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Law360 (April 17, 2020, 1:06 PM EDT) --
UPDATED June 1, 2020, 12:00 PM EDT
| The spreading coronavirus pandemic has upended the legal industry, forcing firms to cut salaries, lay off attorneys and make changes to summer associate programs. Here is a roundup of how law firms are responding.
Click firms below for more details. This list will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
Akerman on April 24 announced it would cut 12.5% from the draws of most partners, of counsel and consultants; 17.5% from the draws of some partners with a different compensation arrangement; 7.5% from the compensation of associates and staff with annual salaries of $150,000 or higher; and 5% from the compensation of staff with annual salaries of less than $150,000. On May 21, the firm told Law360 it will conduct its summer associate program virtually starting July 6 and will shorten its normally eight-week program to four weeks. Summer associates will be paid for those four weeks and offer decisions will be made at the end of the program.
Akin Gump on May 8 said it will host a virtual summer associate program that will span five weeks from early July to early August, according to a memo sent to its associates. However, associates will receive full compensation for the 10 weeks the firm had initially planned. Second-year summer associates can expect job offers after graduation, and first-year associates should expect invitations to return next summer, the firm said.
Allen & Overy on April 27 said its summer associate program will begin in mid-June and will be conducted virtually. On May 12, the firm confirmed the program is slated to begin June 22 and will run for six weeks, with participants still receiving 10 weeks' worth of pay.
Arent Fox announced April 15 that it had dropped its summer associate program, though each 2020 summer associate will be invited to join the firm as an associate in the fall of 2021 following their graduations.
Arnold & Porter on May 1 told Law360 it has shortened its summer program to five weeks and will run remotely starting June 8. The firm expects to offer full-time positions to all of its second-year summer associates to join as first-year associates in 2021, while the first-year summer associates will receive offers to return next summer.
Baker Botts on April 27 laid out a pay-cut plan starting May 1 and lasting until at least July 31 that includes 20% to 30% reductions in pay for counsel, 20% reductions for associates, and 0% to 25% reductions for staff, based on their salaries, with those making less than $70,000 escaping the cuts, according to an internal memo obtained by Law360. The firm will also be delaying its new associate start dates until 2021, and it will potentially award interim bonuses to associates and counsel who are found to be "exceptional contributors," the memo said. On May 1, the firm confirmed to Law360 that it had informed its summer associates in early April that it will delay the summer associate program by at least a month and is planning on hosting it remotely. Baker Botts said it is extending offers to all of its summer associates, as long as they maintain a strong academic performance.
Baker Donelson confirmed April 1 to Law360 that it was imposing temporary pay cuts and furloughing employees. At the time, the firm declined to provide details about the measures. On May 26, the firm told Law360 it will hold an abbreviated summer associate program, shortened from six to four weeks, with a delayed June 1 start date. The program will be virtual but, depending on the stay-at-home orders in each state, the firm said it hopes to have some presence for the summer associates in the office during the final week of the program.
Baker McKenzie told Law360 on April 13 that it will reduce salaries for attorneys including nonequity partners, other timekeepers and business professionals in the U.S. by 15% and Canada attorneys and staff by 10%. The firm did add that no one earning less than $100,000 will be impacted and that "the largest compensation impacts will be felt by equity partners." Additionally, employee base pay will not be adjusted in July as planned and there will be an unspecified adjustment to the firm's bonus pool to save money. On April 21, the firm told Law360 that it has decided on a shorter virtual summer associate program, starting June 29 and ending July 31, in the U.S. and Canada, and that it plans to pay the associates for those five weeks.
BakerHostetler on May 7 announced it is cutting partners' annual compensation by 15% to 20% and associate and staff pay by 10%. The adjustments may remain in place through the end of 2020, though the firm promised employees they would not see their base compensation drop below a floor of $70,000 or $80,000, depending on the market. Administrative assistants and staff will also have the option of working a reduced work schedule as a replacement for the 10% salary cut. On May 20, the firm told Law360 it will run a remote, condensed summer associate program starting in early July. The firm will pay the associates for the four weeks they are employed by the firm.
Ballard Spahr announced April 14 a pay cut plan across the firm, where nonpartner attorneys and staff making more than $250,000 per year will see a 15% reduction in their pay, while those making between $75,000 and $250,000 will see a 10% cut. Those making less than $75,000 will not see their pay affected. The Philadelphia-based firm's approximately 240 partners, meanwhile, will see their draws reduced by between 20% and 25%. On May 11, the firm said its summer associate program had been shortened from nine weeks to six weeks and will take place virtually from June 15 to July 24. The firm declined to provide further details, such as whether it will pay the associates full compensation.
Belkin Burden on March 24 confirmed to Law360 that it had made an undisclosed reduction to its staff.
Blank Rome announced April 7 that it would reduce pay 15% across the law firm for partners, associates, counsel, professional staff and assistants and furlough a "small number" of staff. On May 26, the firm told Law360 it would be holding a five-week virtual summer associate program beginning July 6. The firm said it plans to extend offers to everyone to return next year.
Brown Rudnick on April 6 was reported to be implementing furloughs and pay cuts among associates and staff.
Bryan Cave on April 8 announced a 15% salary reduction for all employees making more than $40,000 across all offices for a 13-week period starting in May. The firm also said it was deferring a portion of partner pay distributions "in the coming months" and is offering attorneys and staff the option to take sabbaticals on 30% pay or to opt in to part-time work arrangements. On May 8, the firm said its summer associate program will be remote and will take place from July 6 to Aug. 7. Participants will be compensated for those five weeks, rather than 10 weeks as originally planned. Job offers are guaranteed to participants. The firm said it is also open to hosting in-person events as long as they comply with local guidelines.
Buchanan Ingersoll on April 29 said it had furloughed a limited number of administrative staff and had temporarily adjusted compensation across all levels. The firm also said it would be shortening its summer associate program to a four-week program starting in July. The firm has extended the full-time employment of all its second-year summer associates. It is also deferring the start of the fall first-year associate class to January 2021.
