Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Cooley Godward on Friday announced it is freezing associate lock-step salaries this year at 2001 levels, but gave its second-year associates a modest raise. The firm is the third in the San Francisco Bay Area to freeze salaries in light of the lagging economy and soft demand for corporate work. The firm was first, however, to take the more aggressive approach to cutting costs by laying off associates and staff en masse. In August, the firm laid off 86 associates and since then, six Bay Area firms have followed suit with a layoff. “Leaving the bases where they are gives us a competitive start against other firms’ base compensation and gives us plenty of room to do what we need to do on discretionary bonuses at the end of the year,” said Mark Pitchford, a Cooley Godward partner and the chief operating officer of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm. Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and Gray, Cary & Ware & Freidenrich — where pay scales are $10,000 above other firms in the market — also have frozen associate pay. Among the Silicon Valley firms, only Palo Alto-based Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has announced it will give associates lock-step pay raises. In making its move, Gray Cary also rolled back first-year pay to $125,000 from $135,000 so first-year associates will earn less than senior colleagues whose pay was frozen. At Brobeck, freezing salaries resulted in first- and second-year associates earning the same base pay of $135,000. Cooley addressed the issue of first- and second-years earning the same base salary by giving second-year associates a $5,000 raise, thus increasing their salaries to $130,000 from $125,000. Pillsbury Winthrop also rolled back its first-year pay by $10,000, to $125,000, but has not made any decision regarding lock-step increases. Brobeck, Pillsbury Winthrop and Gray Cary were the only Bay Area-based firms to give associates a raise in 2001. Menlo Park, Calif.-based Venture Law Group has responded with the most drastic cuts in associate base pay, dropping first-years to $100,000 from $125,000. At the same time, the firm gave its ranks greater shares in the firm’s profits.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.