One Of Vault’s ‘Best Law Firms To Work For’ Slashes Salaries By 20 Percent


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The COVID-19 outbreak has officially infected law firms across the country with salary cuts. Some are more extreme than others, but this seems to be the way that firms think they can come out on the other side of the pandemic relatively unscathed.

The latest cuts come from a California-based firm that was recently ranked as one of Vault’s top 10 best midsize firms to work for. Yikes. That’s awkward.

Downey Brand, Sacramento’s largest law firm, will be cutting salaries firmwide. The Sacramento Business Journal has the details on the firm’s decision:

[The firm’s] attorneys and salaried staff will see a 20% cut to their salaries for a four-month period ending July 31, and hourly staff will transition from working five days a week to four, [managing partner Scott] Shapiro said. The compensation cuts equate to a 6.7% reduction on an annual basis, he said. …

“There are layoffs and furloughs going on across the industry, and we don’t want to do that,” said Shapiro, on Downey Brand’s salary cuts. “We have an amazing team of talented people. We consider them our family and they’re the people that help our clients.”

Sources have told us that the 20 percent cuts apply to counsel and income partners, and that equity partners have taken a hit as well. We reached out to Downey Brand for additional comment, but have not yet received word back.

Best of luck to Downey Brand as they try to weather this storm. Hopefully the firm will live up to its top 10 ranking for overall satisfaction after this crisis subsides.

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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Furloughs, salary cuts hit Sacramento’s largest law firms [Sacramento Business Journal (sub. req.)]


Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.





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