Cadwalader announced on March 31 that it was pausing partner compensation distributions and reducing associate and senior administrative staff pay by 25% for those making over $100,000. Non-senior staff saw a 10% reduction in pay. At the time, Cadwalader said pay will return to normal "as soon as circumstances permit." On April 27, the firm delayed its summer associate program until June 22. The program will last for five weeks and will be fully virtual. All second-year summer associates will be extended an offer to return to the firm as first-year associates following graduation.
Cahill Gordon on April 7 announced it would suspend its 2020 summer associate program, though it said it would pay the associates selected and offer them full-time positions upon graduation.
Cleary Gottlieb on April 22 told Law360 it has yet to decide on the start date for its summer associate program, but knows that nothing will occur on site before July 6. A virtual start may commence before then for the program, which typically kicks off in May. On May 27, the firm confirmed to Law360 that the program will run from July 6 through Aug. 7.
Clifford Chance confirmed to Law360 on April 15 that it had notified its 39 incoming summer law clerks in the U.S. that the program will begin in June with clerks working remotely. The firm told Law360 on April 21 that it would be delaying its partners' profit distribution and freezing employees' salary reviews and increases.
Cooley confirmed April 2 to Law360 that it had pushed back the start of its summer associate program to June 15, shortening it from 10 weeks to six. At the time, Cooley declined to comment on whether salaries would be reduced as well for the 102 summer associates it had accepted for the year.
Covington & Burling on April 29 said it will offer a shortened eight-week remote summer associate program, delaying the start date to June 8.
Cozen O'Connor on May 1 confirmed to Law360 that on April 1 it furloughed approximately 2.5% of its staff who are unable to work remotely and that it delayed a portion of partner compensation until later this year. On May 7, the firm said it had scaled back its summer associate program to run for five weeks, beginning July 6.
Cravath on April 17 said it would push back the start date of its summer associate program to mid- or late June and conduct the beginning of the program virtually. The firm will extend offers to all 2L summer associates to join the firm as associates in 2021, and for 1Ls to return next summer. On May 6, the firm confirmed it will offer a shortened program that's slated to run between June 15 and July 24, and that associates will be guaranteed pay for 10 weeks. It added that shifting the program from virtual to onsite at some point is looking increasingly unlikely.
Crowell & Moring confirmed to Law360 on April 15 that lawyers and some professional staff will see pay cuts of 5% to 25%, with the highest-ranking positions taking the biggest percentage cut. Equity partners will see a 25% reduction in pay, and most income partners will see a 20% reduction. Associates and counsel will see a 15% reduction, and senior staff will also face pay cuts. Employees earning less than $100,000 will not have their compensation reduced. The firm will postpone distributions and adjust partner draw levels for the months ahead in 2020, it said. The firm also delayed the start of its summer associate program to June 22. On May 19, the firm said it was further delaying the program to July 6 and that the normally 10-week program has been cut to four weeks. The firm said it is also guaranteeing job offers for 2L summer associates, and promising that all 1Ls will be invited back for summer 2021.
Davis & Gilbert said April 27 it is "substantially" reducing partner draws and temporarily limiting partner distributions; reducing associate, senior attorney and counsel salaries by 15%; and reducing salaries for staff earning more than $70,000 per year by between 10% and 15%.
Davis Wright on April 28 announced it would furlough 8% of its staff, while maintaining coverage for medical, dental and vision benefits for the affected employees. The firm also instituted a pay cut scheme where quarterly equity partner distributions will be cut, with the expectation that distributions will be 25% below the projected amount. Contract partner and top executives' pay will be reduced by 15%, associate pay will be reduced by 12% and staff pay will also be reduced by 6% to 10% for those making more than $60,000, depending on salary. Some staff will also be placed on reduced workload. The firm added that it has also created a program funded by firm partners to help staff experiencing financial hardship and has put together a vacation bank to which employees can donate vacation time. On April 29, the firm announced it would move to a shortened, six-week virtual summer associate program that will start June 15. The summer associates will be paid for the six-week duration, while offer decisions will be made at the end of the program.
Day Pitney confirmed to Law360 that in April it reduced pay by 15% for all attorneys and some staff and reduced normal working hours and pay for other staff by 60%. The firm also significantly reduced partner draws and suspended the scheduled April supplemental distribution. On May 28, the firm confirmed it had canceled its summer associate program this year, but has made "permanent employment" offers to all summer associates to join as fall associates in 2021.
Debevoise & Plimpton announced April 15 it was planning to delay the start of its summer associate program. Summer associates will be paid the full amount they were initially offered and will also receive $3,000 advances, the firm said. On May 13, the firm confirmed it will hold a remote summer program this year, which will start July 6 and last for four weeks.
Dechert on April 27 confirmed that it has canceled its usual 10-week summer associate program in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and instead will host virtual meetings to provide the participants with some visibility into the law firm and its community. The firm said it will pay the summer associates for six weeks, has offered its second-year summer associates permanent positions and will invite back its one first-year summer associate for next summer.
Dentons on April 16 reportedly announced it would be reducing pay for all U.S. lawyers and staff who earn more than $60,000. Partners will see reductions in draws of at least 20%, though the most highly compensated partners will see much higher cuts. All other attorneys and staff will see cuts of up to 20%, depending on their salaries. Anyone who earns $60,000 or less won't see a reduction. The firm also reportedly said it would furlough business services staff members — less than 5% of its overall staff — for three months.
Dickinson Wright on May 1 said it will temporarily reduce pay from between 0% and 15% for nonpartner attorneys and staff, reduce and potentially delay partner distributions and delay raises and bonuses to the year's end. The firm also canceled its summer associate program, but plans to provide job offers to all participants. It also deferred the start of the fall first-year associate class to January 2021.
Dinsmore & Shohl confirmed to Law360 on April 23 that it had laid off and furloughed "a small number" of staff in response to the economic downturn, as well as deferred a portion of partner distributions. An April 23 report indicated that some of those hit by the layoffs and furloughs included attorneys.
DLA Piper confirmed to Law360 on April 2 that it was delaying its summer associate program to June 29 and that it would run through July 31. On May 13, the firm confirmed the program will be fully virtual.
