clients won’t pay more to cover new raises to juniors. I don’t think anyone disagrees with that statement. The question becomes why would the partners want to give raises?

There was intense pressure on firms to raise salaries from 160k to 180k because firms held that rate for 10 years while rent and law school tuition continued to climb.

I’m still asking for a reason why firms would feel pressure to give raises now.

User avatar
LaLiLuLeLo

Silver
Posts: 951
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:54 am

Re: NY to 210k

Post by LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:55 am

Raises are motivated by marketing/prestige and to a lesser extent recruitment. But raises can really only be initiated by the rich players who can afford a hit to PPP.

I mean, who the fuck was ever talking about Milbank before July?

mvp99

Silver
Posts: 1459
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by mvp99 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:06 am

Legal fees are all noise to the most peftigious firms. It’s hilarious when a law firm takes $3 million on a large transaction they have been working for 6 months while the bank takes $50million for a months worth of work.
Last edited by QContinuum on Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

User avatar
jbagelboy

Diamond
Posts: 10317
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by jbagelboy » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:19 am

Salaries won’t go up this year. If anything, the next move will be on end year bonuses, which have been stagnant since 2014-15.

User avatar
unlicensedpotato

Silver
Posts: 540
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:16 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by unlicensedpotato » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:Legal fees are all noise to the most peftigious firms. It’s hilarious when a law firm takes $3 million on a large transaction they have been working for 6 months while the bank takes $50million for a months worth of work.
This is true in some sense but banks often work for years with no pay.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 3454
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: NY to 210k

Post by nealric » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:20 pm

Npret wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:Why would clients care what salary the first-years are making? They're not billed for the salaries, they're billed for the hours x rate that first-years work at.

If salary increases result in billable rate increases, then sure they'll be pissed, but there's no reason it should. Hourly rates have been trending up since the recession, without these supposedly concomitant increases in associate pay.
I do understand how billing works. Clients care because, as mentioned above, they don’t want to pay for training juniors. I know the clients who have posted here don’t care. I have heard clients joke, more than once, about art or the views of offices and say they must be paying too much. As everyone seems to agree, clients object to paying more for legal work just because the firm gives a raise to associates. So where is the money for the raises going to come from?

Wasn’t the first raise in 10 years a few years ago? I’m sure it was post recession, so I don’t agree that salaries haven’t increased. You understand that costs increase apart from salaries.

My experience of big law is partners don’t lightly part with their money. I have yet to see anyone post a reason why firms would need to give raises at this time.

They could have kept the salary at $160,000 and still filled their classes.

Just my view.
Clients pay to train juniors either directly or indirectly- just as they pay for all of the expenses of the firm. Heck, when you buy a hamburger at McDonald's, some portion of the cost is training the burger flipper. The only difference with law firms is it's a more explicit line-item on the bill.

There's no question law firms could have filled their classes at $160k. They could have filled their classes at $50k, and probably even $25k. But law firms are not charities, and they aren't paying associates more just because they want to. They perceive, rightly or wrongly, that they will not get and retain the best talent if they don't raise salaries. If they don't get the best talent, it may eventually result in a drop in quality and a loss in business. Yes, you can hire laterals, but that is often more expensive than training juniors.

I would point out that that the inflation adjusted peak associate salary was actually in 2006, when they first went to 160k. That is ~$203k in December 2018 money according to CPI calculated inflation.

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 3454
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: NY to 210k

Post by nealric » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Legal fees are all noise to the most peftigious firms.
It's not just the specific firms, but the size of the matter. You don't have Cravath litigate your $1 Million nuisance suit, and you don't hire your regional AMLAW 250 firm to take on a $50 Billion public company merger. The nuisance suits are going to be part of the regular legal budget- going significantly over will be a problem for the in-house attorney managing the docket. A significant merger is going to be a totally off-budget item, and nobody really cares how big the legal fees get. Gone are the days of companies having a single go-to firm they run every little matter by.

pi.radians

New
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:42 am

Re: NY to 210k

Post by pi.radians » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:25 pm

I think there's already a boutique or two in NYC that pays 210k, but I understand those firms aren't market leaders.
Last edited by QContinuum on Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

User avatar
Monochromatic Oeuvre

Gold
Posts: 2076
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:34 am

jbagelboy wrote:Salaries won’t go up this year. If anything, the next move will be on end year bonuses, which have been stagnant since 2014-15.
(Guy whose firm is not invited to the $210k Party)

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


dabigchina

Gold
Posts: 1802
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: NY to 210k

Post by dabigchina » Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:57 am

tbh, I'd be happier if my billables never exceeded 210 hrs a month.

Tenzen

New
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:00 am

Re: NY to 210k

Post by Tenzen » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:24 am

Given last year's raise, it won't happen unless firms slim down.

Plus, geography and morale. Forcing another NY raise when there isn't motivation to pay all US associates the same forces firms to pay distinct salaries for people in the same year. At my NY firm, there was a lot of talk about if salaries would be raised for associates outside NY, and it took almost a week after the NY announcement for confirmation that it was nationwide.

Love With The Coco

New
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:32 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by Love With The Coco » Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:05 pm

Tenzen wrote:Given last year's raise, it won't happen unless firms slim down.

Plus, geography and morale. Forcing another NY raise when there isn't motivation to pay all US associates the same forces firms to pay distinct salaries for people in the same year. At my NY firm, there was a lot of talk about if salaries would be raised for associates outside NY, and it took almost a week after the NY announcement for confirmation that it was nationwide.
The firm that raises to 210k will not have that concern. Cravath only has a NYC office. Milbank has NY, DC and LA. And both of those firms are still bleeding mid-levels.

Tenzen

New
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:00 am

Re: NY to 210k

Post by Tenzen » Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:08 pm

Love With The Coco wrote:
Tenzen wrote:Given last year's raise, it won't happen unless firms slim down.

