Am Law 100 Firm Cuts Associate Salaries And Expects Reduced Pay To Last Through The End Of The Year

Biglaw is still trying to figure out how to survive in a COVID-19 world. What we know so far, is that lots of very big law firms have determined it necessary to enact various austerity measures to maintain cash flow as the economic upheaval continues.

Now we know that yet another Am Law 100 firm has decided to make some cuts. Duane Morris, which took the 75th place in the Am Law ranking with $491,573,000 in gross revenue, is the latest firm with COVID-19 austerity measures.

Duane Morris has cut associate and special counsel salaries by 15 percent. The pay cut will be effective May 1, and the firm expects the cuts to last until the end of the year (though if that changes, the firm says they’ll “reassess the situation”). They’re also cutting 401K matching for the remainder of 2020.

As some tipsters noted, this appeared to be an about face from the hints associates were previously receiving:

Despite announcing earlier in the week that March’s number were “far better than expected,” Duane Morris cut associate and special counsel salaries

Perhaps the firm just expected March to be a dumpster fire? Either way, it sounds like (at least some of) the rank and file got the impression they’d avoid cuts, when maybe they merely meant to signal no layoffs were on the horizon? Whatever misimpressions previously circulated at Duane Morris, we now have a clear understanding of the firm’s austerity measures.

We reached out to Duane Morris for comment, but did not immediately hear back.

You can read the full email from firm leadership below:


If your firm or organization is slashing salaries, closing its doors, or reducing the ranks of its lawyers or staff, whether through open layoffs, stealth layoffs, or voluntary buyouts, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Our vast network of tipsters is part of what makes Above the Law thrive. You can email us or text us (646-820-8477).

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headshotKathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).



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