Posts Categorized: Compensation

Partner compensation: Start making sense

Posted by & filed under Compensation.

I was chatting recently with a U.S. law firm managing partner, who asked me about the Canadian health-care system and how I’d compare it to its American counterpart. Stepping carefully around that minefield, I did allow that health-care regimes worldwide are like partner compensation schemes in law firms: there’s at least one thing seriously wrong with every version, but so long… Read more »

The canary in our coal mine

Posted by & filed under Compensation, Law School, New Lawyers.

My newest column has been posted at Slaw, winner of the Canadian Association of Law Librarians’ 2009 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing. It’s the latest honour for Canada’s best legal website, and yet another reason to read this post there and take in the rest of the terrific content.

The failure of billable-hour compensation

Posted by & filed under Billing, Compensation.

Two ugly stories from the mainstream legal media at least give us the opportunity to consider an under-publicized way in which the billable hour poisons the profession. First is this National Law Journal article about how law firms are responding to the recession (short answer: myopically). Among other things, firms are laying off staff and… Read more »

Fear and loathing in the law firm

Posted by & filed under Compensation, New Lawyers.

Many law firms’ insistence on treating their newest associates as adversaries continues to baffle me. Law firms know very well that the associates they hire fresh out of law school (or even after a year of articling) are sufficiently unskilled that they don’t merit the salaries they make or the rates they bill. Equally, firms… Read more »

Casualties of the salary war

Posted by & filed under Compensation, New Lawyers.

Dan Hull at What About Clients has stirred the smouldering embers of the associate salary debate with a post suggesting that new lawyers should pay law firms to apprentice with them. It’s a provocative idea, and while I voiced my disagreement with it in a comment there, I do appreciate the frustration he and other… Read more »

Coping with fewer associates

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Compensation, Demographics, Talent.

The Ottawa Citizen ran an article over the weekend that caught my eye, thanks in part to this succinct summary of the gigantic demographic challenge facing the North American economy: Baby boomers are retiring and the number of young adults behind them is on an irreversible slide. Starting in 2011, Canada’s workforce will lose two… Read more »

The value proposition for associates

Posted by & filed under Big Firms, Billing, Compensation.

From the Recorder comes news of a 220-lawyer firm in San Diego that has decided to abandon lockstep, year-of-call-based compensation for its associates.  Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps has created no fewer than 14 different levels of associate compensation, based on what type of law the associate practises and how good she is at it…. Read more »

The good times rolled

Posted by & filed under Clients, Compensation, New Lawyers.

A noteworthy item in the National Law Journal today, interesting for a bunch of reasons. The thrust of the article is that with a recession likely to arrive in 2008, associates at many top US firms are likely to see an end to the salary and bonus frenzy that has obsessed the legal press for… Read more »

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