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

Firm is very transparent with finances and shows

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firm is very transparent with finances, and shows associates and partners alike the same numbers on firm performance. I always feel like I’m in the loop.” • “The firm is incredibly transparent on firm performance and finances. Every month associates get a statement listing out how many of our hours were billed to the client, at what rate, and what percentage was actually collected from the client.” Hours • “Face-time is not required as you rise in seniority; however, there are practical benefits from it. Work is distributed based on aptitude, so high performing associates tend to accumulate work.” • “Alston & Bird is a large law firm and expects associates to work hard, but that’s what we signed up for. Sometimes that means pulling late nights, working on weekends, and putting out fires on weekends. On the flip side, the firm is flexible with associates working remotely, taking personal time, and fitting in vacations. Face-time is important because that’s the easiest way to interact with your colleagues, but everyone also completely understands that there are times you need
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© 2017 Vault.com Inc. 464 Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms, 2018 Edition ALSTON & BIRD LLP to be out of the office and that’s fine as long as you get your work done.” • “It was difficult to find work my first year but that improved exponentially in my second year. Face-time is encouraged but not required. The distribution of work feels much more evenly split than it did when I was a first year associate.” • “Face-time is partner specific. I can work from home if I have a personal emergency arise and can have flexible hours as long as I make sure the work is completed.” Compensation • “Salary is lock-step. Bonuses are two part: hours-based (tied to billable hours) and merit-based. Merit-based is rarely given and typically reserved for those billing over 2,350 hours. Associates are compensated below market for a firm of our size.” • “The firm needs to seriously consider its compensation structure. Our office is below market and all of the peer firms in our city pay market. Our bonuses are far below market and require more hours to get than market firms. This is on top of benefit cuts made this year.” • “Feels like bonuses could be a little higher but firm tries not to encourage high billing. Base was raised last year so happy on the whole.” • “Pay is lock-step so we are with the market. However, the bonuses, although starting at lower hours, are not the same as other firms once you get up to 2,100. Also, the hours have increased by 50 so they will be even more disproportionate.” Quality of Work • “All of my work is high-level and substantive. My friends at peer firms do not get half of the substantive work I receive at A&B.
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  • Fall '16
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