Law360 is providing free access to its coronavirus coverage to make sure all members of the legal community have accurate information in this time of uncertainty and change. Use the form below to sign up for any of our weekly newsletters. Signing up for any of our section newsletters will opt you in to the weekly Coronavirus briefing.
Law360 (April 17, 2020, 1:06 PM EDT) --
UPDATED December 23, 2020
| 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 would conduct its summer associate program virtually starting July 6 and would shorten its normally eight-week program to four weeks. Summer associates would be paid for those four weeks and offer decisions would be made at the end of the program. On Nov. 16, the firm said it had eliminated its pandemic-induced pay reductions for all employees at the beginning of November and had reimbursed all its employees for those reductions by paying them a bonus that included the withheld pay.
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 LLP on April 27 laid out a pay cut plan starting May 1 and lasting until at least July 31 that included 20% to 30% reductions in pay for counsel, 20% reductions for associates, and 0% to 25% reductions for staff, with those making less than $70,000 escaping the cuts, according to an internal memo obtained by Law360. The firm also delayed its new associate start dates until 2021, and 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. On July 29, the firm confirmed that it will dial back its salary reductions by half, beginning Sept. 1. On Oct. 8, the firm confirmed it had laid off "approximately 50" staff members whose work had been impacted by the pandemic. On Nov. 4, the firm fully reversed pay cuts for nonpartner timekeepers and issued interim bonuses.
Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz LLP confirmed on 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 that 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. On Sept. 15, the firm confirmed it has "partially" reversed salary reductions for attorneys and staff and instituted a measure that will allow associates to earn back their previous salaries through extra workload and hours.
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 attorneys and staff in Canada by 10%. No one earning less than $100,000 per year will be impacted, and "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 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. On June 24, the firm said it was postponing the start date for its 2020 U.S. associate class by four months to Jan. 25, citing delayed bar exams. On Sept. 2, the firm announced it was laying off an unspecified number of lawyers, timekeepers and business professionals in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The firm also said salary reductions implemented in April for U.S. and Canadian lawyers and staff will end at the end of the year.
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. On Oct. 20, the firm said it had restored pay to associates, counsel, paralegals and other staffers at the beginning of October and plans to do the same for partners on Nov. 1.
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 per year 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 would be 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 would be remote and take place from July 6 to Aug. 7. The firm added that participants would be compensated for those five weeks, rather than 10 weeks as originally planned, and that job offers would be guaranteed to participants. The firm said it would also be open to hosting in-person events as long as they comply with local guidelines. On July 15, the firm announced it was laying off a "very small proportion" of its workforce, including both attorneys and staff, while at the same time reducing previously announced pay cuts from 15% to 7.5%. On Oct. 7, the firm said it would fully reverse COVID-19 salary cuts for attorneys and staff. On Dec. 4, the firm announced it would reimburse its employees for any salary lost as a result of pay cuts implemented earlier in the year.
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 would 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. On July 29, the firm said it will rewind to pre-pandemic pay levels starting in August.
Cahill Gordon on April 7 suspended its 2020 summer associate program and said it would pay the associates selected and offer them full-time positions upon graduation. The firm began the program at a later date and in June told Law360 it would be running for 10 weeks.
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. On June 16, the firm confirmed it had cut its global bonus pool due to the pandemic. The firm declined to provide specifics, but indicated the reduction was less than 20%.
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 a pay cut plan in which equity partners will see a 25% reduction, most income partners will see a 20% reduction and associates and counsel will see a 15% reduction. Senior staff will also face pay cuts. Employees earning less than $100,000 per year will not have their compensation reduced. The firm said it will postpone distributions and adjust partner draw levels for the months ahead. 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 guaranteed job offers for 2L summer associates, and promised 1Ls will be invited back for summer 2021. On Aug. 20, the firm announced plans to bring back prepandemic pay for associates, counsel and staff starting Sept. 1. The statement did not indicate a similar rollback of cuts to partner pay.
