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Associate Compensation Models and Trends for 2011 and Beyond

Course Description:

How does associate compensation fit in with today's law firm economics? Frankly, it doesn't. 

One industry expert stated “a typical law firm bill in January 2011 will generate the same dollars for partner work as it did in 2010, but it will generate half the revenue for associate work.”

As Susan Hackett, general counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel, put it, "I don’t have a problem with the $1,000-an-hour lawyer, but the $350-an-hour junior associate isn't worth it."

Although recent reports indicate that associate compensation may be heading back up to pre-recessionary levels, headcount is not.  In fact, recessionary pricing pressures have led many firms to rethink and, in some cases, radically restructure their associate programs.

CoursE highlights:

This comprehensive audio conference examines associate compensation trends and alternatives being considered and used in law firms today, including:

  • What is working and what’s not
  • The pros, cons and long term effects of tiered programs
  • How firms can best identify partner potential within tiered/tracks
  • Pros, cons and realities of merit-based compensation programs
  • Partnering with law schools to produce new talent at the entry level 
  • How some of the most publicized new compensation plans are working
  • How firms are managing to do more with fewer associates
  • Incentivizing efficiency and cost effectiveness; incentivizing innovation
  • How your partners may be setting up merit-based programs for failure (non-billable hours required for reviews)

Featured Faculty:

Paul Lippe, CEO, Legal OnRamp

Paul Lippe is the CEO of Legal OnRamp, the leader in legal Web 2.0.  Legal OnRamp was first developed at a legal department productivity and collaboration platform for Cisco Systems, and is the first Web 2.0 system to integrate secure, private departmental platforms with a broader “walled garden” public community.  

From 1992-1999, Paul Lippe was an executive at Synopsys, an electronic design automation company. During that time Synopsys grew from $63MM to $800MM in revenue. Paul was at various times Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and ran Business Development and Corporate Marketing.  Synopsys is the global leader in sophisticated technology for chip design.

After leaving Synopsys in late 1999, Paul became CEO of Stanford SKOLAR, a medical digital library and e-learning company sponsored by Stanford Medical School. SKOLAR was recognized as a leader in self-directed learning, with the first approved in-context learning system.   

Paul is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.  He is married to Nancy White Lippe and they have 4 children.

Pamela Woldow, GENERAL COUNSEL, Edge International

Pamela Woldow's diverse career has included roles as a practicing attorney, senior in-house counsel, and consultant to major law firms and legal departments worldwide. Over the last several years, she has earned widespread recognition for her pioneering work in transforming law firm-client relationships, including Legal Project Management, Alternative Fee Arrangements, RFPs and law firm selection and convergence programs. The ABA has designated her as a "Legal Rebel" - a change catalyst leading innovation in the practice of law.

Pam also specializes in providing advice to General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers on law department operations, cost management, litigation management and management of outside counsel, as well as advising law firms on business development and all aspects of counsel-client relationships. She is a Certified Master Coach with deep experience in individual lawyer coaching and in designing law department leadership development programs.

Tanina Rostain, Professor of Law, Cochair, New York Law and Society Colloquium

Tanina Rostain is Professor of Law and co-director of the Center for Professional Values and Practice at New York Law School.  She received an MA in Philosophy from Yale University and a JD from Yale Law School, where she served as an Articles Editor on the Yale Law Journal. Upon graduation, she clerked for Ellen Ash Peters, Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. She practiced law for several years, returning in 1996 to Yale Law School as a Keck Fellow in Legal Ethics and Professional Culture. Professor Rostain's work focuses on the empirical investigation of professional norms in corporate and tax practice. Recent publications include "Travails in Tax: KPMG and the Tax Shelter Controversy" in Legal Ethics: Law Stories (2006); "The Rise of 'Law Consultants'," in the Fordham Law Review (2006); "General Counsel in the Age of Compliance: Preliminary Findings and New Research Questions" in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics (2007); “Self-Regulatory Markets, Autonomy, and the Ideology of Professionalism in the Oxford Handbook on Regulation (2010). Currently, she is at work on a book to be published by MIT Press that examines the role of tax professionals and in the rise of the tax shelter industry 1994-2004.

During the 2008-09 academic year, Professor Rostain was a faculty fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics ( at Harvard University. Professor Rostain is joining the faculty of Georgetown Law Center in the fall 2011.

David Cruickshank, KermaPartners


Management consultancy KermaPartners helps professional services firms make the right business decisions and achieve measurable results when it matters most.

David Cruickshank is a consultant with Kerma Partners. He advises law and other professional services firms on practice management, strategy, governance, leadership development and talent retention strategies. He works with managing partners, professional development partners, departments and hiring partners to convert training to a strategic advantage of the firm. David creates customized programs on leadership, time management, project management, delegation, feedback and business development skills.  

He has worked as a training consultant in top firms in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States since 1990. He is well known academically in the field of legal skills education. He currently teaches as an adjunct at the Pepperdine Law School master’s program and is a frequent conference speaker. David was most recently Director of Professional Development at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison in New York.


We're so confident you'll get what you want out of this conference that we'll refund every penny if you're not completely satisfied. No questions asked! It's 100% risk-free!


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CD and Event Materials

Your CD recording includes the complete audio conference presentation, audience Q&A and presentation materials.


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