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Mayer Brown's Latest Perk: A $100,000 Pay Cut

6/3/2009: This post has been updated with clarifications from the firm.

Talk about lawyers being risk-averse. Associates at Mayer Brown, headquartered in Chicago, are agreeing to accept pay cuts of $100,000 for an extra year of job security, reports the Chicago Tribune. While offering the traditional severance packages many firms have provided to downsized associates and deferred start dates for new first-year associates, Mayer Brown is now offering placement for some of its associates to work in-house at corporate clients at a reduced salary of $60,000 a year -- or $100,000 less than their starting salary. The jobs are guaranteed for a year, after which associates have no assurance of further employment, according to the Tribune.

Legal recruiter Art Gunther praised Mayer Brown's idea, saying that the displaced associates "are not going to find another $160,000 job out there." But other firms are reluctant to copy Mayer Brown's idea because if the associate doesn't work out, the firm's relationship with its corporate client could be damaged.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on June 2, 2009 at 02:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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