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 would be cut by about 25% below the projected amount. Contract partner and top executives' pay would be reduced by 15%, associate pay would be reduced by 12%, and staff pay would also be reduced by 6% to 10% for those making more than $60,000, depending on salary. The firm said at the time that some staff would also be placed on reduced workload, adding it had created a program funded by firm partners to help staff experiencing financial hardship and had put together a vacation bank to which employees could donate vacation time. On April 29, the firm announced a shortened, six-week virtual summer associate program that would start June 15. The summer associates would be paid for the six-week duration, while offer decisions would be made at the end of the program. On Sept. 1, the firm said it was reducing its salary cuts by half, increasing third-quarter partner draws by an unspecified amount and bringing back some of its furloughed staff. However, the firm said it would also be permanently laying off an unnamed number of other furloughed staff. On Dec. 15, the firm announced it will be restoring salaries to their previous levels in 2021 and making lawyers and staff whole for the pay cuts they took this year. The firm also said it would restore its profit-sharing program for staff and give equity partners the full amount of shares they were allotted in the firm's 2020 budget.
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 40%. 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 reduced 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 furloughed business services staff members — less than 5% of its overall staff — for three months. On Sept. 11, the firm confirmed it was offering early retirement packages to U.S. business professionals and paralegals who are 62 years old or older by the end of the year and who have been with the firm at least 15 years. The firm also said that beginning Oct. 1, it would roll back by 50% the reductions in draw and compensation for all partners and employees.
Dickinson Wright PLLC 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 cancelled 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. In September, the firm reduced pay cuts to between 0% to 7.5%, In October, the firm confirmed that as of Sept. 30, it had fully restored pre-pandemic pay to employees making over $80,000 per year, reversing a remaining temporary 7.5% pay cut, and had fully restored periodic partner distributions.
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 would be 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. On Sept. 15, the firm confirmed it had restored the compensation for nonpartner attorneys and staff to their prepandemic amounts at the beginning of the month.
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 per year 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. On Sept. 9, the firm's U.S. branch confirmed it was restoring half of the compensation cuts it had instituted.
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. On Nov. 24, the firm confirmed it had rolled back pay cuts in October and plans to make employees whole by paying back the money they lost from the austerity measure between May and October.
Fisher Phillips LLP confirmed to Law360 on April 10 that it has instituted a temporary 20% salary reduction for attorneys and staff. On Oct. 26, the firm confirmed that it had rolled back its salary reductions and would be restoring lost income from the time of the cuts to attorneys and staff by the end of the month. The firm will also begin releasing some earnings previously withheld from partners' monthly draws.
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 per 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 said it planned to hold either a fully virtual or a hybrid summer program, depending on when the firm is able to operate again from its offices. On Aug. 19, the firm said that starting in September it will roll back the original pay cuts to equity partner distributions and employee salaries by half. On Oct. 15, the firm said all attorney and staff salaries will have been restored to their full pre-COVID-19 levels by Nov. 5.
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. On June 12, the firm confirmed it was offering voluntary buyouts to nonattorneys, agreeing to pay out a week of salary for every year they have worked for the law firm, plus a lump sum. The payouts will be capped at 24 weeks, to be paid as part of the regular payroll cycle. Eligible employees will also receive a lump sum payment of $1,000 for every year they have worked with Fried Frank, along with a full year of medical benefits through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA.
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. On Aug. 31, the firm announced it restored partner draws and senior administrative leaders' salaries to prepandemic levels and has begun rehiring certain staff members who had been let go earlier in the year, as well as hiring 13 new attorneys in order to keep up with client demand.
