AUGUST 5 UPDATE: You've followed an old link. The chart has been updated and moved here. Follow that link for the latest, or enjoy the June version, below the jump.
June 23 update: Howrey cuts, like for reals. In creating an "apprenticeship program" that dramatically restructures an associate's first two years, it is cutting to a base salary of $100K for starts, $125K for second-years (with a $25K bonus thrown in, for both years). We touched on it here, and the National Law Journal did the big writeup. (In the chart below, the associate count for Howrey does not include the Day Casebeer crew we're totally betting they'll annex any day now.)
Here we've updated our ongoing salary table (reflecting firms with notable California presence) that we launched in conjunction with Amanda Royal's initial story on salary slashing.
|Firm||Ca. Associates||Date of Cuts||Salary Cuts|
||6-22-09||1Y to $100K base; 2y: $125K. Training all around.
||6-11-09||10% cut across the board
||6-09-09||"Temporary," productivity-based, said to be 10-20%
||5-21-09||1Ys to $145K; up to 15% for others; big "performance-based" revamp next year
||5-20-09||10% across the board; incoming at least that (TBD)
||5-15-09||1Y: Down to $145K in top markets. 2y+, case-by-case
|Seyfarth Shaw||82||5-01-09||Cuts of 5%-20% to individual associates, others|
|Nixon Peabody||66||4-27-09||1Y: $145K; other performance-based cuts of 15%-20%|
|Squire Sanders||38||4-27-09||All Classes: 10% cut|
|Baker & McKenzie||70||4-20-09||Reported 10%-25% cuts, not tied to class*|
|Davis Wright Tremaine||27||4-14-09||All Classes: 5% cut|
|Greenberg Traurig||66||4-13-09||1Y: $144K (10% cut)|
|Hogan & Hartson||31||4-02-09||1Y: $145K; Reduced "1800 hour track" for all levels|
||3-31-09||Incoming & current 1Ys: $145K. Some cuts to 2Y+ (reportedly about 20%)|
We'll continue to update as the cuts come. A few thoughts on the trend, plus caveats and whatnot, after the jump.
That first Cal Law look at the developing trend of associate salary cuts noted that a couple observers say that while California-based firms were more willing to go the heavy layoff route, firms based back east have a different perspective on what constitutes bearable admission of "failure." Maybe that's why they cut pay more than jobs, and so far firms based in California haven't been less hesitant to show people the door.
Thinking about California, we put together the table above, which reflects firms with notable presence here that have cut associate pay (sometimes in conjunction with other measures). In many cases where the entire first year class, or all classes, received a uniform reduction, the first-year scale was set back to $145,000. In some cases, it's a 10 percent cut, which puts a premium salary of $160K down to $144.
Note: Associate counts are based on the firms' websites the week of April 27, or at the time the announcement was made, for more recent moves.
* Baker & McKenzie has confirmed "In select instances, we have reduced some salaries," but won't give specifics. Reportedly, cuts ranged from 10% to 25%.
We intend to update this sucker as the bad news continues. Bookmark here as you like — with each update, we'll repost at the top of the blog. If you have an opinion on the firm-culture factors driving layoff and salary cut decisions, or think firms are just using the recession as a transparent excuse to thin out associate ranks and pay envelopes, hit the comment button.
Anyone with additional information about the firms on this table, or firms that should be on this table, please add your anonymous tips to the comments below, or send them to our tip line.
— Brian McDonough