Dorsey & Whitney on May 1 confirmed to Law360 that on April 6 it announced furloughs of approximately 4% of its staff members and a 33% reduction of its 2020 employer contribution to its 401(k) plan. On May 19, the firm said its laying off a "limited number" of staff and attorneys across its U.S. and international offices and reducing pay for nonpartner attorneys and staff by between 10% and 20% beginning in June, to continue through the end of the year. Staff members earning less than $150,000 per year in base compensation will not be affected by the pay cuts. Those impacted by the layoffs were offered severance or benefit arrangements. Additionally, associates and certain other attorneys will see their billable-hour guidelines reduced for the year and special productivity bonuses will be provided to some attorneys who qualify at year-end. The firm is also shortening its summer associate program from 10 weeks to seven weeks and is delaying the start date for this year's first-year associates to Jan. 1, 2021. On May 28, the firm confirmed its program will start in mid-June and that summer associates will be paid for the weeks they participate in the program and be extended offers at the end.
Duane Morris told Law360 on April 16 it had instituted a graduated pay reduction. Equity partners had distributions deferred and their year-end compensation was reduced by 25%, while compensation for nonequity partners was reduced by 20%. Associate, special counsel and staff making more than $100,000 annually will see their salaries reduced by 15% starting May 1. Staff earning less than $100,000 won't see any pay cuts. On May 27, the firm said it had shortened its summer associate program to four weeks in July.
Eckert Seamans confirmed April 3 to Law360 that it was furloughing some of its administrative and support staff without pay. At the time, the firm did not disclose how many employees would be affected, but it said those furloughed would still receive health and other benefits during their time away from work.
Edelson told Law360 on April 23 that it will not delay or reduce its 10-week summer associate program, though it may be offered remotely if necessary.
Eversheds Sutherland US
Eversheds Sutherland US on May 8 confirmed it had reduced pay for staff and attorneys making more than $50,000 by up to 10% and furloughed 40 staff members, while keeping them on the firm's health insurance. The firm also said equity partners will "bear the primary burden of any continued economic disruption," but it did not specify how much it expects partner profit distributions to decline. The firm also said its summer associate program will be fully remote with limited activities beginning in July. Associates who were slated to join in September will now join in January 2021.
Faegre Drinker told Law360 on April 15 that the roughly 1,300-attorney firm had deferred one-third of equity partner distributions for the second quarter. On April 20, the firm said it will defer the start of its summer associate program to no earlier than July 6. On May 13, the firm confirmed it was reducing attorneys' pay by 15% and salaries for professional staff will be reduced on a graduated scale of up to 15%. The firm said there will be no reductions for staff or consultants earning less than $50,000. In addition to making the salary reductions, Faegre Drinker has furloughed about 1.5% of its employees whose responsibilities are "primarily office-based." The firm will continue to provide benefits during the furlough period. The firm, launched in February after the merger of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP and Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, also eliminated 1.5% of its staff workforce as part of that combination. All laid-off employees received severance pay.
Fennemore Craig on May 15 told Law360 it had shortened its summer associate program and took it virtual, but it has bucked the trend by moving the program's start to an earlier date. The all-remote program began May 11 and will end June 12.
Fenwick & West on May 5 said it will operate a six-week, virtual summer associate program that is scheduled to start June 15. The firm said it will provide a stipend to participants in May.
Finnegan on May 14 told Law360 it is implementing a pay cut plan effective June 1 that will see 20% salary cuts for those earning $150,000 or more, 15% salary reductions for those earning between $100,000 to $150,000 and 10% salary cuts for employees earning between $75,000 to $100,000. Those earning less than $75,000 will not see reductions in pay.
Fisher Phillips confirmed to Law360 on April 10 that it has instituted a temporary 20% salary reduction for attorneys and staff.
Foley Hoag on May 6 confirmed plans to host a fully virtual summer program for associates after deciding in April to delay the start of the six-week program to June 15.
Foley & Lardner told Law360 on April 23 that it has delayed the start of its summer associate program to no earlier than June 15 but declined to provide further details on how the program will run or whether it will pay the associates full compensation.
Fox Rothschild on April 20 told Law360 that starting in May equity partners will reduce their monthly draws by 10% to 20%, and all attorneys and staff earning more than $100,000 a year will see their pay reduced between 10% and 15%. The firm also will have new associates begin in January 2021, instead of this year. The firm on April 22 told Law360 it is planning to hold either a fully virtual or a hybrid summer program, depending on when the firm is able to operate again from its offices.
Fragomen, Del Rey confirmed to Law360 on April 16 that the firm will make salary reductions for all partners and senior, C-suite corporate leaders starting in May and that there will be no bonuses or salary increases for employees in 2020.
Fried Frank on April 29 said it will run a five-week virtual summer associate program, from June 29 through July 31. The firm will compensate summer associates for the same number of weeks that they originally indicated they would work.
Fross Zelnick on April 1 told all of its employees that their salary will be cut by 15%.
Gibson Dunn announced April 14 that it had decided to push its U.S. summer program start date back to June 15, from its typical start date in mid-May and said it does not yet know whether the program will be held in person or conducted remotely. On May 18, the firm said the program will run for six weeks, but the firm will pay participants for the amount of time they had originally committed to it.
Goldberg Segalla on March 24 confirmed to Law360 that it had made an undisclosed reduction to its staff. On April 9, the firm further announced plans to temporarily reduce partner draws by 10% to 20% beginning with the May 8 payroll and to suspend its matching contributions to 401(k) accounts.
Goodwin Procter confirmed to Law360 on April 10 that it had laid off a "limited number" of nonattorney staff. The firm said it would provide severance packages to those affected and will continue to make contributions to their health care benefits through Sept. 30. A report said the number of staff affected was about 50. On April 23, the firm told Law360 it had shortened its summer associate program to five weeks, and that it will be offered virtually starting July 6. The firm will compensate the 85 associates based on the firm's first-year associate salary of $190,000 per year, but prorated for the five-week program.
Greenberg Traurig announced April 15 it had dropped its summer associate program. Those who had been selected will receive offers to join the law firm as summer associates again in 2021 or as first-year associates, depending on their graduation dates. The associates will also receive pay advances in July. The firm said it may be able to hire one or more of the students scheduled for the program as hourly interns when offices reopen. The firm also said its first-year associates scheduled to start in September may see their start dates delayed until January 2021.
