Wednesday, January 24, 2007

First a quick non-sequitur: My bounceback week, as chronicled on the right sidebar, has left me all the more confused about whether I got a faulty scale reading at some point, and if so, which point. Bottom line is that I trust today's number now that I'm using flat tile floor rather than inconsistent, tilty hardwood. Also, I'm hopefully a week or two away from celebrating breaking through the 300-lb. floor (no "breaking through the floor" fat jokes please) for the first time in 14-15 years. Excellent times.

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What I really wanted to post about is that this is the season for a grubby, sad, and yet exhilarating annual ritual in the big law firm world: the annual salary memo. This week the ritual got kicked off on Monday when one of the big New York firms announced a $15K raise in their salary structure, including starting salary. Once one firm does this, a few things start happening:

  1. Some other firms will immediately match to prove that they are top tier firms
  2. Some other firms will immediately match the New York raise but leave offices in other cities in limbo until someone announces in those cities
  3. Still other firms will wait around for a few days or even a week to make up their minds
  4. Some firms will not raise or will raise less
This will spur the following counter-reactions:
  1. Some law students and associates will be giddy because they just got a huge raise
  2. Some law students will sit around stressing unnecessarily about whether their firm has finally chosen to hold steady, even though it's patently obvious that they're just days (or even hours) slow in their announcement
  3. Certain message boards that are filled with hatred, vitriol and some of the worst people in the world (or, at least, worst on-line personas) get a serious uptick in traffic because they keep the closest track of who's getting (and not getting) what
So as of now, all of us working in non-NYC offices of New York firms are waiting for the 2 critical pieces of info--what is the NYC office doing, and how does it apply to the rest of the firm? Last year ours was one of many such firms that raised salaries in New York and raised the other big cities less. That's fine, I get it, cost-of-living and whatnot. But right now I'm spending a lot of time sitting around wonder if I'm going to get anywhere from a $5-25 K raise without actually doing any work. That would certainly help cut through the Midwest winter gloom. I hope they hurry, though, because I don't know how much more I can take of these stupid message boards.

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