Associates’ total compensation package consists of salary, benefits, and discretionary bonus. The current range of base salaries begins at $115,000 for a first-year associate and ends at $130,000 for a seventh-year associate.
We are a business of professionals. We expect excellent work, dedication to the firm, and service to clients within a framework that assures the economic success of the firm and those who depend on it. We also expect associates to manage their work and personal lives so they are able to annually bill 1800 hours of the high quality work our clients expect. The base salary compensates associates for billable work performed on behalf of the firm’s clients and for non-billable activities beneficial to the associate, the firm, its clients, and the community.
Associates are also eligible to share in the financial success of the firm by receiving a discretionary bonus at the end of the firm’s fiscal year. The size of the associate bonus pool is based on the overall profitability of the firm in a particular year. Individual bonus determinations are based on the unique value of each associate’s overall contributions to the firm and its clients. They are not hours-based, and they are not lockstep. Instead, the Compensation Committee, based on associates’ performance evaluations, personal submissions, and other firm-generated data, makes informed judgments about each associate’s contributions by assessing the following factors:
- Excellence of work product
- Participation in career path planning and progress toward identified goals
- Recognition or dependence by clients
- Generation of new, or expansion of existing, client relationships
- Personal sacrifice
- Development of specialized expertise or reputation
- Participation in management of the firm
- Development of advanced professional skills or capabilities
Like bonuses for shareholders, discretionary bonuses for associates will depend upon and vary with the firm’s success, but it has been our practice to reward exceptional performance with exceptional compensation and, based on our history, we anticipate that total annual salary and bonus compensation will fall within the following ranges:
- First – second year associates: $115,000 to $140,000
- Third – fifth year associates: $122,000 to $165,000
- Sixth – seventh year associates: $128,000 to $190,000
Neither the dollar amounts nor the class groupings outlined here should be viewed as guarantees or limits. The financial success of the firm as a whole and the unique value of each associate’s performance and contributions are the primary variables affecting the bonus amount.
Each associate is informed of the Committee’s bonus decision and provided with the general reasoning behind the bonus decision and its calculation. The annual review process is used to identify specific actions that may be taken in the future to increase bonus potential, and total compensation could be above or below the anticipated ranges.
Recognizing that associates with a variety of career aspirations make valuable contributions to the firm, and in the interest of attracting and retaining those associates, the firm has developed the Flex Program. Any associate, beginning in his or her fourth year (and after at least one full year of service with the Firm), is eligible to participate by requesting approval from the Firm’s Board of Directors. The associate and the Board of Directors will mutually agree upon a specific, reduced billable hour expectation and related base salary. The salary of an associate on the Flex Program will be adjusted to reflect the adjusted hours expectation. Bonuses for associates on the Flex Program are determined using the same factors as described above.
Requests to participate in the Program will be handled with a year-to-year assessment of the firm’s needs and the individual’s performance and workload. Given our objective of attracting, developing and retaining talented attorneys with diverse backgrounds, the firm will, as part of the Flex Program, consider any alternative proposal for flexible work arrangements that upholds our standards of excellence and client service, makes economic sense, and serves our Core Values. The duration of an associate’s shareholder track may be affected by participation in the Flex Program, but participation will not prevent an associate from becoming a shareholder in the firm.