File This Under ‘No Shit, Sherlock’

This just in. BigLaw firms can increase their standing among overworked associates by 1) raising associate pay and 2) letting associates know what’s going on. In a recent American Lawyer profile, Foley Hoag partners and associates talk about how “increased communication” is one reason the firm moved up 92 places in an annual beauty pageant known as the associates survey. That, and “restoring” starting associate pay to $160,000. And moving other associate pay levels up to “market level.” With the pay bumps, American Lawyer offers up this startling conclusion: “[m]oney makes associates happy with their firms, too.”

Maybe it’s just us (and we said it here before about bumped up Wachtell salaries) but cash for associates is a no-brainer. Sure, pro bono scores for Foley increased a bit, as did openness about finances. But the biggest jump, again, came not because of a feel-good cumbaya demystification of the partnership process, but because of pay. Money still talks. Go ahead and file that now.


Bitter Staff is a collection of current and former editors, contributors, and various other lawyers who have written for Bitter Lawyer over the years. Posts include interviews, contests, and other general lawyerly and bitter content.


  1. Guano Dubango

    September 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    ATTRACTION… the act of associating horniness with a particular person.
    LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT… what occurs when two extremely horny, but not entirely choosy people meet.
    DATING… the process of spending enormous amounts of money, time and energy to get better acquainted with a person whom you don’t especially like in the present and will learn to like a lot less in the future.
    BIRTH CONTROL… avoiding pregnancy through such tactics as swallowing special pills, inserting a diaphragm, using a condom, and dating repulsive men.
    EASY… a term used to describe a woman who has the sexual morals of a man.
    EYE CONTACT… a method utilized by one person to indicate that they are interested in another. Despite being advised to do so, many men have difficulty looking a woman directly in the eyes, not necessarily due to shyness, but usually due to the fact that a woman’s eyes are not located in her chest.
    FRIEND… a person in your acquaintance who has some flaw which makes sleeping with him/her totally unappealing.
    INDIFFERENCE… a woman’s feeling towards a man, which is interpreted by the man to be ‘playing hard to get’.
    INTERESTING… a word a man uses to describe a woman who lets him do all the talking.
    IRRITATING HABIT… what the endearing little qualities that initially attract two people to each other turn into after a few months together.
    LAW OF RELATIVITY… how attractive a given person appears to be is directly proportionate to how unattractive your date is.
    NYMPHOMANIAC… a man’s term for a woman who wants to have sex more often than he does.
    SOBER… condition in which it is almost impossible to fall in love.

  2. Ellen

    September 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    It is a sad day when we have to get word lessens from a guy named Guano Dubago! Fooey!

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