Calif. Firms Slow to the Draw in Salary Wars

Source: The Recorder

By Rebecca Cohen

While New York firms tripped over themselves this week to match Cravath, Swaine & Moore's new base pay scale for associates, most California firms took a more cautious approach.

One California firm that did immediately raise salaries to match Cravath was Hueston Hennigan, a Los Angeles-based litigation boutique formed last year by a group of Irell & Manella defectors. Because of the firm's small size, that move surprised Courtney Goldstein, a legal recruiter in Major, Lindsey & Africa's Southern California office, though she said she wasn't shocked given the firm's pedigree.

"The attorneys at that firm are in the same pool as the other firms that matched [Cravath] and will likely match in the coming months," Goldstein said.

But the bump also comes with some caveats, Goldstein said. Firms will likely decrease bonuses initially as they raise salaries, and attorneys can expect a demand for increased billables.

Read more of this feature at The Recorder.

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