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Fish Scale The 32 associates at the Fish & Richardson office in Dallas and the nine associates in Austin just got a big raise. On Jan. 29, the firm announced a new associate salary scale ranging from a $160,000 base for first-year associates to a $265,000 base for seventh-year associates. The firm, which has 55 lawyers in Dallas and 25 in Austin, is the latest big firm to hike its associate salary scale since New York firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett set the market into motion on Jan. 22 by announcing a new associate salary scale, including a $160,000 base for first-year associates. Under the new scale at Fish & Richardson, second-year associates earn a base salary of $170,000; third-year associates get $185,000; fourth-year associates earn $210,000; fifth-year associates get $230,000; sixth-year associates earn a base of $250,000; and seventh-year associates get $265,000. The raises at Fish & Richardson are retroactive to Jan. 1. While large Texas firms are still watching the market, some of the out-of-state firms with Texas offices have matched Simpson Thacher’s first-year associate base salaries, including New York’s Weil, Gotshal & Manges, which has offices in Houston, Dallas and Austin, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which has an office in Houston. Both are paying their first-year associates a $160,000 base salary. [See "Money Talks," Texas Lawyer, Jan. 29, 2007, page 3.] In a written statement on Jan. 29, Peter Devlin, the Boston-based president of Fish & Richardson, says the firm will remain competitive to attract, hire and retain outstanding attorneys. Thomas Melsheimer, managing principal of the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson, says, “We have always wanted to be able to say we pay top dollar.” Fish & Richardson, which does intellectual property, litigation and corporate law, also has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Delaware, New York City, San Diego, the Silicon Valley, the Twin Cities and Washington, D.C. On the Ballot Two West Texans will square off against each another in this year’s race for president-elect of the State Bar of Texas. At its Jan. 26 meeting in El Paso, the Bar board of directors nominated Mark Osborn, a partner in Kemp Smith in El Paso, and Harper Estes, vice president and a shareholder in Lynch, Chappell & Alsup in Midland. Osborn served on the Bar board from 2002-2005 and currently chairs the Bar’s Technology Advisory Committee. “It’s another opportunity to serve the [legal] profession,” Osborn says of his nomination. One of his goals is for the Bar to continue implementing technology to provide lawyers tools they can use in their work, Osborn says. Estes says he considers it an honor to be considered for the Bar post. “I love the legal profession, and I’ve always worked throughout my career to give something back to the community and the profession,” Estes says. “This is a unique opportunity to do that.” Estes served on the Bar board from 1999 to 2002. Also on Jan. 26, the Bar board nominated candidates for president-elect of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. In that race, Cheryl Camin, senior associate with Fulbright & Jaworski in Dallas, will face Sylvia Cardona, an associate with Langley & Banack in San Antonio. Camin, currently TYLA’s vice president, says she is excited to have the tremendous opportunity to help continue the service projects that the young lawyers have in progress. Cardona says, “I am really excited and thrilled to have the opportunity to meet the young lawyers throughout the state of Texas and to hear their comments on how TYLA can serve them.” According to the Bar’s timetable for the elections, candidates can begin campaigning on March 1, and the Bar will distribute paper and electronic ballots on April 2. Under that timetable, the Bar must receive all ballots by May 1.

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