Tuesday, December 20, 2005

One of our peer firms did something stupid today and raised first year salaries by $10K. Which of course means we have to follow suit or we'll be left behind and relegated to second-tier status by the law students we hope to woo and the associates we hope to bleed for a few more months until they finally escape to a faraway island where their Blackberries don't work.

$135K is too much base salary for someone just out of law school who can't do anything but comb through stacks of paper. $125K was too much. But at least it stayed there for a while. This comes right out of the pockets of the partners. It's robbing Peter to pay Paul.

But at least associates show up to work pretty regularly. I got an e-mail from a colleague at a firm in New York, where I understand there's a transit strike and people who suffer through public transportation most days didn't have the luxury this morning. Part of his e-mail:

"It's days like this that highlight how useless the support staff is. Most of my associates found a way in. But half the staff is out and we're struggling to cover for them. I'm typing this e-mail myself! So excuse any misspellings. My car came right on time this morning. There are taxis. There's some sort of commuter system the city set up, I don't know the details. There are sidewalks. It's not that cold out. I don't know why the secretaries feel like they didn't have to come into work today. The bridges allow pedestrian traffic. I don't buy the excuse that most of them live too far from the office. I live in Westchester. I got here. We decided we're treating them like the city is treating the strikers. Penalize them 2 days of pay for every day they miss. Maybe that'll make them a little more resourceful tomorrow."

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