Paul L. Caron

Thursday, April 9, 2020

BigLaw Starts Cancelling Summer Associate Programs, Delaying First Year Associate Start Dates, And Cutting Salaries

American Lawyer, Orrick Cuts Salaries, Delays First-Year Associate Start Dates to 2021:

CoronavirusOrrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe appears to be the first firm to announce it will delay its incoming first-year associate class until 2021 as a result of the economic impact of the coronavirus.

The firm confirmed the move along with several other cost-cutting measures aimed at combating the coronavirus’ impact on the firm’s 2020 financial performance. Those other measures include reducing pay for U.S. attorneys and staff firmwide and reducing some staff hours.

The salary cuts will begin Wednesday through the end of the year. Orrick will also reduce hours for many staff members and alter their 2020 summer associate program.

American Lawyer, Cahill Suspends Summer Associates Program But Offers 'Pay in Full' and Jobs Later On:

Cahill Gordon & Reindel announced it was suspending its summer associate program but will offer jobs upon graduation in 2021 to would-be participants and still pay the 30 summer associates “in full for the summer.”  The New York-based firm pays summers $3,600 per week. ...

Above the Law, Biglaw Associate Salary Cuts Come To The Am Law 50:

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (ranked 44 by Am Law) co-chairs Steve Baumer and Lisa Mayhew sent a firm-wide email letting everyone know that all employees making over $40,000 will be taking a 15 percent pay cut.

Above the Law, Am Law 100 Firm Announces Attorney Layoffs And Furloughs:

Biglaw has been awash in cost-cutting measures designed to keep the firms afloat during these hard times. The latest example of that comes from Am Law 100 firm, Nixon Peabody.

The firm already announced massive staff layoffs, and now lawyers are also seeing the axe. According to multiple tipsters at the firm, the firm is cutting 10 percent of non-partner attorneys, and tipsters report even senior associates were impacted. The cuts are divided by approximately 5 percent layoffs (with three months of health insurance) and 5 percent furloughs (presumably with full benefits).

For complete TaxProf Blog coverage of the coronavirus, see here.

Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink


A reminder that even before these salary cuts, the top market wage in NYC that only applied to a plurality of firms, $190k, was no higher in real dollars than the $125k that law firms led by Gunderson Dettmer began paying in 1999. Now the top salaries are lower, in real dollars, than they were two decades ago, even as tuition continues to soar. And one political party still wants to eradicate PSLF and dilute the other income-based repayment plans that are the lifeline for so very many law school graduates.

The financial reasons for attending law school continue to diminish.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Apr 11, 2020 11:56:37 AM

Speaking as the managing partner of a small firm (16 lawyers) in a lockdown state, we're facing none of those problems. Our size provides protection from the massive overhead which is sinking these mega-firms. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Posted by: Strelnikov | Apr 10, 2020 7:07:48 AM