Goodwin Procter LLP confirmed to Law360 on April 10 that it had laid off a "limited number" of non-attorney staff. The firm said it would provide severance packages to those affected and would continue to make contributions to their health care benefits through Sept. 30. A report said the number of staff affected was around 50. On April 23, the firm told Law360 that it had shortened its summer associate program to five weeks, and that it would be offered virtually starting July 6. The firm said it would compensate the 85 associates based on the firm's first-year associate salary of $190,000 a year, but prorated for the five-week program. On Dec. 2, the firm informed nonpartner lawyers, science advisers and science law clerks that they will be receiving a "tech stipend" of $1,000 or the equivalent in their local currency.
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. On Oct. 16, the firm confirmed it is offering voluntary buyouts to staff members in the U.S. as it continues to adapt to remote working, but agreed to raise severance pay by 50% of what it typically shells out and extend post-departure health care coverage by six months.
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.
Haug Partners on June 3 told Law360 that it had furloughed 10 staff members with full benefits. The firm's full summer associate program started June 1 and will be remote for one month.
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 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 said it would delay and cut its normally eight-week summer associate 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 that partner bonuses and profit distributions 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 by 15%, and the salaries of associates, counsel, attorneys, specialists and knowledge lawyers in the U.S. will see their pay reduced by 10%, with some highly compensated counsel and specialists seeing a 15% reduction alongside senior counsel. There will be no reductions for any attorney earning less than $100,000 in base compensation per year. On Sept. 4, the firm rolled back pay cuts for for certain associates, counsel, specialists and knowledge lawyers. On Oct. 23, the firm confirmed it had laid off 43 employees, about 4% of its business services staff based in the U.S. and Mexico.
Holland & Hart
Holland & Hart LLP on June 23 told Law360 that in the beginning of June it had reduced the paychecks of nonequity, salaried attorneys by 15%. Employees with an annualized salary of $100,000 or more will see a reduction of 7.5%, while employees making between $60,000 and $99,999 will see a 5% reduction. Those making less than $60,000 won't see a cut. The firm also suspended its employee match to 401(k) contributions and reduced equity partners' profit distributions so they will see the "highest percentage" of cuts in their expected compensation of the year, though it didn't announce a fixed rate for the cuts. On Sept. 8, the firm confirmed it had reversed its earlier pay cuts, reinstated its employee match to 401(k) contributions and had reserved a significant bonus pool to reward staff and lawyers "who contribute to the firm at a high level" at the end of the 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 annually will see pay cuts by 10% to 15%, depending on their salaries. The firm also 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. On Aug. 24, the firm announced it was rolling back pay cuts, with associates and staff seeing a 30% to 50% reduction of the pay cuts from May.
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.
Hughes Hubbard on July 7 confirmed it had laid off an undisclosed number of associates and staff to weather the pandemic.
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 said 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 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. On Aug. 27, the firm said it had paid out a special associate performance bonus that it previously intended to postpone until 2021. Associates had not seen a cut in their pay as part of the austerity measures.
Ice Miller laid off more than 10 attorneys by the end of June who had originally been furloughed in the spring, sources told Law360 in July.
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. On Aug. 20, the firm said it would partially roll back pay cuts. Beginning in September, equity partner reductions will drop to 15% and salary reductions for income partners, associates and staffers will drop from 15% to 10%. Those who earn between $75,001 and $100,000 will again receive their prereduction compensation as of Sept. 1. On Sept. 24, the firm told Law360 it was discontinuing salary reductions entirely for all affected professionals, associates and income partners starting Oct. 16. The reductions in the provisional advances made to equity partners will stop with the advances scheduled for the end of October.
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 set a floor of $100,000 for the salary cuts and created a fund to supplement the incomes of those who are on furlough, primarily business professionals who cannot work remotely or whose work has slowed significantly. The firm laid off some of the furloughed employees at the end of July. Laid-off workers will receive at least eight weeks of severance pay and workers will receive a week's pay for each year they've been with the firm, with no cap. All workers will receive health care coverage, at no additional cost to them, through the end of the year. On Aug. 1, the firm walked back its salary cut from 20% to 10% for all attorneys and business professionals making $100,000 or more per year. On Nov. 2, the firm further laid off a "limited number" of attorneys and already furloughed business professionals, while also announcing a full rollback of earlier pay cuts.
