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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.

APRIL 2001

NEWS FROM THE JOB FRONT

The Perks of Working In-House

Associates Moonlight as TV Show Consultants

Lawyers More Likely to Seek New Employment

Are Associate Salary Wars Over?

OTHER FEATURES

Legal Trivia

Quote, UnQuote

One More Thing Before You Go


THE PERKS OF WORKING IN-HOUSE

Wondering what perks in-house positions offer now that stock options have lost a bit of their luster? So was PircewaterhouseCoopers when the accounting firm conducted a survey of spending by corporate legal departments. The most commonly offered benefits are life insurance, payment of professional dues and educational assistance (each offered by over 90 percent of the companies surveyed). Seventy-four percent offer cell phones while almost half make technical support available for home computers. Other general counsel perks making the survey are financial planning (68 percent), parking (66 percent), company car (41 percent), dining and country club dues (35 percent) and health clubs (30 percent).

PricewaterhouseCoopers

ASSOCIATES MOONLIGHT AS TV SHOW CONSULTANTS

Just when you thought there were too many television shows about lawyers, there's still another. It's ABC's "First Years" and it is based on the lives and careers of five new lawyers working in San Francisco. To get as much reality into the show as possible, the program's producers brought in two consultants who work as associates at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. One of the associates said producers consulted with her whenever they "wanted a character to really stress out and have to work all night on something," and needed to know "what would a character stress out on?" She also noted that the show was not one hundred percent realistic. "I think that any law show that was actually true to life would be absolutely of no interest to most people," she said.

Los Angeles Daily Journal

LAWYERS MORE LIKELY TO SEEK NEW EMPLOYMENT

A survey by Spherion Corporation of close to 500 lawyers from five major US cities finds that nearly half think the balance between work and their personal life is worse than it was five years ago. Only about 30 percent of attorneys believe that employees at their law firms are encouraged to create a balance between work and life outside of work. Given no other choice, 51 percent of attorneys say they would prefer a 10 percent increase in pay to a 10 percent reduction in work hours. The study found that more than 63 percent of attorneys in law firms report they are most likely to change jobs within the next two years, and more than a third will do so within the next 12 months. This contrasts with a 1999 survey finding that just 33 percent of the total workforce said they were likely to look for a different employer within two years.

ABA's Law Practice Quarterly

ARE ASSOCIATE SALARY WARS OVER?

Just six months ago, it seemed that law firms were fighting each other to see who could pay their associates the most money. But with fewer deals to staff, large firms are now reluctant to go any higher. New York's Cravath, Swaine & Moore, for example, has traditionally been a leader in associate salaries but is planning no jump in associate salaries this year and has declined to match higher salaries at other firms. California-based firms such as salary-leader Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati are also holding steady on associate pay this year. One managing partner noted that the declining dot com market has eased the competition for legal talent and has cooled the pressure to raise salaries. Parallels with the 1980s are now being seen. After salaries doubled during that decade, they generally remained flat for the following four or five years.

Law.com

LEGAL TRIVIA

What percentage of US law schools report that they have some form of grade cure for some classes?
  
(a)22 percent0
(b)33 percent
(c)55 percent
(d)66 percent

(Answer at the end of the newsletter)

QUOTE

"The West Coast view is that the firms that started this bonus wave have significant problems with associate satisfaction."

    --An unnamed chairman of a Silicon Valley firm reacting to large bonuses awarded to associates at some large New York firms.

UNQUOTE

ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU GO...

The town of New London, Connecticut requires applicants for police officer jobs take a written intelligence examination. While applicants were required to obtain a certain score on the exam, anyone who scored too high and getting a score of more than 54% were routinely turned down on the basis that they would get bored with the work.

  • Trivia Answer:

      (d) 66 percent


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