Greenspoon Marder told Law360 on April 15 that the more than 240-attorney firm had let go of 40 staff members and five lawyers and had implemented unspecified salary reductions.
Haynes and Boone on May 28 told Law360 it will be hosting a six-week virtual summer associate program starting June 22 and that summer associates will be compensated for the weeks they participate in the program. The firm has extended full-time employment offers to all of its second-year students and return offers to the first-year students, contingent on satisfactory academic performance.
Hinshaw & Culbertson confirmed to Law360 on April 15 that the 400-plus attorney firm will implement a 15% salary reduction for all personnel making more than $55,000 per year. The pay reduction will begin April 30 and continue until at least August. Additionally, the firm has deferred the midyear partner promotion process and salary adjustments as well as the bonuses for associates and staff, likely until January 2021.
Hodgson Russ confirmed to Law360 on April 10 that it will reduce salaries for all employees by 15% and furlough 41 of its nonattorney staff and labor. Partner compensation was immediately reduced by more than 30%.
Hogan Lovells announced April 7 that it would offer attorneys the opportunity to receive restructuring cross-training to assist the firm's existing practice ahead of an anticipated rush of bankruptcy filings in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 15, the firm announced it would delay and shorten its summer associate program, cutting the eight-week program in half. The summer associates will still receive their full compensation and all first- and second-year summer associates will receive job offers to return as either summer associates again in 2021 or as full-time associates following graduation. On April 17, the firm told Law360 bonuses and profit distributions for partners based on the firm's 2019 performance will be spread out equally over each month this year, rather than being paid in lump sums due in May and at other points in the year. On May 6, the firm announced a new pay cut scheme where equity partner draws will be reduced by 15% to 25% starting June 1, and all equity partners will defer half of any profits for the first quarter of the year normally paid in August until November. Nonequity partner base compensation will be reduced 15%, and the salaries of associates, counsel, attorneys, specialists and knowledge lawyers in the U.S. will be reduced by 10%, with some highly compensated counsel and specialists seeing a 15% reduction alongside senior counsel. The firm said there will be no reductions for any attorney earning less than $100,000 in base compensation per year.
Holland & Knight
Holland & Knight on May 8 said partner draws will be cut by about 25%, with high-earning partners taking the biggest hit. Other attorneys will see salaries cut 17.5%, and staff earning $75,000 or more will see pay cut by 10% to 15%, depending on their salary. The firm also has furloughed an unspecified number of staff members, though it said staff will keep their benefits during the furlough. The changes will stay in effect for at least 60 days. On May 28, the firm said it will run its summer associate program virtually from June 22 to July 17, shortening it to four weeks. Summer associates will be compensated for the weeks they participate in the program and extended offers at the end.
Hueston Hennigan, in a departure from the rest of the industry, told Law360 on April 1 that it was giving $1,000 bonuses to staff and $500 at-home technology bonuses to attorneys working remotely. It also promised at the time to not cut pay or lay off anyone.
Husch Blackwell confirmed to Law360 on April 15 that the 600-attorney firm has cut equity partners' monthly draws by 15% of base compensation and that equity partner holdbacks have been increased. All of Husch Blackwell's managing directors and C-level executives have voluntarily taken a 10% cut in salary. On April 23 the firm announced fixed-income partners will also see a 10% pay cut and the firm said it had laid off and furloughed an unspecified number of attorneys and staff, transitioned some employees to early retirement and reduced salary and hours for others. The measures affected less than 10% of the firm. On April 23, the firm also announced that it had split its 2020 summer associate class into two groups, and each group will participate in a five-week program over consecutive five-week periods beginning in mid-June.
Irell & Manella on April 29 said it will keep its 10-week summer associate program, but will give summer associates the option to start June 8, rather than May 18, to increase the amount of time they can spend in person at the firm. The program will start remotely, but the firm hopes to be able to move it onsite as restrictions lift.
Jenner & Block on April 28 announced it would push the start of its summer associate program to June 8 and conduct the program remotely.
Jones Day on May 12 said it will begin a virtual summer associate program May 18. The firm plans to extend offers at the end of the program to qualifying participants.
K&L Gates on April 16 announced a temporary 15% pay cut for attorneys and staff making over $75,000 annually, starting May 1. Equity partners will also see a 20% reduction in their scheduled advances. The pay cuts will be revisited on a regular basis as the year goes on, the firm said. On May 12, the firm said it will shorten its summer associate program to three weeks and conduct it virtually.
Katten Muchin on April 30 said it will cut equity partners' draws in April and May, reduce salaries by up to 20% for attorneys and business professionals who make more than $100,000 and institute furloughs for some business professionals and attorneys. Katten will set a floor of $100,000 for the salary cuts, meaning that while those who earn larger salaries will see the full 20% cut in their paychecks, those who earn $110,000, for example, would see their salary drop by $10,000. Firm officials could not confirm the anticipated length of the furloughs. The furloughs will primarily affect business professionals who cannot work remotely or whose work has slowed significantly. Katten has set up a fund to supplement the incomes of those who are on furlough.
Kelley Drye announced April 14 that lawyers and other staffers making more than $100,000 annually will see a 10% pay cut starting May 15. Those who make less than $100,000 won't see any pay cuts. Additionally, equity partners' draws will be reduced by as much as 20% beginning at the end of April, and raises for administrative staff that were planned for July 1 will be postponed. The firm disclosed that it had earlier shortened its summer associate program, delayed the start dates of its first-year associate class, postponed nonessential hires and suspended services from "nonessential consultants."
Kilpatrick Townsend confirmed to Law360 on April 13 that it will reduce all partner draws by 10%, while salaried attorneys and staff will see their pay cut by 5%. Also, secretaries, who are hourly workers, saw their hours cut by 20%, but no wage reduction. The firm also said that it had started a hardship fund for affected employees and offered to let employees for whom working full time from home is challenging voluntarily reduce their hours. The firm on April 21 told Law360 that it is preparing for a six-week summer associate program to start on June 22 and that the firm is also "exploring options" for virtual participation or some type of hybrid approach if needed.