Kelley Drye announced April 14 that lawyers and other staffers making more than $100,000 annually would see a 10% pay cut starting May 15, while those who make less than $100,000 wouldn't see any pay cuts. Additionally, the firm said equity partners' draws would be reduced by as much as 20% beginning at the end of April, and raises for administrative staff that were planned for July 1 would 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." On Sept. 3, the firm said it would ease reductions for associates, special counsel and staff earning more than $100,000 annually to 5%. On Dec. 10, the firm announced it would roll back all remaining salary cuts and repay attorneys and staff for all lost salary between May 1 through Dec. 31 in one lump-sum payment at the end of the year.
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%. And 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. On Aug. 28, the firm said it was returning staff and attorney compensation to prepandemic levels on Sept. 1. The firm is also returning all secretaries to full time or equivalent hours, and will begin returning some attorneys and professional staff to their full hours on a case-by-case basis.
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. On Sept. 17, the firm said it was rolling back salary reductions for full-time lawyers and staff who are able to work remotely. In addition to restoring regular pay, the firm said it will be reimbursing for reductions in compensation from the date the reductions were first implemented.
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. On June 8, the firm confirmed it is offering a six-week virtual summer program, which is shortened from its usual 10-week program. Some offices will start June 15, while others will start June 29. Summer associates will be paid for the duration of the program, and offer decisions will be made at the conclusion of the program.
Loeb & Loeb LLP confirmed on April 2 a slew of cost-cutting initiatives: 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. On Aug. 25, the firm announced it was rolling back paycuts by 60%, and on Oct. 22, the firm said it would eliminate all remaining salary reductions for its attorneys, paralegals and staff, including reductions in monthly draws for capital partners. All of the reversals will be retroactive to Oct. 1. On Dec. 4, the firm announced it would repay employees for salary reductions from April 15 to Sept. 30, with the back pay being paid on or about Dec. 11.
Lowenstein Sandler on April 8 confirmed to Law360 it had paused partner distributions, including one due at the end of March. On June 9, the firm said it will host a shortened six-week summer associate program starting June 15. The program will be conducted remotely, though the firm said it will continue to assess whether in-person opportunities present themselves. The firm said it provided pay advances to program participants.
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 LLP on April 23 announced a shorter five-week virtual summer associate program, with plans to start in early July. The firm said it will pay the associates for the duration of the program and offer full-time positions to all of its second-year summer associates to join in the fall of 2021, while 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 nonequity partner lawyers and business services staff who earn more than $200,000. Business services staff who earn less than $200,000 a 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. The firm also said it is postponing the arrival of its fall associate class in the U.S. to January 2021. On Sept. 14, the firm said it will fully restore base salaries to pre-COVID-19 levels on Sept. 21 and will award "competitive" bonuses this year. The firm added that in an effort to address the months of salary reduction, the firm will also award an additional discretionary bonus this year to high-performing income partners, of counsel and associates.
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.
Miller Canfield reportedly laid off and furloughed an unspecified number of employees, including attorneys, in June.
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%. On Oct. 9, the firm confirmed its policy committee had approved a rollback of all cuts to base pay for associates, technical advisers, patent agents and professional staff beginning with the Oct. 23 paycheck.
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 at the time it had no plans to reduce attorney head count, although some staff were furloughed or had their hours reduced, and that all employees would still get their benefits. 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 that it planned to pay back the reduced salaries as compensation deferrals by the end of the year at the latest. Munck Wilson's executive committee said it would revisit these adjustments to account for changing circumstances due to the pandemic. On Dec. 8, the firm confirmed it was rolling back salary cuts and offering full restitution of lost salary.
