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The roster of firms giving raises to associates in Texas expanded within the past few days, with salary moves at Dallas-based Winstead Sechrest & Minick, Houston-based Fulbright & Jaworski and Chicago-based Baker & McKenzie, which has 103 lawyers in offices in Dallas and Houston. The raises were effective March 1 at Fulbright and April 1 at Winstead, and will be effective June 1 at Baker & McKenzie. The salary structure for associates with 311-lawyer Winstead will not be strictly lockstep, with a preset base salary and bonus ranges assigned once an associate meets a minimum billable-hours requirement. W. Mike Baggett, Winstead’s chairman and CEO, says his firm does not impose minimum billable-hours requirements for associates, because the firm wants them to develop broadly as lawyers, instead of narrowing their focus simply to hours billed. As a result, Winstead will maintain its merit-based compensation system. While first- and second-year associates likely all will receive the scheduled maximum base salary, associates with more experience will have more of their base salary determined on merit. A first-year associate at Winstead will earn a base salary of up to $135,000 with a potential bonus of up to $5,000. A second-year-associate will earn a base salary of up to $145,000 with a potential bonus of up to $10,000. A third-year associate will earn a base salary of up to $150,000 with a potential bonus of up to $20,000. A fourth-year associate will earn a base salary of up to $160,000, with up to $170,000 for a fifth-year associate, up to $180,000 for a sixth-year associate, up to $185,000 for a seventh-year associate and up to $190,000 for an eighth-year associate and above. Potential bonuses for fourth-year associates and above will range from up to $25,000 to $45,000. A first-year associate with Fulbright will be paid $140,000, says the firm’s hiring partner, Gerry Lowry of Houston. Fulbright, which has 960 lawyers firmwide, declines to provide further associate salary information for Texas associates. On April 4, Steven Pfeiffer, the Washington, D.C.-based chairman of the firm’s executive committee, said in a written statement that Fulbright is committed to being competitive in connection with associate compensation. At Baker & McKenzie, the new salary scale will pay a first-year associate a $140,000 base salary, plus up to $10,000 in bonus. To be paid the maximum bonus, an associate must bill 2,300 hours, according to a salary scale provided by the firm. A second-year associate at Baker & McKenzie would be paid a base salary of $145,000 and up to $15,000 in bonus. A third-year associate would be paid a $150,000 base and up to $25,000 in bonus; a $160,000 base for a fourth-year associate and up to $30,000 in bonus; a $170,000 base and up to $40,000 in bonus for a fifth-year associate; a $180,000 base and up to $40,000 in bonus for a sixth-year associate; a $185,000 base and up to $45,000 in bonus for a seventh-year associate; and a $190,000 base and up to $50,000 in bonus for eighth-year and up associates. Baker & McKenzie has 53 associates in its Texas offices. The firm announced the new salary scale March 31. David Parham, the firm’s managing partner in Dallas, refers comment about the raises to David Hackett, the North American managing partner. In a written statement, Hackett says the higher salary scale reflects the firm’s commitment to grow its offices and retain top lawyers.

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