Jones Day Compensation Data Points Forum

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rahulg91

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Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by rahulg91 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:52 pm

https://abovethelaw.com/2019/06/amended ... pensation/

Surprise surprise, Jones Day uses the “black box” to pay below-market compensation.

almondbutter

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by almondbutter » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:08 pm

I'd be so mad if I was Nilab. She lost over half a million due to the black box. Can't imagine many people accepting their JD offers once this information starts getting out there.

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Vexed

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by Vexed » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:11 pm

220k difference. Jfc.

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by albanach » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:21 pm

almondbutter wrote:I'd be so mad if I was Nilab. She lost over half a million due to the black box. Can't imagine many people accepting their JD offers once this information starts getting out there.
Folk aren't going to withdraw from an employment offer because of this. Even for well qualified candidates, the 3L recruitment market doesn't come with any guarantees. Some will definitely shop around, but even then folk will be cautious at going somewhere new over somewhere they summered and have familiarity with.

Outside NY, this might be even less consequential. In many markets, JD are far and away the most prestigious firm. They'll still attract top candidates there.

Longer term, there's potential for this to harm the company. Retention could take a hit, with more folk entering as first year associates who already have an eye on the exit sign. For other years though, these folk know what they've been earning and know what Cravath et al have been paying. And still they stayed. I don't see the fact that someone has filed a lawsuit as changing things much. If anything, folk might stay in anticipation of an adjustment down the road. After all, if you're in your sixth year, it's might be a challenge to jump into a market paying firm and retaining your partnership track.

yooobagz

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by yooobagz » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:26 pm

Corporations and the wealthy making it seem gauche to talk with your coworkers about salary is really bad and stupid, but the fact that this is going on in the background at Jones Day while the firm forbids (or at least highly discourages) such discussions is its own brand of insidious behavior.

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Pulsar

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by Pulsar » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:22 pm

Lowballing compensation by these crazy numbers might just be JD's more polite way of firing people.
Last edited by QContinuum on Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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unlicensedpotato

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by unlicensedpotato » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:32 pm

I really hope JD's response is that they underpay most associates, not just these women.

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by Pulsar » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:58 pm

unlicensedpotato wrote:I really hope JD's response is that they underpay most associates, not just these women.
Same. Really need to see average male comparisons.

But also, some of these numbers probably actually hurt a couple of the plaintiffs' claims. Like why did Draper and Tolton get so much less even than the other plaintiffs? Suggests a performance issue, not something they and the other plaintiffs shared in common.

The more middle-of-the-pack people might actually be the best plaintiffs here. Harder to say there was anything wrong with their work, if they're just getting stealthily lowballed, but not being signaled to leave.

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Lowballing compensation by these crazy numbers might just be JD's more polite way of firing people.
It is. I'm a JD associate and this is how they've pushed out a few people. That said I think for major markets many associates are underpaid when you consider bonuses so I would not go to JD in NYC, DC, etc. But I'm in a secondary market where JD pays the most in the city (think columbus, pittsburgh, cleveland). I know seniors here get over 300k, which goes very, very far here.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:12 pm

It makes sense that firms with offices in random, low COL places like Jones Day and DLA do blackbox comp but it’s pretty wild that they don’t even bother to pay market in the major markets.

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by objctnyrhnr » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:14 pm

Yeah I mean I don’t see how jones day gets away with paying these rates in major markets. Theyre just too well respected a firm in the industry (I’m in biglaw lit) for any of this to make sense. In other words, why did every peer firm feel compelled to match milbank’s raise, but by contrast, JD could just be like “meh”?

What am I missing here? Are they actually just much smarter than all the other firms because they DO get away with this and nevertheless maintain a good rep?

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by objctnyrhnr » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:17 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:It makes sense that firms with offices in random, low COL places like Jones Day and DLA do blackbox comp but it’s pretty wild that they don’t even bother to pay market in the major markets.
Where did you hear DLA did black box? Pretty sure they’re at lockstep market for mostly all then slightly below for a couple random US offices.