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. On June 17, the firm said it has moved forward with shortened summer associate programs, with those in Boston and Washington, D.C., working remotely. One group started June 1 for a four-week program, while a second group started June 15 for a five-week program.
Nixon Peabody LLP furloughed 5% of its associates and laid off another 5%, according to an April 8 report. On May 4, the firm confirmed that it 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, who will receive $10,000 salary advances.On May 6, the firm confirmed pay cuts, which will be effective May 20, include a 10% reduction in base pay for associates and counsel. On Sept. 3, the firm told Law360 it is laying off a "certain" number of previously furloughed staff, while also restoring some pay cuts for those still at the firm.
Norton Rose Fulbright on April 16 confirmed to Law360 that it had reduced pay and laid off an unspecified number of its 1,600 attorneys and staff members in the U.S. On June 24, the firm told Law60 that it would offer a compressed five-week, virtual summer associate program; participants would be paid the firm's standard weekly salary and there would be no changes in planned offers to participants, which have historically been given to about 95% or more of the class members. On Sept. 14, the firm confirmed that it would bring its salaries back to the pre-COVID-19 baseline on Sept. 30. On Dec. 21, the firm reportedly paid back its U.S. employees approximately 55% of the salary they lost to pay cuts implemented between April and September of 2020.
Ogletree Deakins told Law360 on April 15 that some employees had their hours reduced and a few had 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, 2020. 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. On Sept. 8, the firm announced it had eliminated all salary reductions at the beginning of September.
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. On Sept. 24, the firm said it will fully restore base salaries to pre-COVID-19 levels for all associates, of counsel and staff starting Oct. 1 and will continue to offer associates annual bonuses matching its 2019 scale. On Nov. 10, the firm said it will begin offering restoration payments to lawyers and staff who experienced salary cuts this year. The restoration payments will cover between April and September and apply to staff, associates, of counsel and nonpartner executives.
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 partner compensation by more than 19% since March and that starting in June it would 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 had deferred 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. On Oct. 1, the firm announced it was reversing pay cuts and also going a step further by offering restoration payments to make up for lost income.
Pillsbury Winthrop on May 4 said that it had instituted a tiered pay cut plan that would reduce associate 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 voluntarily took higher reductions in compensation, in line with those of the firm's partners. Partner draws were reduced on a progressive scale, by a minimum of 25%. On Aug. 21, the firm confirmed it had eased pay cuts for associates, of counsel and nonattorney staff, and had provided back pay for the first half of 2020 to bring up salaries retroactively. On Oct. 2, the firm fully eliminated previous reductions in compensation and partner draws, and paid back originally withheld pay.
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.
Raines Feldman on Sept. 23 told Law360 it had instituted 10% pay reductions across all staff, attorneys and partners in June. It also instituted a small layoff in the slower practice groups to make room for expansion in the higher performing groups. On Sept. 1, the firm fully rolled back the pay cuts.
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. On June 1, the firm said it will extend pay cuts to the end of the year on an annualized basis, listing a 14% reduction for nonequity partners, 12.5% for counsel and 12% for associates. Some professional staff will move to a four-day workweek, with corresponding pay cuts, and "a small number" of employees will be furloughed on a temporary basis. Professional staff who earn more than $100,000 annually, who are not subject to other employment actions, will have their salary reduced nearly 6% on an annualized basis. On June 8, the firm confirmed it had instituted a global hiring freeze on all professional staff through the end of 2020. On Oct. 22, the firm said all compensation cuts would be fully rolled back by Nov. 1.
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 its support team employees in the states. Those 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." On Sept. 10, the firm announced it will offer incoming associates an optional deferral year, giving them the option to participate in a firm-sponsored fellowship or take a sabbatical year.
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 had extended offers to the five second-year students after graduation. On Nov. 17, the firm announced it had reversed its April pay cuts and had paid employees back for the lost income. On Nov. 19, the firm said some first-year associates will have to wait until the summer of 2021 to start as a precautionary measure, but that it will pay those associates a stipend.