King & Spalding on May 18 said its summer associate program will run virtually for two weeks in July, but the firm will pay participants for the entire time they originally committed to. It has also already extended offers to second-year students to join the firm after graduation and to first-year students to return next summer.
Kirkland & Ellis
Kirkland & Ellis on May 6 said it had reduced its summer associate session to a two-week virtual program set to begin June 15. All participants will be fully paid for the length of time they were originally scheduled to be at the firm over the summer. The firm has offered full-time jobs to all participants who graduate next year, while 2022 graduates will be invited to participate in its 2021 summer program, and Kirkland has encouraged its summer associates to volunteer or find other ways to give back to their communities over the next few months.
Kramer Levin on May 20 said it will run a remote, condensed five-week summer associate program from July 6 to Aug. 7. The firm said it has already made job offers to all the second-year students to return to the firm as first-year associates in 2021, while first-year students were given offers to return for next year's summer program.
Latham & Watkins on April 20 announced it had delayed its summer associate program until at least June 1. The firm said it intends to honor its full financial commitment to both its summer associates and the first-year fellows. On May 4, the firm announced its program would run for eight weeks and would be entirely virtual.
Levenfeld Pearlstein told Law360 it planned to adjust equity partner draws in mid-April.
Linklaters announced April 8 it will not be paying its next partner distribution, which is due in June. Additionally, bonuses will be awarded in two payments rather than one, and the usual salary review process will be moved back six months, firm leaders said. The firm does not plan to make any redundancies, they said. On May 13, the firm announced it will run a six-week virtual summer associate program from June 15 through July 24, shortened from its usual 10-week program. Later in the summer and during the school year, the firm plans to invite back the participants on a part-time basis, whether in-person or virtually, for another four weeks, the spokesperson said. Work for that period will include a continuation of the matters started during the summer, as well as pro bono and community service projects, the firm said. Between the two offerings, the summer associates will be eligible to receive up to 10 weeks of pay.
Littler Mendelson on April 28 announced pay cuts at all levels of compensation, running from 4% for those earning less than $50,000 per year to 20% for equity partners and corporate management. Those who are unable to work remotely will also continue receiving half pay, the firm said.
Locke Lord on May 7 told Law360 it is cutting equity partners' draws by 10%, while implementing a 10% reduction for attorneys and senior staff and a 5% cut for support staff. The firm has also furloughed an unspecified, "small number" of support staff.
Loeb & Loeb confirmed April 2 to Law360 a slew of cost-cutting initiatives, including a 20% reduction in the monthly draws of capital partners; an April distribution deferred to July; a 15% pay cut for income partners, senior counsel, of counsel, associates and senior staff; and a 10% pay cut for paralegals and other staff.
Lowenstein Sandler on April 8 confirmed to Law360 it had paused partner distributions, including one due at the end of March.
Manatt on April 28 reportedly cut pay for all attorneys by 20%.
Marshall Dennehey announced March 30 it will suspend its 4% employer match to employee 401(k) contributions from May 1 through the end of the year.
Mayer Brown told Law360 on April 23 that it will host a shorter five-week virtual program for this year's summer associates, which should start in early July. The firm said it will pay the associates for the duration of the program and that it will offer full-time positions to all of its second-year summer associates to join the firm as associates in the fall of 2021, while the first-year summer associates will receive offers to return next summer. On May 6, the firm announced a pay cut plan where it will reduce salaries by 15% for all of its nonequity partner lawyers and business services staff who earn more than $200,000. Business services staff who earn less than $200,000 per year will see reductions based on a graduated scale. Mayer Brown's equity partners agreed in March to a 20% reduction in monthly draws and to the suspension of their distributions for the first half of 2020, according to the firm. The firm also said it is postponing the arrival of its fall associate class in the U.S. until January 2021.
McDermott Will on April 20 announced it had made its summer associate program "optional" and replaced it with a "two-week virtual boot camp." The firm said it has extended offers to all second-year summer associates to join the firm as associates in 2021, and for first years to return next summer. On April 22, the firm confirmed to Law360 it had furloughed and laid off some staff.
Milbank said May 5 it will offer a 10-week, virtual summer associate program that is slated to begin June 8.
Mintz Levin announced April 10 it would reduce base pay by 5% for professional staff earning more than $75,000 and paraprofessionals and 10% for associates. There will also be some reductions in bonuses, though the firm declined to provide further details. In March, the firm reportedly increased equity partner holdbacks to 40% and reduced partner draws by 5% to 10%.
Morgan Lewis on April 21 told Law360 that its summer associate program will be remote and run from June 1 through July 10. It plans to pay its summer class for the full 10 weeks despite the now-shortened duration, the firm said.
Morrison & Foerster on May 1 told Law360 it will continue to run its summer associate program virtually, but start no earlier than June 15. The firm declined to comment on the duration of the program, but said it has extended full-time offers to the entire summer class, which consists of 137 students globally. On May 8, the firm said it will host a virtual, six-week program for associates starting June 15, according to a statement shared with Law360. First-year students are guaranteed return offers to next year's associates program, and second-year students will secure a spot at the firm for 2021. Although the program was initially scheduled to last 10 weeks, associates will now only be paid for the six weeks they're employed.
Munck Wilson Mandala on May 7 told Law360 that starting April 1 it had reduced partners' monthly base pay by 20% and nonpartner attorney salaries by 10% and had instituted a 5% cut for all exempt nonattorney directors and managers. The firm said it has no plans to reduce attorney head count, although some staff were furloughed or had their hours reduced, but all employees will still get their benefits, it said. The firm's executive committee, along with a number of partners and the chief financial officer, also chose to forgo their 2020 draws entirely during this period. However, the firm added, it plans to pay back the reduced salaries as compensation deferrals by the end of the year at the latest. Munck Wilson's executive committee will revisit these adjustments in three months to account for changing circumstances with the pandemic.
Munger Tolles on April 20 told Law360 it postponed its summer associate program to mid-June and that it will be shortened from 10 weeks to six weeks. The firm said it plans to pay summer associates full salaries for completing the program despite its shortened duration.
