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

In my first few months as an associate ive worked

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• “In my first few months as an associate, I’ve worked directly with several partners. Although this can be difficult in the sense that partners sometimes forget how little a new associate knows, it has created a tremendous opportunity to learn from those with great experience. While I am held to high standards, I am generally treated with respect and provided opportunities to work directly with clients.” Hours • “I work long hours, but nothing close to the horror stories I’ve heard from friends at other comparable big firms. I haven’t had any problem receiving substantive work, and I am routinely challenged by my projects, which allows me to stay engaged and makes the days fly by. I don’t perceive face-time as being a requirement whatsoever; this makes working hard much easier when I can work where I want and when I want so long as I keep in communication with my co-workers.” • “It takes a while to get a steady stream of work after first starting. Reed Smith is not a face-time firm and many lawyers routinely work from home, however, when just getting started, it has been important to be there to start-generate a pipeline of work. Work distribution can be a bit all over the place, and it is essentially up to the associate to gauge when he or she has too much work and will not be able to take on a new assignment.” • “For the performance review period (Sept to Aug), the expectation is 1900, although it is not a “requirement’ anymore. For the bonus review period (Jan to Dec), you need
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© 2017 Vault.com Inc. 500 Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms, 2018 Edition REED SMITH LLP to bill 1950 to be eligible for any profit sharing bonus. 120 hours of pro bono count toward your billable totals.” • “There is no face-time requirement. I work from home as much or as little as I want. This makes a huge difference in my quality of life and ability to maintain balance in both my personal and professional endeavors.” Compensation • “Reed Smith pays slightly less than market leaders. While many would like to see the firm match them on this, I think most would take the lifestyle benefits of work at Reed instead. Beyond the first two years, the firm’s policy seems to be to reward highly-performing associates considerably, while less-profitable associates will see their salaries and bonuses stagnate.” • “Reed Smith raised first year associates to market, but does not pay other associates at market scale. They continue to insist that our bonuses ‘make up for the difference’ but that is patently false, given that our bonuses are far below market as well. Our hours are consistent with many of the firms that do pay market, as are the increasing expectations for business development.” • “Reed Smith is a black box compensation model after year 2. The comp ranges between offices and between practice groups. Some groups are market, while others are not. The bonuses in the group that pay market salary tend to be at or near market bonus as well.” • “Below market and has been for the last 6 years.”
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  • Fall '16
  • Hugard

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