Kelley Drye Trifecta – Abandon Lockstep, Freeze Salaries, Pay Bonuses
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In a firm wide email sent out yesterday, Kelley Drye managed to fold what would typically be three different stories into one.

Over the next two years, Kelley Drye will move away from lockstep compensation and into a merit based pay scheme. Details have not yet been worked out. As a first step, however, 2010 salaries will be frozen at 2009 levels. Salaries for incoming associates, who were scheduled to begin in January, have not yet been set and according to the firm would be decided “early next year”. Looking at my calendar, January appears to me to be pretty early in the year so I certainly hope by “early next year” the firm means “within the next two weeks”. Either that or the firm is planning to re-defer their new associates but forgot to tell anyone. As a final point of business, the email said that bonuses for this year would range from $10k to $30k which puts them above the Cravath bonuses on the low end, assuming that first year associates receive bonuses at all.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP is an American law firm headquartered in New York City. It has over 300 attorneys in 7 offices, including an affiliated office in Mumbai.



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