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FROM THE JOB FRONT

FROM THE JOB FRONT is EmplawyerNet's monthly newsletter covering the latest developments in the area of legal employment -- and a few other things. FROM THE JOB FRONT is published as a service of EmplawyerNet, the online interactive legal employment network.

January 2018

NEWS FROM THE JOB FRONT

Big Firm Bonuses Back

San Francisco Firms Freeze, Cut Associate Salaries

Congress Raises Salaries for Some Attorneys

Plan Launched for Recruiting of Court Clerks

OTHER FEATURES

Legal Trivia

Quote, UnQuote

One More Thing Before You Go

BIG FIRM BONUSES BACK

Last October, New York's Davis, Polk & Wardwell informed associates there would be no year-end bonuses. With that and layoffs at other firms, most of the city's lawyers expected to be left empty handed at the end of year (except, of course, for their rather large paychecks). To the surprise of many, however, Skadden, Arps announced bonuses of between $2,500 and $10,000 for New York associates. Then other New York firms including Cravath, Simpson Thacher and Sullivan & Cromwell informed associates they would grant bonuses. In most cases, bonuses paid by the large New York firms were less than half as large as what was paid in 2000. Evidently feeling peer pressure, Davis Polk reversed course and decided it would pay 2001 bonuses to its associates.

New York Law Journal

SAN FRANCISCO FIRMS FREEZE, CUT ASSOCIATE SALARIES

One San Francisco firm, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison has announced it is freezing associate salaries for 2002. Another, Pillsbury Winthrop is cutting first-year associate salaries by $10,000. Brobeck said it "misjudged" the market last year and is paying above-market rates for most associates. In conjunction with the freeze, the firm will review its decision if other firms raise salaries. Prior to the cut in salaries, Brobeck offered a buyout to certain associates and 82 business and technology associates took the offer. The Brobeck and Pillsbury developments follow the announcement by San Francisco's Gray Cary that it is freezing associate salaries for six months. The Venture Law Group also announced reduction of first-year salaries to $100,000 from $125,000.

The Recorder

CONGRESS RAISES SALARIES FOR SOME ATTORNEYS

Congress has approved salary increases for attorneys representing indigent defendants under the Criminal Justice Act. The last such increase took place in 1986. Later this year, these private attorneys will receive $90 an hour for in-court and out-of-court work. The previous rate was $75 an hour for in-court work and $55 for out-of-court work. The rate of $125 an hour for capital cases will remain the same. The new rate will be standard across all districts. The federal judiciary has been pushing for the increase for three years. Lobbying in favor of the increases were Chief Justice William Rehnquist, John Ashcroft and Janet Reno.

New Jersey Law Journal

PLAN LAUNCHED FOR RECRUITING COURT CLERKS

Federal appellate court judges are no longer waiting until students' third year in law school to select their clerks. In response, Judge Harry Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit says the clerk selection process has "broken down" and he is proposing a reform plan. Under the plan, all judges would agree to take a year off from selecting future clerks and, from then on, only select clerks from the pool of third-year students. In the last twenty years, at least seven other attempts were made to deal with the problem of when clerks can be recruited. Some feel any such plan would be very difficult to implement. The Constitution protects the independence of federal judges and any rule on this issue would be unenforceable. Said one judge, "Whenever they propose a solution, I always reply that I decline to participate in any combination in restraint of trade . . . I'll do what I want, when I want to."

Legal Times

LEGAL TRIVIA

The founder of which of the following fast-food restaurants practiced law prior to going into the food business?
  
(a)McDonald's
(b)Jack in the Box
(c)Carl's Jr.
(d)KFC

(Answer at the end of the newsletter)

QUOTE

"Maybe I'll stay in school and just hope things turn around in a year."

    --A Cardoza law student contemplating an LLM while job market improves

UNQUOTE

ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU GO...

The two associates from a Los Angeles law firms who won $1 million on the TV show The Amazing Race are both quitting the law. One is pursuing a career as a model, the other as an actor.

  • Trivia Answer:

    (d)  According to the book "Fast Food Nation," Colonel Sanders practiced law (without a license) prior to opening the first Kentucky Fried Chicken.


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