Baker Mac’s the life

Between 15 and 29 March this year, The Lawyer got around 600 associates to give their opinions on US firms.

The result? After almost 25 years of reporting on the legal market, you guys still have the capacity to shock us (see story).

The biggest shocks came when we asked which US law firm UK associates would most like to join. Baker & McKenzie came top, securing 20 per cent of the vote, while Bingham McCutchen – which pays its newly qualified City lawyers £100,000 a year – got just 2 per cent.

And Dewey & Le Boeuf, which has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, proved to be a more popular destination than the prestigious Wall Street firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

Dispelling another popular myth (that US firms are unrelenting gulags that will rob you of a social life) half of the associates surveyed said that their US firm was no more demanding than their previous one.

Thank goodness, then, that money turned out to be a pretty big motivator for those joining US firms, with around 23 per cent of those that had moved to a US firm saying they joined for a pay hike.

We were beginning to think we didn’t know lawyers at all.