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:26 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:It makes sense that firms with offices in random, low COL places like Jones Day and DLA do blackbox comp but it’s pretty wild that they don’t even bother to pay market in the major markets.
Where did you hear DLA did black box? Pretty sure they’re at lockstep market for mostly all then slightly below for a couple random US offices.
I think it’s technically black box since they’re base is market in “major” markets (whatever that means) and their bonuses are not lockstep across the board either. It’s not a true lockstep like a Weil or what have you.

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by objctnyrhnr » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:39 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
objctnyrhnr wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:It makes sense that firms with offices in random, low COL places like Jones Day and DLA do blackbox comp but it’s pretty wild that they don’t even bother to pay market in the major markets.
Where did you hear DLA did black box? Pretty sure they’re at lockstep market for mostly all then slightly below for a couple random US offices.
I think it’s technically black box since they’re base is market in “major” markets (whatever that means) and their bonuses are not lockstep across the board either. It’s not a true lockstep like a Weil or what have you.
Ah okay I think I just think of the term “black box” as just being, well, what JD does.

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by QContinuum » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:37 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:Yeah I mean I don’t see how jones day gets away with paying these rates in major markets. Theyre just too well respected a firm in the industry (I’m in biglaw lit) for any of this to make sense. In other words, why did every peer firm feel compelled to match milbank’s raise, but by contrast, JD could just be like “meh”?

What am I missing here? Are they actually just much smarter than all the other firms because they DO get away with this and nevertheless maintain a good rep?
I think part of it is many law students aren't aware of the downsides of black-box compensation (JD markets it as an advantage, and it can be surprising how naive/uninformed many law students are), so they summer at JD and then get locked in. Part of it is JD D.C. has some really prestigious practices. Part of it is JD's appeal to conservative law students.

(The above is just about JD NYC and to a lesser degree, JD D.C. - as other posters ITT have noted, JD absolutely pays at the top of the market/is the only game in town in many secondary/tertiary markets.)

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:42 pm

JD just continues the scholarship scam at many lower ranked schools and preys on law students’ conceit that of COURSE they’d be the top of their class/top in compensation and it could never possibly backfire.

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Wild Card

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by Wild Card » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:03 pm

Awesome of JD to lowball associates rather than fire them.

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by 2013 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:16 pm

Why do these associates stay?

QContinuum

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by QContinuum » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:25 pm

2013 wrote:Why do these associates stay?
Well, I obviously can't speak for them, but I presume it's because it's not easy for stub/first-year associates to lateral. By third/fourth-year, prime lateral time, many may be looking to leave BigLaw - and even the ones that aren't may think they might as well stick with the devil they know for another year or two before leaving BigLaw. Lots of people don't enjoy the stress of interviewing and migrating to a new job.

You also have some star associates who get paid market or even a bit above, so they may not have any incentive to leave.

Again, I think it's the black-box system that allows JD to get away with this. If JD wasn't black-box, but simply advertised a below-market salary, then recruitment would fall through the floor.

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by 2013 » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:45 pm

QContinuum wrote:
2013 wrote:Why do these associates stay?
Well, I obviously can't speak for them, but I presume it's because it's not easy for stub/first-year associates to lateral. By third/fourth-year, prime lateral time, many may be looking to leave BigLaw - and even the ones that aren't may think they might as well stick with the devil they know for another year or two before leaving BigLaw. Lots of people don't enjoy the stress of interviewing and migrating to a new job.

You also have some star associates who get paid market or even a bit above, so they may not have any incentive to leave.

Again, I think it's the black-box system that allows JD to get away with this. If JD wasn't black-box, but simply advertised a below-market salary, then recruitment would fall through the floor.
I remember seeing that a (male) associate made $800,000 as a 6th year or something during the last go-round of these lawsuits. I’m assuming it was a DC appellate associate.

