Merit-based pay does not seem to have caught on
DLA Piper and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe - abandoned the lockstep model and took up merit-based systems in 2009.
A number of reasons are advanced: partners worry that a merit-based system would hamper associate recruiting, dampen morale and create too much paperwork. Another reason is simple inertia, with firms reluctant to overhaul their entire compensation structure.
This year, a survey of 86 firms was conducted by an affiliate of job placement firm Lateral Link. The survey showed that about 63 per cent of major law firms use a lockstep system, with the remaining 37 per cent using either a merit-based system or a hybrid of lockstep and merit-based pay.
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