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 pay reductions will go into effect May 1, including a 10% reduction for all nonequity attorneys in the U.S., a 10% reduction for staff earning over $150,000 per year, a 5% reduction for those earning between $60,000 and $150,000. There was no reduction for those earning less than $60,000. Partner draws were reduced earlier than cuts for the rest of the firm, on April 1, by 20%. On Sept. 18, the firm said all attorneys and staff will have their full compensation restored Oct. 1. However, the firm also laid off some staff members and a "small number" of attorneys who were furloughed in April. The laid off personnel will all receive severance packages that include at least two months' pay. The firm also said that it will hold off on making a decision on some of its furloughed employees until the end of the year, but will continue covering their health insurance premiums in the meantime.
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 delayed its summer associate program to July 6 and shortened it to five weeks. On April 27, the firm announced 12% pay cuts for associates, special counsel and staff attorneys through the end of the year; 5% pay reductions for staff members earning between $70,000 and $90,000 per year; and 10% reductions for staff earning more than $90,000 annually. 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. On Aug. 18, the firm announced it would reduce its compensation adjustments by half starting at the end of the month. On Oct. 6, the firm said it was reinstating prepandemic salaries for its workers following cuts earlier this year but laying off 22 of its 44 furloughed staff.
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. On Sept. 3, the firm confirmed it had laid off about 4% of its professional staff in the U.S.
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 Boggs LLP on April 30 confirmed it had canceled its nine-week summer associate program for 2020, but planned to provide job offers to all participants and pay a stipend in place of the usual salary. It said it would 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. On Sept. 15, the firm said it would restore associate salaries to their prepandemic levels in October and reverse base salary cuts for support staff and other nonpartners who were making less than $75,000, while those earning above that level would see their compensation reduction cut in half. The firm added it will reward employees "who performed at extraordinary levels" during the reduced compensation period with a special bonus, and its existing bonus program will also remain in place. On Dec. 2, the firm announced it would provide a one-time payment to make associates whole for any salary loss tied to the cuts from May through September.
Stoel Rives on April 17 unveiled a long list of cost-saving measures. According to a memo obtained by Law360, the firm 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 on an annualized basis, which would equal a 13% annual reduction in pay if implemented through the end of the year. Stoel Rives also implemented tiered hourly reductions with corresponding pay reductions for staff based on their salaries. The cuts started at 5% for those earning more than $75,000 and go up to 20% for those who earn more than $150,000. Additionally, the firm said it would maintain a hiring and spending freeze, defer staff bonuses, and eliminate most associate bonuses and firm reimbursement for things like parking and public transportation. On Aug. 21, the firm announced pay reduction rollbacks. Starting Sept. 1, associate and of counsel pay will go from being reduced by 20% to reduced by 10%, and partner distributions will be reduced by 15% instead of 20%. The firm will also cut reductions to staff salary in half for those whose pay had been reduced by 10%, 15% or 20%. Those who took a 5% cut will see their full salaries restored. On Oct. 9, the firm said base pay for attorneys and staff will be completely restored to normal levels by Oct. 12. On Nov. 12, the firm said that it plans to retroactively pay its lawyers and staff who saw cuts this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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 & Cromwell laid off about 50 staff employees and offered another 100 buyouts in recent months, according to a July 24 American Lawyer report.
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 had laid off nine attorneys and 16 staff members across its seven offices. On Nov. 16, the firm said it had restored full pay to partners and that it had also made restoration payments to make up for the lost income.
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. On Sept. 14, the firm said it had downsized its workforce as part of an "innovative" restructuring in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, eliminating an undisclosed number of staff positions.
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, incorrect information on the duration of Katten's furloughs and Day Pitney's staff hour and pay reductions. 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.
For a reprint of this article, please contact email@example.com.