Plus, geography and morale. Forcing another NY raise when there isn't motivation to pay all US associates the same forces firms to pay distinct salaries for people in the same year. At my NY firm, there was a lot of talk about if salaries would be raised for associates outside NY, and it took almost a week after the NY announcement for confirmation that it was nationwide.
The firm that raises to 210k will not have that concern. Cravath only has a NYC office. Milbank has NY, DC and LA. And both of those firms are still bleeding mid-levels.
At a v20 with pretty great numbers, profits per partner, gross revenue, etc., and the concern still existed.

It doesn't seem like things are that different for the v10/v5/etc, but could be wrong.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


QContinuum

Moderator
Posts: 3594
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:52 am

Re: NY to 210k

Post by QContinuum » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:30 am

I think the next raise will induce firms to return to the traditional model of paying associates in NYC/DC more than associates in other offices. It never made sense anyway to pay associates in Houston the same as associates in NYC given the huge COL differential.

It may also lead firms to experiment with raising certain practice groups and not others. I don't think patent prosecution, for example, can sustain another rate hike.

2013

Bronze
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:29 am

Re: NY to 210k

Post by 2013 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:49 am

QContinuum wrote:I think the next raise will induce firms to return to the traditional model of paying associates in NYC/DC more than associates in other offices. It never made sense anyway to pay associates in Houston the same as associates in NYC given the huge COL differential.

It may also lead firms to experiment with raising certain practice groups and not others. I don't think patent prosecution, for example, can sustain another rate hike.
I think this makes too much sense for firms to consider.

I mean, realistically, NY/DC/SF Bay/LA/Boston should be at a higher pay scale because of insanely high COL.

Then it should be like SEA/CHI/PHL/DEN

Then TX/NC/MIA/ATL

Texas associates love pointing out that they are the most profitable associates at their respective firms because clients are willing to pay NY rates, meaning they deserve NY market. I’m sure there’s truth to this, but if a firm like Kirkland, Baker Botts or VE decided to halt increases in Texas, I’m sure it’d stop.

As for practice groups, I think that would create a lot of animosity within firms. I’m at a firm where pay is practice group specific after a few years of market/near-market pay, and everyone knows that corporate gets paid the big bucks and other associates resent them for that.

Love With The Coco

New
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:32 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by Love With The Coco » Sun May 12, 2019 7:51 pm

Announcement any day now?

Tenzen

New
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:00 am

Re: NY to 210k

Post by Tenzen » Sun May 12, 2019 9:46 pm

Love With The Coco wrote:Announcement any day now?
Keep waiting a little longer.
Initial post said July 1st.
Reminds me of a conversation I had with an associate before I left biglaw.
Kid said he knew which firm was going to raise.
Literally told me to keep it a secret though.
And to just keep an eye out for July 1st.
Now kinda thinking I should have stayed in biglaw.
Didn't remember that conversation until now, but let's see which firm it is.

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...


User avatar
Yea All Right

Silver
Posts: 562
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 6:27 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by Yea All Right » Mon May 13, 2019 2:11 am

Tenzen wrote:
Love With The Coco wrote:Announcement any day now?
Keep waiting a little longer.
Initial post said July 1st.
Reminds me of a conversation I had with an associate before I left biglaw.
Kid said he knew which firm was going to raise.
Literally told me to keep it a secret though.
And to just keep an eye out for July 1st.
Now kinda thinking I should have stayed in biglaw.
Didn't remember that conversation until now, but let's see which firm it is.
And what if that guy only said that because of this particular TLS thread?

Still hoping for a move to 210k though!!!

supermario26

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:27 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by supermario26 » Mon May 13, 2019 11:20 am

You guys misspelled "NY stays at 180-190k and makes life more bearable for its associates."

JohnnieSockran

Bronze
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by JohnnieSockran » Mon May 13, 2019 1:19 pm

supermario26 wrote:You guys misspelled "NY stays at 180-190k and makes life more bearable for its associates."
Is anyone that actually matters still at $180?

JohnnieSockran

Bronze
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by JohnnieSockran » Mon May 13, 2019 1:24 pm

Can we hypothesize about what the scale could look like?

$210
$220
$240
$275
$305
$345
$360?
Last edited by QContinuum on Wed May 15, 2019 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Outed for anon abuse.

Communicate now with those who not only know what a legal education is, but can offer you worthy advice and commentary as you complete the three most educational, yet challenging years of your law related post graduate life.

Register now, it's still FREE!


minnbills

Gold
Posts: 3311
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by minnbills » Mon May 13, 2019 6:10 pm

supermario26 wrote:You guys misspelled "NY stays at 180-190k and makes life more bearable for its associates."
This is not happening.

If there was a raise (I don't think there will be), first years are probably going to 195k, with larger raises for more seniority. There is a significant psychological barrier at 200k for clients. Nobody wants to think they're paying a first year that much money.

If compensation does increase, it will be via bonuses. With the expected downturn on everyones' minds though, firms have a good excuse not to do this.

JohnnieSockran

Bronze
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by JohnnieSockran » Mon May 13, 2019 8:12 pm

minnbills wrote:
There is a significant psychological barrier at 200k for clients. Nobody wants to think they're paying a first year that much money.
I think this is often significantly overstated. Sure, clients know what my salary is, but my salary is never a number that shows up on the bill. My hourly rate does. That hourly number is where clients are sensitive.

meganvictorii

New
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:27 pm

Re: NY to 210k

Post by meganvictorii » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:33 pm

Anyone get a pay increase today?

dabigchina

Gold
Posts: 1802
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: NY to 210k

Post by dabigchina » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone get a pay increase today?
Why dig this post up just to break my heart?

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Legal Employment”