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Associates at San Francisco’s Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe will get a lock-step salary increase retroactive to Jan. 1. Orrick Herrington sent a memo to associates Wednesday informing them of the salary increases. Under Orrick Herrington’s lock-step pay scale, second-year associates will receive $135,000, third-years $150,000, fifth-years $185,000 and eighth-years $215,000. The base pay at each level remains the same as last year. “We have a diverse practice, and so we’re in a better position to weather the economic storm,” said Thomas Coleman, chair of Orrick Herrington’s professional development committee. “We feel associates and of counsel helped us pull through difficult times, and we want to treat them accordingly.” The firm’s 319 associates and 42 of counsel will receive hours-based bonuses for 2001 that kick in at 1,950 hours, 2,100 hours, 2,250 hours and 2,400 hours, as well as discretionary bonuses. For example, Coleman said, the most senior associate who hits all the hours-based levels and gets a full discretionary bonus would receive $170,000, the highest possible bonus. He said a few attorneys did reach that level. Orrick Herrington has not decided on a bonus program for 2002. Orrick Herrington’s decision to give lock-step pay hikes is in line with that of Palo Alto, Calif.’s Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and San Francisco-based Morrison & Foerster. Other Bay Area firms have tinkered with their salary structures. Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, Cooley Godward, and Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich did not move attorneys to their next lock-step salary level, freezing their salaries. Cooley gave a modest raise to second-year associates and Pillsbury Winthrop froze first- and second-year associate salaries but gave pay raises to third-, fourth- and fifth-year associates, though at a lower level than the existing lock-step structure. And earlier this week Palo Alto-based Fenwick & West moved associates to the next lock-step salary level but reduced the base salary at those levels.

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