I had my mid-year review earlier this month (it was delayed because my group is slammed). I started in September 2019, after a state supreme court clerkship. I received great reviews, and was hoping for a raise. The reviewing partners told me that firm evaluates for raises in July, and it is firm policy not to give raises to associates that have been with the firm for less than a year. The practical effect of this is that I will not receive a raise until July 2021, 20 months after starting.

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Not that unusual. And has been in place for a while. When I stated over a quarter century ago I didn’t become eligible for a salary increase until my 20th month.

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Not unusual. I didn’t get my first raise for 16 months.

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Is this normal? I don’t want to come off as entitled, as I am thankful I have not had a salary or bonus cut. My firm is on pace to have one of its strongest years since inception (almost 100 years). For context, I am in commercial litigation my firm is a regional firm with 200+ attorneys spread out over ~10 offices, and salary is a bit under what my comparable peers make, but we have a favorable bonus structure. I work at the main office, which is the largest. Is there a good way to bring this subject back up, or should I just be thankful to have a job?

Every form will have its own policies. I’d ask some people ahead of you when the firm gives its first raises. Long ago when I started it was all lockstep and we got a raise every Jan 1 starting 3-6 months after we got to the firm. With the stratospheric starting salaries I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that first raise is the 2nd year you are there.

Not unusual. I didn’t get a raise until 16 mos after I started at my firm post-clerkship.

Join the club. I didn’t even get to receive a prorated bonus after my first 6 months of unbelievable billing because receipts didn’t come in by Dec. 31 (started July 1, 2019). Even though that means I started 2020 with a surplus of receipts, no bonus until 2021. As far as a raise goes...it sounds like you’re already making good money so I wouldn’t complain. Hell, I was making the exact same amount as my old firm with a ton more work/responsibility so I could have really used the bonus. But, I digress. The first year is where the firm either says “thank God we hired him/her” or “he/she hasn’t proven to be a good hire yet”

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