|Oregon State Bar Bulletin FEBRUARY/MARCH 2007|
First-Year Associate Salary Wars
It started with the New York firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, which raised first-years’ starting pay to $160,000 on Jan. 22, 2007. At the time, you had to be a fourth-year associate in most California-based big firms to command $175,000, and first-years received $145,000. In response, though, some California firms have quickly raised first-years from $145,000 to $160,000 to match — but only in their New York offices.
However, some New York firms will be paying their California
office associates on the higher scale, so how will that in turn sit on
the West Coast? According to reports on law.com, firms in Washington,
D.C., Atlanta, Boston and elsewhere are feeling the immediate pressure,
and they are acting upon it. If firms feel a responsibility to offer
the most competitive salaries in the industry, this could get more interesting — and
expensive (or lucrative, depending on your point of view). Follow the
evolving story on law.com, beginning with articles on Jan. 31 and Feb.
Book Offers Tips on Probation,
Sawyer, a community corrections coordinator for the Oregon Department of Corrections, learned from his experience of supervising hundreds of clients as they moved through the criminal justice system. Though many would succeed, he says, far too many would fail. He wrote this handbook to provide strategies for people from any background to promote positive change in their lives while under supervision and beyond. "Offenders cannot depend on probation officers to help them through the system anymore," Sawyer says. "They must learn how to teach themselves how to succeed." The hope is that lawyers will share the book with appropriate clients.
For more information, go to the Publish America website at www.publishamerica.com.
CDs For JDs:
Lawyer-artists include The Bar & Grill Singers from Austin, Texas ("A Time to Grill," "Grilling Me Softly" and "Licensed to Grill") and West Virginia’s Bob Noone and The Well-Hung Jury ("Wingtips Optional" and "Second Helping of Chicken Suit for the Lawyer’s Soul"). The groups perform in a wide range of styles and cover topics ranging from lifetime judicial appointments to legal education.
CDs are available for $14.95 each at www.TheBillableHour.com
Law Firm Leverage Varied
Recent analyses of the directory’s data reveal that, whether measured as the ratio of all lawyers to partners, as the ratio of associates to partners, or as the ratio of other lawyers (of counsel, senior and staff attorneys) to partners, law firms vary widely in their mix of lawyers.
Regardless of the measure used, on average, larger law firms leverage their partners with associates and other lawyers to a greater degree than do smaller firms. For example, the ratio of associates to partners in firms of 100 or fewer lawyers is about 0.7. Leverage figures rise rapidly for firms of 251 or more lawyers. In firms of more than 700 lawyers, the figure is about double, at 1.38.
City averages for leverage vary from city to city: lawyer/partner ratios ranged from a low of about 1.6 in Grand Rapids and Milwaukee, to a high of 3.16 in New York City. A number of cities, including Portland, are in the middle, with leverage in the 1.68 to 1.75 range.
The directory is available online at www.nalpdirectory.com.
Supreme Court Justice
Justice Scalia will deliver the keynote address at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 12 in the Chiles Center on campus, 5000 North Willamette Blvd. His address is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. To obtain tickets, contact Jamie Powell at the Garaventa Center (503) 943-7702.