Law Firm Chaos

How to Read the Spreadsheet

The spreadsheet posted below includes a summary of the following information for all V100 law firms:

1) Rescinded Offers:
This column indicates whether the law firm rescinded offers for 2Ls or 3Ls.

2) Summer Program
: This column indicates the length of the upcoming summer program for the class of 2010. We will also be adding the menu for the summer program, which does not look good. There are rumors that the summer associate lunch budget is $4.50 per meal.

3) Start Dates and Stipend Information (3 Columns):
We did not include advances because it really isn't a benefit; just a loan and not worth mentioning. If the stipend amount is followed by "if PI", the stipend is only available if the associate secures a public interest position for the deferral period. If the stipend amount is followed by "if CC", the stipend is only available if the associate secures a legal position with a corporate client of the firm for the deferral period. Finally, if there is more than one option, the soonest start date is typically available to all associates and the longer deferral(s) is available to associates who voluntarily defer their start date.

4) Stipend Information (4 Columns): These columns includes both bar stipends and signing bonuses in major markets, the maximum number of months an associate is deferred (even if by choice), the total stipend amount (Bar Stipend + Deferral Stipend), and the total stipend amount by month. In most cases the firm will only reimburse associates for bar expenses. In such cases, the Bar Stipend column will indicate "Bar Expenses" only. If a dollar amount is listed, it means that the firm offers associates a flat stipend to cover bar expenses. If the bar expenses are less than the stipend amount, the associate gets a nice little bonus.

5) Salary Information (3 Columns): The next few columns list the first year salary in major markets, whether the law firm froze salaries, and the clerkship bonus amount. We are getting some tips that some firms are abandoning the lock step salary structure and reducing salaries for some associates within a class. We have already seen firms freeze salaries and then offer a raise only to those who reached a certain target for hours billed, but it appears as though some firms are drawing the line based on other factors. In some cases only individuals who barely escaped a lay off will end up experiencing a salary freeze.

6) Incoming Associates (2 Columns): The next two columns lists the number of new first year associates that are scheduled to start sometime between August 2009 and forever and the number of Summer Associates for 2009 as reported on NALP. NALP appears to only report the number of incoming and summer associates in the United States so the numbers may be lower than the actual amount. We are currently searching for a more accurate estimate.

7) Layoffs (3 Columns): The next three columns represent the number of attorney and staff layoffs that have been announced publicly and whether the firm laid off any first year associates. We understand that many firms are engaging in stealth layoffs, but do not have any means at this time to confirm this behavior. If you have information about layoffs, please let us know.

8) Firm Information (2 Columns): The last set of columns includes information about the firm such as the total number of attorneys and the location of the headquarters. Additional information will be posted soon.

If you have additional information, please send the information to (with source or pdf copy of the letter or email if available). The purpose of this sheet is to provide associates with a means to evaluate how each firm handled this financial crisis. We will add additional information if it would be helpful to make such a determination. If you have ideas for additional content that is accessible on the internet, please let us know in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment