By Anna Nelson • January 21, 2008•Firms and the Private Sector
As a junior associate at a big law firm, Peg has noticed an odd detail of her discussions of work/life balance with senior partners. In a recent post she explained,
The partners kept bringing the discussion back to the fact that I, and others like me, now earn(ed) $160,000 as first year associates at big law firms. When I said to one person that I wasn't talking about money and that I didn't understand why the conversation had to keep returning to that issue she said to me, "it is what it is, associates make decisions about where to work based on money."
After relating this anecdote, Peg takes apart the assumption that big salaries should buy silence on work/life reform. Nonetheless, firms surely do compete for hires on the basis of salary--which is easily quantified--more than on, say, the strength of mentoring networks or the acceptability of using family leave (neither of which have standardized measures like dollars). All this is to say: I'm not sure we need another pressure point for firms in the salary race. (We already have Above the Law to break salary news, right?) But we've got one: Already Bored.
[More after the jump]
Already Bored is a website for tracking legal salaries. Its stated mission is to provide "the most current and comprehensive law firm compensation data and job search resources." The free website launched in December and is still getting going, but so far it has collected salary data on about 300 firms. It offers a few helpful tools to compare the salaries of selected firms and/or regions side by side, as well as related resources (such as message and job boards).
Activity is pretty sparse at the site so far, but it's a kind of group effort (users submit and correct salary data) that can take a while to build momentum and succeed. I'm a big supporter of that kind of project (*cough* like Ms. JD *cough*), so I thought I'd recommend it even before it's reached its peak. Salaries shouldn't be secrets. The more information we have about salary and other practices in the profession, the more equity we can establish. Right? So check it out.