Orrick presented its new compensation plan to its associates today, and there was much rejoicing. Unlike many firms that cut base salaries with discretionary bonuses, Orrick kept the $160k starting salary for first year associates. After that associates will be arranged in three tiers, associates, managing associates and senior associates. The three tier system is something we’ve seen from several firms that have abandoned lockstep this year, but Orrick also has multiple pay scales within each tier. At the high end, senior associates will pull down a base salary of $250k, plus bonuses. In addition, Orrick says it will pay bonuses at market rate plus an additional discretionary amount of 5-15%, depending on tier. This is a very competitive structure and should make Orrick a strong competitor for recruitment. The salary changes will begin in 2010 but the firm says it will pay bonuses for 2009 based on this structure.