MoFo sticks with lockstep

Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) will retain its lockstep pay system for associates

The San Francisco firm had considered replacing the traditional lockstep with a merit-based salary range, but following the firm's decision reversal, its associates will receive full pay increases this year.
MoFo chairman Keith Wetmore said the firm will employ a remuneration model based on hours. It will continue to use a two-tier system whereby associates above first year level will be compensated depending on how many hours are billed. Those associates who reach 1,950 hours will be paid a higher rate than those billing less than that figure. The base rate for first year associates stays at $125,000 (£88,700).
MoFo's decision comes as a positive contrast to other Bay Area firms, where cost-cutting initiatives have kept associates' salaries static. Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, Cooley Godward and Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich have all frozen associate advances up their lockstep, although Cooley Godward did give second year associates a small increase to keep them ahead of the incoming first year cohort.
So far, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has been the only other Bay Area firm to give lockstep increases to its associates.