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Kaplan College Paralegal Studies


Lawdragon


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.

SEPTEMBER 2001

NEWS FROM THE JOB FRONT

Billable Hours v. Babies

Associate Salaries At A Standstill

Firms Stagger Start Dates for First-Years

British Salaries Still Lower But Catching Up

OTHER FEATURES

Legal Trivia

Quote, UnQuote

One More Thing Before You Go


BILLABLE HOURS v. BABIES

The Philadelphia Bar Association's "Survey of the Profession" has found a drop in the number of law firm associates having children. The survey found that 30 percent of Philadelphia associates are parents. This represents a six percent drop from five years ago. One participant in the survey said he thought the declining numbers were due to the fact that "we are expected to be at the firm more." Another associate said that "increased salaries mean a lot of expected billable hours." On the positive side, several associates involved in the survey said they thought new technology enabling them to work from home will facilitate having children while remaining as law firm associates.

Legal Intelligencer

ASSOCIATE SALARIES AT A STANDSTILL

After several consecutive years of increases, associate salaries have leveled off. Law firms nationwide are reporting that salaries for first-year associates will not increase this year. While firm revenues have also skyrocketed at major firms over the past several years, associate salaries outpaced the market. For that reason, associates may have to wait a while before seeing additional increases. One law firm consultant said she "would not be surprised if for the next three years there was no change." There have been no real signs of reductions when it comes to base salaries. Cuts, however, have been seen in the form of reduction or elimination of associate bonuses.

National Law Journal

FIRMS STAGGER START DATES FOR FIRST-YEARS

Another cost-cutting step taken by larger firms is the staggering of start dates for first-year associates. Whereas most new lawyers used to be able to pick their first day at the office, more and more firms are now dictating these dates. At Silicon Valley's Wilson Sonsini, for example, there are three different designated dates. The first is October, which in years past, was considered a late reporting date. The second and third dates are in November and December. With 84 lawyers in this year's class, the firm estimates this move will save $875,000 in base salaries alone.

The Recorder

BRITISH SALARIES STILL LOWER BUT CATCHING UP

Salaries at British law firms have typically lagged behind US salaries. There are several reasons for this, one being that most British lawyers do not start their careers with the student loan debt carried by those coming out of American law schools. The salary gap between the two sides of the Atlantic, however, is becoming smaller. The reason for this, many say, is American law firms. In recent years, US firms have become more prominent in Britain, especially in London. Many American firms doing business in London pay their associates ten percent higher than what British firms pay local associates. The pay gap, however, remains large. First-year associates at London's biggest firms are paid the equivalent of $70,000 a year.

American Lawyer

LEGAL TRIVIA

In 1999, Silicon Valley's seven most active law firms handled 334 initial public offerings. How many IPO did these same firms handle during the first six months of 2001?
  
(a)$250 million
(b)$500 million
(c)$750 million
(d)$1 billion

(Answer at the end of the newsletter)

QUOTE

"Our concession employees should never describe popcorn to a customer as 'Hot.' Encourage the adjectives 'Fresh,' 'Golden,' 'Delicious,' etc."

    --A notice to California movie theater owners based on the mistaken conclusion that state sales tax applies only to hot food sold at concession stands

UNQUOTE

ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU GO...

When adjusted for inflation, attorneys at New York's Legal Aid Society made an average annual salary of $36,089 in 1985 and $36,750 today. At New York's Skadden, Arps, first year associates made $80,000 in 1985 and $140,000 today.

  • Trivia Answer:

      (e) 2000 revenues for Skadden, Arps were $1,154,000,000.


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