Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms, 2018 Edition.pdf

Invites mid level and senior associates every other

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invites mid-level and senior associates every other year to a session providing a detailed overview of the partnership process, the business case, and qualities of strong candidates. Associates are encouraged to have open conversations with their Practice Group Leaders about partnership interest and prospects . Hours • “Face-time is important for more junior lawyers, but more experienced lawyers just need to be responsive. The hours are challenging, but so would they be anywhere else in the field.” • “The hours and face-time requirements are not bad con- sidering the fact that it is still BigLaw. Work flow is monitored relatively closely and an effort is made to ensure even distribution of work where possible. Face-time is encouraged during the week, but staying late or coming in on the weekends is not encouraged as much (generally working from home during those times is acceptable).” • “Overall, my work hours are manageable, however, the work flow may differ greatly depending on the project dynamics: it is not uncommon to have a 100-hour month followed by a 250-hour month; although work distribution process largely remains informal, partners tend to distribute work fairly and keep work hours of each associate at the same level.” • “The firm maintains a 2,000 hour billable requirement though associates are urged to aim for 2,150 to 2,300 hours.” Compensation • “Extremely satisfied. Associates receive New York market salary and bonuses (assuming decent billable hours) while living in Texas (with lower cost of living and no state income tax).” • “With the recent market raise, I have nothing to complain about compensation wise. First years even received a prorated stub bonus with no billables requirement. For all other associates, I believe there was a 2000 hour minimum (including pro bono hours) to receive a bonus, with possible ‘pluses’ for very high billers and those producing exceptional work.” • “Vinson & Elkins was the first Texas-based firm to match the Cravath-scale. Bonus decisions are wholly determined by practice group, which means certain associates who billed over 2,000 hours and earned fees in the mid-range of their peer group did not earn bonus if they were not top billers within their practice group. This significantly impacts the compensation of associates in smaller practice groups.” • “Market salary and bonus at 2,000 hours. Starting with the 2016 bonuses, the firm has finally begun paying DC associates bonuses commensurate with the firm’s NYC/San Fran offices. This is a major improvement and should greatly ease compensation tensions from prior years.” Quality of Work • “A majority of my time since I started has been spent on substantive legal work. There is a lot of room to take initiative and take on more substantive legal work and there is plenty of support for those who do.” • “I do spend most of my time doing legal work that is appropriate for my level and helps to continue to grow professionally. I
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  • Fall '16
  • Hugard

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