Associate Life

We enjoy an exciting practice that is driven by providing superior service to our clients while preserving the informality, collegiality, and entrepreneurial spirit that are often suppressed in larger firms. We seek to hire attorneys who share our commitment to hard work, have unique ideas, and want to control their own careers and maintain lifestyles of their own choosing.

Assignment Structure

First-year associates are encouraged to work in a variety of subject areas and for many Shareholders without being assigned to a specific practice area. Assignments for the DC office and across-office assignments are made through a small central committee that listens carefully to each associate’s interests and preferences, considers the work needs of the Firm, and blends that information into a well-rounded professional development curriculum for each associate. Assignments wholly within a regional office usually come from the Office Managing Principal or another office Principal. We assign front-line responsibility to associates early, from working directly with clients and consultants, to conducting discovery and arguing motions. At their own pace, our associates develop their individual style and carve out their own niche. We devote considerable Shareholder time and energy to our associates because they contribute significantly to our culture and help shape our reputation and our future.

Mentoring, Training and Development, and Promotion

One of the first steps we take to help launch our new associates’ careers is the appointment of mentors. New associates are assigned to Mentor Families, usually a junior and mid-level associate and a shareholder who serve as coaches to help them jump-start their careers. Mentors facilitate their mentee’s introduction to the Firm, the legal community, and the practice of law and then remain to guide that associate’s professional development.

Among the training opportunities available to our new associates are:

  • In-house seminars offered through B&D University.
  • Environmental Law Institute’s “Environmental Boot Camp.”
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy programs.
  • State and local bar CLE programs.
  • One-on-one on-the-job training with our own prominent members of the bar.

Our attorneys’ practices are not limited by defined practice groups. Practice groups are primarily management tools and are utilized for continuing education, specialized training, and the coordination of the firm’s marketing efforts. Associates are encouraged to sample a variety of practice areas, especially in their first few years.

We work individually with each associate to develop a successful and satisfying legal career. To that end, twice annually, each associate is given an evaluation of his or her professional progress. During these bi-annual, interactive meetings, we encourage and support associates to tailor their own specific professional development curriculum.

An associate is promoted to Principal based on an associate’s demonstrated adherence to the highest ethical standards, service to clients and the profession, legal acumen, and firm citizenship. Associates are usually considered eligible to become Principals after seven plus years with the firm. 

Associates Committee

Our Associates Committee is led by Associates and consists only of Associates. It is charged with addressing issues of particular relevance to Associates. In addition, the Associates Committee hosts regular meetings and training programs for all associates.

*Compensation and Bonuses

As of July 1, 2023, the salary for entry-level associates starting is $180,000. Associates are also eligible to receive productivity bonuses. For entry-level associates, the first bonus of $7,500 is paid when associates record billable hours of 1,850 hours, and at every 50 billable-hour increment above 1,850 hours for the year, an additional $7,500 bonus is paid. Billable hours include up to 100 hours per year of pro bono work and up to 50 hours for approved DE&I work performed on behalf of the Firm. Discretionary bonuses also may be awarded each year at the discretion of the firm on the basis of a variety of factors, including exceptional contributions to the firm or the community, firm-wide profitability, and other factors.

*The firm’s compensation and bonus structure is reviewed periodically and is subject to change.

Benefits Summary

We offer a highly competitive benefits package to our lawyers, including:

  • Group Health/Prescription/Dental Insurance for Employees, Families, and Domestic Partners.
  • Short-Term Disability Benefits – 70% of Earnings.
  • Long-Term Disability Benefits – 66.6% of Earnings.
  • Life and AD&D Insurance.
  • Business Travel Accident Insurance.
  • 401(k) Plan.
  • Employee Assistance Program.
  • Pre-tax Flexible Spending Account for Dependent Care and Health Care Expenses.
  • Pre-tax Transportation Benefit (Transit and Parking).
  • Vision Plan.
  • Long-Term Care Plan.
  • Payroll Deduction Savings Plan.
  • Section 529 College Savings Plan
  • Wellness Stipend
  • Caregiver Stipend
  • Technology Stipend of $2,000 Every Four Years.
  • Post-Graduation Bar Study Stipend: $10,000
  • Judicial Clerkship Stipend
    • Supreme Court: $65,000

    • Federal Appellate Court: $30,000              

    • Federal District Court: $30,000  

    • State Supreme Court: $20,000

    • State Appellate Court: $20,000

    • Other State and Local Court: $20,000

  • Relocation Expense Reimbursement up to $5,000
  • Four Weeks of Vacation per year.
  • Sick Leave (as needed).
  • 10 Holidays per year.
  • Paid Parental Leave.
  • Bereavement Leave.
  • Flexible Work Arrangements.
  • Transfers Between Offices.
  • Paid Bar Membership.
  • Paid CLE and MCLE.