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by QContinuum » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:49 pm

2013 wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
2013 wrote:Why do these associates stay?
Well, I obviously can't speak for them, but I presume it's because it's not easy for stub/first-year associates to lateral. By third/fourth-year, prime lateral time, many may be looking to leave BigLaw - and even the ones that aren't may think they might as well stick with the devil they know for another year or two before leaving BigLaw. Lots of people don't enjoy the stress of interviewing and migrating to a new job.

You also have some star associates who get paid market or even a bit above, so they may not have any incentive to leave.

Again, I think it's the black-box system that allows JD to get away with this. If JD wasn't black-box, but simply advertised a below-market salary, then recruitment would fall through the floor.
I remember seeing that a (male) associate made $800,000 as a 6th year or something during the last go-round of these lawsuits. I’m assuming it was a DC appellate associate.
IIRC, that associate happened to be the son-in-law of one of the senior partners (pure coincidence, I'm sure).

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by beepz » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:59 am

Data points are kind of meaningless without hours and male pay comparison. A lot of these numbers seem indicative of performance problems, as others have said. From personal experience, JD usually tries to phase people out without outright firing them. I know people who literally billed 1000-1200 hours for multiple years and I'm sure their pay was stagnant but I'm also sure they preferred raking in 200k a year and doing very little work to getting fired.

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by LaLiLuLeLo » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:Data points are kind of meaningless without hours and male pay comparison. A lot of these numbers seem indicative of performance problems, as others have said. From personal experience, JD usually tries to phase people out without outright firing them. I know people who literally billed 1000-1200 hours for multiple years and I'm sure their pay was stagnant but I'm also sure they preferred raking in 200k a year and doing very little work to getting fired.
Did you miss the part where three of the associates in market paying...markets NEVER actually got market pay?

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by patent_guy » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:05 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Data points are kind of meaningless without hours and male pay comparison. A lot of these numbers seem indicative of performance problems, as others have said. From personal experience, JD usually tries to phase people out without outright firing them. I know people who literally billed 1000-1200 hours for multiple years and I'm sure their pay was stagnant but I'm also sure they preferred raking in 200k a year and doing very little work to getting fired.
Did you miss the part where three of the associates in market paying...markets NEVER actually got market pay?
Pretty sure his/her point is that if all you’re saying is three female attorneys didn’t receive market pay, that doesn’t necessarily imply discrimination if their counterpart male associates also weren’t receiving market pay. And we don’t know that because all we have are these there data points.

I think we’ve pretty well established here that JD pays plenty of people under market... in market paying markets... just because they can.

I don’t know if they were or were not discriminated against because again, we don’t have all the facts. But you can’t just blindly accept they’re being discriminated against when this behavior by JD seems pretty standard (for JD as a firm, not firm’s overall).

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Re: Jones Day Compensation Data Points

Post by LaLiLuLeLo » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:08 pm

patent_guy wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Data points are kind of meaningless without hours and male pay comparison. A lot of these numbers seem indicative of performance problems, as others have said. From personal experience, JD usually tries to phase people out without outright firing them. I know people who literally billed 1000-1200 hours for multiple years and I'm sure their pay was stagnant but I'm also sure they preferred raking in 200k a year and doing very little work to getting fired.
Did you miss the part where three of the associates in market paying...markets NEVER actually got market pay?
Pretty sure his/her point is that if all you’re saying is three female attorneys didn’t receive market pay, that doesn’t necessarily imply discrimination if their counterpart male associates also weren’t receiving market pay. And we don’t know that because all we have are these there data points.

I think we’ve pretty well established here that JD pays plenty of people under market... in market paying markets... just because they can.

I don’t know if they were or were not discriminated against because again, we don’t have all the facts. But you can’t just blindly accept they’re being discriminated against when this behavior by JD seems pretty standard (for JD as a firm, not firm’s overall).
This thread isn’t really about the discrimination aspect, though, it’s more about whether JD pays under market as a general matter. To that point, I disagree that these data points are meaningless without hours and male pay comparison.

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