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04/13/06

Frommer Lawrence & Haug announces highest base salary for first-years


New York City-based Frommer Lawrence & Haug has taken first year salary to $150,000.

Placing itself at the top of the legal profession's salary scale, the move promises young attorneys extra incentives to join the firm. Specializing in intellectual property litigation, prosecution, and counseling, it comprises a unique alliance of attorneys, which include in-house scientific advisors, investigators, and other professionals.

The firm opened a Tokyo office in January 2006 and plans to open a new office in Washington, DC, by the second quarter of this year.

Law firm marketing
The growing competition and the thrust to gain recognition have led law firms to develop new and advanced marketing strategies.

The latest tool for lawyer marketing is the Internet. Lawyers want their websites to convey the impression of professionalism, as the appearance of the firm creates a great impact on generating clients. Instruments like television, phone book, and billboard aim to draw the general public. The real challenge, however, is to attract the attention of the corporate world.

A decade old advertisement demonstrated lawyers as "guys in suits next to piles of law books" which, indeed, scared many people away. Martin Harding & Mazzotti, a personal injury law firm, has changed the vintage style by introducing a new "emotional" side of personal injury law to attract the crowd.
The high-profile firms, however, do not feel the need of a formal marketing program. Boies Schiller and Flexner, for example, successfully run its corporate litigation practice owing to the reputation of its lead partner, David Boies. Many small firms have also shunned the world of advertising as they bring their individual reputations and client bases with them and do not rely on advertising to support them.

Three more Dallas firms announce salary increases
Ever since Vinson & Elkins raised associates salaries in early March, a growing number of Texas firms have followed suit. The latest are Dallas-based Gardere Wynne Sewell, Hughes & Luce, and Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr.

First-year associates at Gardere Wynne Sewell are eligible for $140,000, effective April 1, which is the first day of its fiscal year. Second-year associates will make $145,000; while third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-year associates will receive $150,000; $160,000; $170,000; $180,000; and $185,000, respectively. The 278-lawyer firm's bonuses will be directly proportionate to productivity.

Hughes & Luce new salary scale will range from $135,000 for first-year associates and to $195,000 for eighth-year associates. The 137-lawyer firm offers the maximum bonus of $45,000 with the total compensation package ranging from $140,000 to $240,000.

Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr raised the base salary for its first-year associates to $135,000, retroactive to March 1. The salary increases apply to all Class of 2005 associates, while the firm reviews other adjustments to its associate salary scale.

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