Nelson Mullins on April 24 reportedly reduced salaries for associates by 9%, instituted a hiring freeze, minimized overtime and called for one-week furloughs between June and September.
Nixon Peabody furloughed 5% of its associates and laid off another 5%, according to an April 8 report. On May 4, the firm confirmed it has canceled its 2020 summer associate program, and was the first firm to do so without also promising to extend job offers to the second-year law students affected. Although the firm said it planned to offer first-year law students who were selected as summer associates a spot in the program in 2021, it did not assure 2L summer associates that they would receive job offers after graduation. Nixon Peabody will offer summer associates a $5,000 stipend. The firm has also deferred the start date of its incoming 2020 first-year associates and said those deferred associates will receive $10,000 salary advances. On May 6, the firm confirmed pay cuts include a 10% reduction in base pay for associates and counsel, which will be effective May 20.
Norton Rose on April 16 confirmed to Law360 that it had cut pay and laid off an unspecified number of its 1,600 attorneys and staff members in the U.S.
Ogletree Deakins told Law360 on April 15 that while the firm has not made salary reductions, some employees have had their hours reduced and a few have gone on temporary unpaid leave. The firm said it will continue to provide health insurance coverage and pay both the employee and employer share of premiums for employees on temporary unpaid leave through May 31. On April 21, the firm confirmed it would be reducing pay for equity partners by 20%, associates by 15% and by 10% for staff who earn $100,000 per year or more, guaranteeing that it will not reduce pay for staff earning less than $100,000.
O'Melveny & Myers on May 8 said it will host a six-week, virtual summer asociate program beginning in early July and that associates will only be compensated for those weeks. The firm will extend job offers to its second-year summer associates and also plans to invite its first-year summer associates next year. Second-year associates will also come away with a $10,000 advance on their regular associate compensation before they return, the firm said.
Orrick Herrington implemented 1% to 15% reductions in associate and staff paychecks, while partners, of counsel and executive staff will receive "deeper" cuts, a source told Law360 on April 8. The firm also reduced hours for some staff and postponed the start of its 2020 associate class to January 2021 or later. It also shortened its 2020 summer associate program to five weeks and will do it virtually.
Paul Hastings confirmed to Law360 on April 23 that it had revised the start date of its summer associate program to July 6 and will be offering it virtually. The firm said it plans to extend full-time employment offers of all members of this year's summer class at the conclusion of the program.
Paul Weiss on April 28 said it will push back the start of its summer associate program and that it is mulling how much of the program will be remote.
Pepper Hamilton announced on April 10 that it was dropping its summer associate program, but it said it was planning to provide financial assistance to those selected and would be offering rising third-year law students jobs as full-time associates in the fall of 2021. On May 8, the firm confirmed that nonpartner attorneys will see their annual salary reduced 12% for 2020 and staff making $60,000 or more will see annualized cuts between 3% and 9%, depending on salary. Partner distributions will also be reduced by an unspecified amount. The firm indicated it is also continuing with its plan to merge with Tr
outman Sanders, which was delayed by COVID-19 from April 1 to July 1.
Perkins Coie on May 13 confirmed to Law360 it had deferred partners' compensation by more than 19% since March and that starting in June it will enact a 15% salary reduction for nonpartner lawyers, a 15% salary reduction for professional staff making more than $200,000 and a 10% cut for staff members making between $125,000 to $200,000. Those making less than $125,000 annually will not be affected. The firm said it has also deferred the midyear staff salary increases and bonuses and will wait until year's end to determine their bonuses. Additionally, the firm confirmed its summer associate program will be virtual and has been reduced to six weeks starting in June and ending in late July.
Pillsbury Winthrop on May 4 said it had instituted a tiered pay cut plan that included reducing associates and counsel pay by 20% and staff compensation by a maximum of 15%. Staff whose pay is less than $75,000 will not see a change. The firm's chief officers have voluntarily taken higher reductions in compensation, in line with those of the firm's partners. Partner draws are being reduced on a progressive scale, by a minimum of 25%, according to the firm.
Pond Lehocky on May 19 confirmed it was laying off 76 employees — approximately a quarter of its workforce — after the end of the month. The firm declined to provide further details, including how many of its 44 attorneys and approximately 250 staff members would be among those on the chopping block.
Proskauer Rose on May 8 said it will host a virtual, condensed summer associate program that will run for five weeks starting July 6. The firm said it will be making offers to participants at the conclusion of the program.
Pryor Cashman confirmed to Law360 on March 31 that it had furloughed an undisclosed number of associates. At the time, it did not say when it expected to reinstate those associates.
Quarles & Brady on April 20 told Law360 that equity partners cut their quarterly draw for April by 30% and are taking a 20% cut to biweekly draws, while nonequity partners making more than $200,000 will also take a 15% pay cut, and those making less will see a 10% pay cut. The firm added that is has also furloughed "a small number of employees."
Quinn Emanuel on May 11 announced it had paused April partner distributions until July and has modified the size of its partner draws for April, May and June, with a plan to revisit these in two months. The reduction in compensation was primarily targeted toward the most senior, highest-paid partners. On May 18, the firm said its virtual summer associate program will begin June 15 and last for nine weeks. Participants will be paid for the originally scheduled 11-week program.
Reed Smith on March 30 told Law360 it had slowed partner cash distributions. On April 15, the firm announced it would shorten its summer associate program to five weeks, adding that it could be held remotely if needed. The firm also pushed back new associate start dates until January 2021, though the firm said affected associates will receive a stipend this fall, compensation for bar exams and study costs, as well as health insurance beginning in September. On April 16, the firm announced that starting in May it would reduce base pay for counsel by 10% in the next three months and associate pay by 15% for four months. In addition, the firm said it would defer decisions on merit increases and discretionary bonus payments for professional staff. On April 24, the firm said equity partners have agreed to receive half of their bonus amounts at their regularly scheduled time, with the remaining balance to be paid three months later. Bonuses for fixed-share partners, associates and counsel will be paid in full and on time.
