Associates and counsel are evaluated on an annual basis. A committee produces individual written evaluations and follows a process that includes written input from supervising attorneys, interviews with every attorney across the firm, and self-evaluations from the associates and counsel. The committee meets for several days in the fall to discuss each associate and counsel. After the committee meeting, draft evaluations are sent to practice group leaders, office managing partners and others for review and comment. The process concludes with a written evaluation and a committee member meeting with each associate and counsel to discuss the evaluation.
Associates and counsel who join the firm later in the year – including entry-level associates and lateral hires – participate in a mid-year review process in the spring, which provides feedback on their work during their first months at the firm.
After six years of credited practice, associates are eligible for promotion to counsel. Associates are promoted based on the quality of their legal work, productivity, ability to work independently and to supervise others, and potential for business development and administrative contributions to the firm.
Associates may also move to a senior attorney role after six years of practice. The senior attorney position is not on the partnership track. Senior attorneys generally have limited client management, business development and administrative responsibilities.
After eight years of credited practice, including two years as counsel, counsel are eligible for promotion to partner or to senior counsel. Counsel are promoted to senior counsel or partner based on the quality of their legal work, expertise and experience, productivity, ability to work independently and to supervise others, and ability to retain and generate work.
Although associates are first eligible for consideration for promotion to counsel after six years of practice, and counsel are eligible for consideration for promotion to partner or senior counsel after eight years of practice, the firm has a well-established “flexible” promotion track policy. Attorneys frequently practice for more than the minimum number of years in order to demonstrate the legal skills, knowledge, and client development and management skills necessary for promotion.
Associate and counsel compensation includes a base salary and the possibility of earning productivity and merit bonuses. Salaries and bonuses vary by office.