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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.

JUNE 2001

NEWS FROM THE JOB FRONT

Client Backlash Against Associate Salaries

Law Firm Corners Being Smoothed Out

Is Part-Time Work a Real Option?

Study Finds Female Lawyers Earning Less Than Male Counterparts

OTHER FEATURES

Legal Trivia

Quote, UnQuote

One More Thing Before You Go


CLIENT BACKLASH AGAINST ASSOCIATE SALARIES

One of the top in-house attorneys for Sun Microsystems was not pleased when he heard that salaries for first-year attorneys at Northern California law firms had hit $170,000. In response, he contacted outside lawyers doing work for the company and urged them not to match the new high-salary mark. In the communication, he said that he would "disfavor those firms that move to similar compensation structures." Instead, his legal department intends to "focus our relationships with those firms that understand the importance of maintaining rational policies." The Sun Microsystems attorney also voiced disfavor with firms that require high annual billing goals in order for associates to reach maximum compensation levels. He said that this "creates an incentive for lawyers to do nothing but bill hours and look for ways to charge clients more hours."

American Lawyer

LAW FIRM CORNERS BEING SMOOTHED OUT

The work style of Silicon Valley law firms helped erode one law firm standard - formal business attire. Now those same firms are taking aim at another law firm institution - the corner office. Several Northern California firms are designing their offices so that all corners are taken by conference rooms instead of individual lawyer offices. The firms are also designing space so that each individual office is the same size. These trends, however, are yet to catch on in other locations. One partner in the New York office of a firm with a Silicon Valley presence broke into a laugh when asked if New York firms would adopt the same policy on office space.

The Recorder

IS PART-TIME WORK A REAL OPTION?

Two statistics help explain the state of the part-time lawyer concept. First, almost 95 percent of the law firms surveyed by the National Association for Law Placement say they offer their attorneys part-time work arrangements. Meanwhile, only about three percent of the 100,000 lawyers surveyed say they actually work part-time. Cited by law firm associates as the reasons for avoiding part-time arrangements are the fear of being labeled less than fully-committed, not receiving fair compensation for the time they work and getting bumped off the partnership track. Still, some see a trend toward more part-time arrangements, especially as more and more lawyers are remaining at law firms despite not being on the partnership track.

National Jurist

STUDY FINDS FEMALE LAWYERS EARNING LESS THAN MALE COUNTERPARTS

While there are now more women than men entering US law schools, female lawyers are earning less than their male counterparts. An American Bar Association report has found that, on average, "female lawyers earn about $20,000 less a year than male lawyers with the same qualifications and experience. The report, the most extensive ever completed on the subject, says that women constitute 30 percent of American lawyers but only 15 percent of law firm partners, 15 percent of federal judges, 10 percent of law school deans, 10 percent of general counsels and 5 percent of managing partners at law firms. Another finding of the ABA report is that while 85 percent of all male lawyers are married, only about half of female lawyers are married. Thirty percent of the women attorneys surveyed indicted they doubted they could combine the roles of lawyer, wife and mother.

Los Angeles Times

LEGAL TRIVIA

Which president issued the most presidential pardons and which president issued the largest presidential pardon?

(Answer at the end of the newsletter)

QUOTE

"It really isn't a salary for a professional in the Bay Area."

    --A retiring federal judge from Northern California commenting on his $145,000 annual salary

UNQUOTE

ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU GO...

. . . and one more thing on presidential pardons. Six presidents have pardoned felons who attempted to assassinate their predecessors.

  • Trivia Answer:

      Franklin Roosevelt issued the most - 3,697 during his four terms. Ronald Reagan issued the biggest presidential pardon when he granted permanent legal residency to 2.7 million illegal aliens.


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