Rivkin Radler confirmed March 31 to Law360 that staff and attorneys would be taking a 20% pay cut. Partners had already temporarily gone without pay in March.
Ropes & Gray on May 4 said it will host a shortened, five-week virtual summer associate program starting July 6 and will pay associates their full expected salary. The firm will also help interested associates find pro-bono projects with community organizations to fill the spare weeks. On May 14, the firm said that it is offering a voluntary separation incentive program to all of its support team employees in the U.S. Those who are approved for the buyouts will receive one week of severance pay per year of service, an additional four weeks' worth of pay, plus medical benefits through the end of the year. Attorneys and temporary workers are excluded from participating in the "support-only program."
Saul Ewing on April 30 said it will cut salaries for those who make more than $50,000 annually, institute furloughs and lay off an unspecified number of employees. The firm had earlier reduced partner draws and discretionary spending and had postponed large capital projects.
Schiff Hardin on April 16 told Law360 it had implemented a number of pay reductions, including a 15% cut for all staff making more than $100,000, and a small group of lawyers — about 6% of the firm's attorneys — will see a 50% salary reduction based on "anticipated demand." The firm also laid off a portion of staff and deferred the start of its 2020 associate class until January 2021. The firm also canceled its summer associate program, but said it has extended offers to the five second-year students after graduation.
Schulte Roth on May 1 told Law360 that it has adjusted this year's summer associate program to five weeks, starting June 22. The firm expects most, if not all, of the program to be conducted remotely. The firm will compensate the 48 summer associates for the originally planned 11-week program and intends to make post-graduation employment offers to all of the summer associates.
Seyfarth Shaw on April 17 announced it would be furloughing 10% of its U.S. employees, including staff and attorneys, for 90 days. The firm also announced that pay reductions will go into effect May 1 and will be reevaluated at the end of 2020.The cuts include a 10% reduction in pay for all nonequity attorneys in the U.S. Additionally, there will be reductions for staff members, with the first $60,000 in income seeing no reduction, and then a 5% reduction on earnings between $60,000 and $150,000 and a 10% reduction on earnings over $150,000. Partner draws were reduced earlier than cuts for the rest of the firm, on April 1, by 20%.
Shearman & Sterling on April 22 told Law360 that it is considering either shortening or deferring its summer program, and it has decided to defer all bonuses and pay increases. On April 24, the firm said it was offering a voluntary leave program to all global employees. Leaves would be three to six months in length and employees taking them would receive 30% of their usual pay. If the employees perform pro bono work during the period, they will receive 40% of their typical pay. On April 27, the firm confirmed a shorter summer associate program that will start no earlier than June 22. Summer associates will still receive 10 weeks' pay, the firm said. On May 11, the firm said it will be conducting its five-week program virtually across its offices.
Sheppard Mullin announced April 13 that it had furloughed 33 of its 823 total staff members, noting that those affected can't perform their duties from home. The firm said it will pay for full medical benefits during their leave and that furloughed employees won't have to contribute to their insurance costs. On April 15, the firm said it delayed its summer associate program until July 6 and shortened it to five weeks. On April 27, the firm announced a pay-cut plan that included a 12% reduction for associates, special counsel and staff attorneys through the end of the year; 5% reductions for staff members earning between $70,000 and $90,000 per year; and 10% reductions for staff earning more than $90,000. Partners will also see reduced compensation. The firm also furloughed an additional 17 staff members, with the expectation they will return to work in two to three months.
Shook Hardy instituted pay cuts for partners, associates and professional staff, ranging from 20% to 90%, according to an April 8 report.
Sidley Austin scaled back its summer associate program to a four-week offering beginning on July 6 that will be virtual, but will still pay participants for up to 10 weeks, depending on the length that they had signed up for, according to a firm memo obtained by Law360 on May 7.
Simpson Thacher on May 7 announced it scaled back its summer associate program to five weeks, beginning July 13, and will take it virtual. For those who planned to be part of the entire 10-week program, the firm will pay eight weeks of salary. It will also offer to pay a $7,500 stipend to those who volunteer for a certain number of hours either as a self-designed effort or with various community organizations.
Skadden confirmed to Law360 on April 23 that it had shortened its 10-week summer associate program to an eight-week program that will begin June 22 and will include an initial remote component. The firm will still pay students the full salaries it had originally planned and the salaries will be issued in advance in mid-May to assist with the associates' living expenses, according to sources. On May 15, the firm confirmed that it plans to offer jobs to its summer associates at the same rate as usual.
Slaughter and May confirmed to Law360 on April 9 that it had temporarily suspended partner pay.
Snell & Wilmer on April 17 confirmed to Law360 that it had furloughed an undisclosed number of employees who've been unable to work remotely or those whose work has significantly declined because of the crisis. The firm said it would cover health, life and long-term disability insurance for all furloughed employees until it could bring them back, although it didn't specify when that would be. The firm's attorneys are also helping those employees obtain unemployment benefits and other coronavirus relief available.The firm also reduced the base salaries of nonpartner attorneys and monthly partner draws, both by 10%. Administrative professionals will see cuts of up to 10% based on their salaries.
Squire Patton on April 30 confirmed it had canceled its nine-week summer associate program for 2020, but said it plans to provide job offers to all participants and will pay a stipend in place of the usual salary. It will also host online information sessions for participants. On May 1, the firm told Law360 it had adjusted partner profit distribution at an undisclosed amount, reduced associate pay by 20% and reduced global support staff pay by 10% to 20%, with those in the highest-earning positions taking a larger reduction. The firm also furloughed some staff who "are currently underutilized or are not able to perform their job remotely," the firm said.
Stoel Rives on April 17 unveiled a long list of cost-saving measures, including significant salary reductions, furloughing staff and reducing partner draws. According to a memo obtained by Law360, the firm has furloughed 10% of its staff for at least three months. Furloughed employees will continue to receive benefits. The firm also cut pay by 20% for associates, staff attorneys and counsel attorneys starting May 1. The reduction is on an annualized basis, the firm said, meaning a 20% cut starting in May through the end of the year would equal a 13% annual reduction in pay. Stoel Rives also implemented tiered hourly reductions with corresponding pay reductions for staff based on their salaries. The cuts start at 5% for those earning more than $75,000 and go up to 20% for those who earn more than $150,000, per the memo. Additionally, the firm is maintaining a hiring and spending freeze, deferring staff bonuses and eliminating most associate bonuses and firm reimbursement for things like parking and public transportation.
