The Firms

August 26, 2010 3:00 PM

Orrick Announces Associate Pay Raises

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

If anyone's noticed a little more spring in the steps of young lawyers milling about their local Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe offices, you're probably not just seeing things. Orrick announced this week that, with the exception of first-years, associates at the firm will start bringing home fatter paychecks starting in January.

According to an internal firm memo, entry-level associates will continue to make $160,000 in top markets, reports Legal Pad, sibling publication The Recorder's daily blog. Annual salaries for second-year associates will rise $10,000 to $170,000, and third-years will gain $15,000 for a salary of $185,000. Managing associates will take home somewhere between $210,000 and $250,000, while senior associates will make as much as $265,000 in base salary, according to Orrick spokesman David Schaefer.

The changes come a little over a year after the firm debuted its new associate "talent model," which rejected lockstep pay raises and created new associate categories based on performance and ability. Schaefer says the model is based on the idea that attorneys progress at different rates, and that compensation and bonuses should be "driven by merit, rather than solely billable hours."

Shaefer insists the new pay structure does not signal a return to lockstep associate pay raises at Orrick. He told Legal Pad that while salaries will be tied to longevity at the firm during associates' first three years, the new system retains flexibilty to decide more senior associate pay.



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