Orrick announced the salary structure for its new lockstep-breaking associate structure today (we’ve got the details here). We got the firm perspective from Chairman Ralph Baxter, who was enthusiastic about the whole deal.
Orrick diagrams its new pay scale. (Click to enlarge.)
“There’s no doubt what Orrick is doing in the new talent model will save clients money and it will make Orrick more economically efficient,” he told us. “The salaries themselves don’t translate to different pricing. What translates to different pricing is the model as a whole, and what work is assigned to partner-track associates. Number Two: The incentives at Orrick are now all about quality and efficiency.”
Still, often what’s good for the client’s bottom line and the firm’s bottom line isn’t so great for the associate’s, so we asked around to get a front-line perspective on the announcement.
An associate speaks! After the jump!
“I was expecting them to cut salaries or eliminate bonuses, which didn’t seem to be the case,” he said. “The long wait to December had some associates a little bit anxious as to what was going to happen. People were prepared for the worse and in light of that, the fact they weren’t cutting across the board was surprising.” he said.
Baxter had mentioned a “healthy discussion” during the firmwide teleconference today. The associate told us that some of the questions had to do with how transparent the firm would be about its decision making.
“If you are going to make a large portion of a person’s salary discretionary, there’s going to be a need to be transparent about how those decisions are made,” he said.
Associates also asked whether bonuses would come from a fixed pool, and the answer seemed to be “yes,” according to this associate.
That would seem to mean that for every extra dollar given to an associate for being awesome, a dollar less goes to an associate of, presumably, less awesomeness. Like the associate ranks weren’t competitive enough already …
— Amanda Royal
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