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Haynes & Boone Cut First Year Salaries
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First year associates at Haynes & Boone will be starting after Thanksgiving, but at a reduced rate. The firm emailed its incoming associates and informed them that the salary for first years has been cut to $145k. The firm says that it has not decided on a pay structure for 2010 yet so this may be a temporary cut, but that seems unlikely in today’s market. The rush to $160k was fueled by competition for the best students coming out of law school and was coupled with other perks and benefits, lavish events and other promotions designed to win the hearts and minds of the next generation of lawyers. With law school enrollment on the rise and the number of biglaw jobs on the decline, the tables have turned a bit and firms don’t need to persuade recent graduates to come work for them. A job offer is enough.

Clients are also pushing for lower hourly rates, particularly from first year lawyers who are essentially getting on the job training at the clients expense. In today’s economy, firms are increasingly catering to the wishes of their clients in order to get the business and so more and more firms are offering cut rates for first year hours, or moving to alternative fee structures. None of this adds up to returning salaries to 160k next year for Haynes & Boone first year associates.

That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, and if it does happen I will happily eat my words.

  
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