DLA Piper Abandons Lockstep
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DLA Piperhas joined the lockstep march away from lockstep compensation. In a memo today, the firm outlined its new associate compensation package. In broad terms, it looks familiar. The overall structure resembles the plan published recently by Orrick, a three tier system with levels within the tiers. Unlike Orrick’s plan, however, DLA Piper associates will have 15% of their pay withheld each year and will have to earn it back by achieving what amounts to a certain grade on their performance review. True, the grades are numerical, not alphabetical, but the descriptions are reminiscent of grade descriptions commonly found in law school. What’s more, DLA Piper outlined the percentage of associates they expect to make each grade, leading AboveTheLaw to refer to it as a grading curve. You can also see a copy of the memo at ATL. It’s not clear that it is a curve, however, since there’s no indication that the expected percentage of associates at each grade level is fixed.


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