Stroock & Stroock on May 29 confirmed it would be implementing pay cuts June 1 where equity partners will see a 20% reduction in their monthly draws, while contract partners will see a reduction of 15% in their draws. All other lawyers, as well as staff earning more than $75,000 annually, should expect 15% cuts to their pay. None of those staff members' pay would be brought below the $75,000 threshold and attorneys could see pay reductions repaid if they rack up enough billable hours. Stroock said it would be regularly reviewing its associates' hours and may restore their compensation at the time of those reviews.The firm also said it will also be offering buyouts for employees who want to retire early or who may not want to come back to the office when remote work ends, and is also open to reduced schedules for individuals who voluntarily elect to go that route.
Sullivan & Worcester confirmed to Law360 that in April it had furloughed an unspecified number of employees for three months with full benefits. It also instituted a tiered pay cut scheme in which equity partners' monthly draws were cut by 20%, nonequity partners' pay was reduced by 10% and some staff members' pay was cut by 5%. Employees making less than $66,000 a year were not affected.
Taft Stettinius on April 21 confirmed to Law360 that it had cut partner draws by 25% and that the approximately 600-attorney and 400-plus staff firm has laid off nine attorneys and 16 staff members across its seven offices.
Thompson Hine on May 11 told Law360 it is reducing quarterly partner draws by 15% and reducing staff compensation by 1.7% on an annual basis. The firm said it has "aggressively decreased" noncompensation expenses and hopes it can avoid more reductions. The firm also has pushed back the start date of its summer associate program to July 7 to increase the likelihood of "face-to-face" interactions. The program will run for six weeks. The firm said it will consider and extend offers in the normal course, adding that it is also paying associates for the weeks they work.
Troutman Sanders announced April 10 that it was dropping its summer associate program, but it said it was planning to provide financial assistance to those selected and would be offering rising third-year law students jobs as full-time associates in the fall of 2021. On May 19, there was a report the firm had implemented a voluntary temporary leave of absence program for its professional staff where participating employees receive weekly stipends and paid health insurance premiums. The program went into effect May 1, and the leaves are expected to last three months. On May 22, the firm said it would be implementing a pay cut scheme on June 1 with reductions that will range from 2% to 18.5% on an annualized basis, depending on how many months the reductions last.
Vedder Price said May 5 it had laid off 4% of its attorneys and professional staff. Additionally, the firm's partners took a 20% cut on their draws. The firm also shortened the duration of its 2020 summer program and deferred the start date of its incoming first-year associate class to January 2021.
Venable, according to an email shared with Law360, put in place a pay reduction plan in April for employees making above $59,999 per year. While qualified attorneys and staff making below $75,000 will see a 5% cut, the size of the cut would rise to 10% for those in the next level whose salaries fall below $120,000, rise again to 15% for those in the next level making less than $190,000, and those making over $190,000 will see a 20% decrease. In addition to the 20% reduction, salaries exceeding $400,000 will get another 10% trimmed from the amount exceeding that threshold. Equity partners' compensation will be affected in similar ways, according to the email. On April 29, the firm said it will not be starting its 10-week summer associate program as planned on May 18, but it would not say how it was adjusting the program. On May 7, the firm said it will operate a four-week, virtual "summer boot camp," beginning June 15.
Vinson & Elkins announced April 1 that it was delaying the start of its summer associate program until at least June 15. On May 11, the firm said it will be hosting a virtual program from June 15 to July 17.
White & Case on May 21 told Law360 that its summer associate program, which will be fully virtual, will begin June 22 and run for seven weeks. Pay will be based on the weeks of participation, and qualified second-year students are expected to receive job offers.
Williams & Connolly on April 24 announced it would push back the start of its summer associate program to June 1 and have associates start remotely, though the firms hopes they will be able to transition to in-person work before the program ends. Despite the shortened program, the firm said it will pay associates for the original 11-week session and plans to make offers as it normally would.
Willkie Farr on May 18 said its summer associate program will run virtually for six weeks, from June 22 to July 31. The firm will also pay participants for all the weeks they originally committed to.
WilmerHale on May 13 told Law360 it has shortened its summer associate session to a four-week virtual program set to run from July 6 through July 31. All participants will be fully paid for the typical 10-week period.
Wilson Sonsini on April 9 sent a letter to its summer class telling them that it has reduced the summer program from 10 weeks to six weeks, starting on June 15. The summer associates will be paid a salary of $3,654 per week for the six-week summer program. To make up for the shortened and modified program, the firm has extended offers to all participants to join the firm as fall associates in 2021. The firm is also giving students the option to earn the six weeks' summer associate salary by performing six weeks of pro bono legal services. On May 4, the firm confirmed that its program would proceed virtually.
Winston & Strawn on April 6 reportedly notified attorneys that its partner pay distributions are being reduced by 50% for three months.
Womble Bond on March 30 confirmed to Law360 that it had furloughed an undisclosed number of employees in its U.S. offices and that remaining staff and attorneys would be taking a 10% pay cut.
Are we missing anything? If your law firm is making compensation, personnel or other changes because of the coronavirus pandemic, please contact reporters Natalie Rodriguez and Aebra Coe with tips.
Methodology: This list includes compensation, pay and other changes verified or reported on by Law360 reporters.
--Additional reporting by Aebra Coe, Xiumei Dong, Michele Gorman, Kevin Penton, Emma Cueto and Hailey Konnath. Editing by Alyssa Miller.
Corrections: A previous version of this story misstated pay reduction figures at Seyfarth Shaw, bonus information at Orrick, the end date for DLA Piper's summer associate program, the definitiveness of Edelson PC's summer program being remote and incorrect information on the duration of Katten's furloughs. A listing for Eversheds Sutherland International and part of a listing for DLA Piper were removed as the list focuses on U.S. measures. The errors have been corrected.
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