Saturday, March 7, 2009


If you've got something you want to share with HP/ issues you are seeing out there/or even crappy ways you were treated, you can feel free to drop me a note at:  


Anonymous said...

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the recent McGuire Woods decision to lower their starting salary for certain offices from $160K to $144, and to shorten their summer season, as opposed to laying off associates. Do you think this is a better plan? Will other firms start following their lead? I feel like it is a much more loyal decision.

f-3 said...

You are correct that it is a relatively applaudable decision, but if a firm has cash flow issues, it's not going to worry about following McGuireWoods' or anybody's lead - they are going to slash people.

Look at Latham and its aftermath - no one is saying, "Latham gave 6 months' severance + health insurance, we should do the same."

I was once told that it costs a business 2-2.5 times a person's salary to keep them when you figure in the fixed costs of running a business and employee benefits. Cutting salaries by 10% and shortening the summer program will help of course, but not as much as laying off idle manpower.

Some firms may go further than others to either try to save jobs or mitigate the impact (again, see Latham), but if firms are looking for any example to follow, they are looking for the worst-case scenarios out there to see what cost-cutting measures they can implement without looking like an outlier and without damaging client confidence.

I don't want to promote fearmongering here, and I certainly hope firms can survive simply by taking McGuireWoods' measures, but I think those will be in the minority, and it's certainly not going to lead to any "lock-step" patterns.

Anonymous said...

HP, I'm part of a summer class of less than 10 SA's in our office and the office is a decent size (150-200). I know you can't tell the future but do you think the small class size bodes well for offers?

I'd still love to see a post on what differentiates an excellent SA from a mediocre SA.

Anonymous said...

ATL already started the ball rolling today, I was hoping you could weigh in on the current biglaw landscape for clerks.

Anonymous said...

HP, I am also curious what you think about BigLaw prospects for current clerks (state and federal). Thanks!

Anonymous said...


In a large office of national firm I am the only associate in my practice group at this location. I am a female third year, and joined the group as a second year (started out in real estate and switched as market tanked). Three of the group partners, all men, have been practicing over 20 years; there hasn't been a junior level associate for a long time. There is also a female partner in the group, who has been partner for about 6 months, who has suddenly and vocally started complaining about my work to the other partners. As far as I can tell, there is no change in my work product or methods. She has even started making copies of my memos with her comments on them and passing them on to the head of the group. I think she is trying to get me fired.

Should I confront her, ignore it, quit, or what? Even though the firm is big, our group is too small for this kind of antagonism and hostility - makes it a very unpleasant place to work and I'll never develop my best skills if I can't learn from my colleagues. I'm open to any thoughts and suggestions.