Stinson's Approach to Associate Pay, Lateral Competition Detailed in The American Lawyer
Stinson LLP Managing Partner Allison Murdock discusses compensation structures and the value of unified pay across markets in a recent article published by The American Lawyer.
The upsurge of remote work and increased competition in the legal field has pressured firms to unify pay scales for associates. However, more than two dozen large firms still maintain a spectrum of salaries for first-year associates, according to NLJ 500 data.
Murdock stated that the firm moved to a single pay scale and set its associate starting salary nearly a year ago to align with other firms in and outside of the firm's traditional markets.
"What we found was a coastal firm might come into the Midwest and offer a coastal salary structure," Murdock said. "And in years past, Midwest firms didn't really compete with that. But they'd offer that to our valuable associates and say, 'You can work remotely.' And they would offer to pay twice as much, or three times as much. So that approach moved the market."
She also said the firm set a consistent starting salary not only because of lateral competition but because "we found we were working so well across offices, so well on different matters."
Murdock serves as the managing partner of Stinson LLP and holds ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the firm's operations and performance, including development and implementation of the firm's strategic initiatives. Her focus is on leading and growing a client-focused and community-engaged firm. In addition to serving as the firm's managing partner, Murdock is a member of its board of directors and executive committee.
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