Ever said you would be glad to take a salary cut for an hours cut?
Pittsburgh-based law firm Reed Smith is lowering starting salaries to $130,000 for associates joining the firm’s major-market offices, which include New York and Los Angeles, in January, the ABA Journal reports. Associates in Pittsburgh will make $110,000.
The firm is also making what will likely be a much-appreciated concession to clients by lowering their billing rates by 20%.
These salaries represent a 20% pay cut, but they also come with a little more than 10% decrease in billing expectations, from 1,900 hours to 1,700 for new associates. That means that, assuming two weeks vacation, you’ll be in good shape if you bill 34 hours per week.
That’s a real life, without constant dinners at your desk and 10:00 PM or later rides home.
Of course, this only works if you are only actually billing the seven or so hours a day — the lower salary becomes a lot less enticing if you are only expected to bill 1,700 but are really hitting 2,000 or higher.
Like everything else in this non-lockstep, lower salaries, salary-freezing world, we’ll see how it turns out. With 20% less money, but what could be more than 20% more life, maybe a salary cut is not so bad. But if a salary-cut does not in reality mean an hours-cut, the revolts will be quick in coming.
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