Thompson & Knight, like a few other large Texas firms, will give big raises to its U.S. associates on July 1 as it moves to the new salary scale set by Cravath, Swaine & Moore. With the new scale, first-year associates at the firm will be paid $190,000 annually.
Managing partner Mark Sloan on Thursday confirmed that the Dallas-based firm has moved to the new market rate. The Above the Law blog on Thursday published a copy of a June 27 memo from Sloan to the firm’s associates notifying them about the new salary scale.
Associates will also be paid discretionary bonuses, the firm said. Prior to the Cravath announcement, Thompson & Knight decided to pay discretionary mid-year bonuses to certain associates based on productivity and other considerations. “This compensation is competitive with the market, while being separate and apart from any year-end bonuses that may be awarded,” the firm said in a statement.
The Texas firms are among dozens nationwide that have announced they will start paying associates more on July 1. The rush started on June 4 when Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy announced a $190,000 starting salary for first-year associates. A week later, Cravath matched the Milbank rate but agreed to pay more for midlevel and senior associates.
Some firms have gone even higher, including Houston-based litigation firm Susman Godfrey, which announced a new salary scale that tops the Cravath scale by $5,000 for each class, starting pay for first-years at $195,000.
Also on Thursday, Houston litigation firm Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing announced it would move to the Cravath pay scale for first-year lawyers—$190,000 plus the $5,000 bonus. Founding partner John Zavitsanos said the firm will match the Cravath scale for second-year through fourth-year associates and will evaluate senior associate pay over the next few weeks.
Zavitsanos said the firm decided to announce the new salary scale because recruiting season at law schools will begin soon.