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Clifford Chance Internal Memo (Read 6460 times)
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Clifford Chance Internal Memo
Jan 6th, 2003 at 3:48am
Clifford's New York Associates speak out in a very public fashion in a leaked internal memo.

"The associates believe the firm's abysmal, last place ranking in the October 2002 American Lawyer "Associates Survey" (the "Am Law Survey") revealed a profound problem at Clifford Chance. In the survey, we were ranked as the worst firm in the country for associate satisfaction. Our prize was a profile under the title "In the Cellar." The magazine juxtaposed this "profile" of our firm against the "Most Improved" firm, Irell & Manella. In addition to being ranked last overall, we finished in the bottom six in ten categories (all numbers are out of 132): (a) treatment by partners (127); (b) how interesting work is (131); (c) training and guidance (132-last); (d) atmosphere at the firm (127); (e) communication re: partnership (132-last); (f) realistic billable hours (132-last); (g) attitude toward pro bono (131); (h) likelihood of staying at least two years (129); (i) if I had the choice all over again, would I come to work at this firm? (132-last); (j) most anxious midlevels (132-last). American Lawyer, October 2002. pp.101-139."

More here:

Oh, and just a thought but if Clifford's Associates had too many billable hours to do per year, where on earth did any of them get the time to write, revise and agree to such a long and detailed memo?

Associates' comments included:

[Quotes from the site (nothing to do with this site)]

" The billables requirement "encourages padding."

" The requirement "makes me feel that management cares exceedingly about hours billed, but gives no thought to the quality of my work, let alone my career development."

"If you can't afford to pay what other firms are paying, admit it."

"Be a market leader with respect to compensation."

"The firm announced a 'Cravath' bonus, but only paid the full amount to what seems like a small percentage of associates."

"The billable hours requirement makes the enormously unhappy and mainly contributes to my negative feelings about the firm . . . The idea that I could work hard all year and bill for example 2100 hours . . . and in the firm's eye I wouldn't even meet the firm's 'expectations' is totally ludicrous, offensive, and generally makes me crazy."

PLEASE BE AWARE that I am only quoting and referring to content available on and not offering any confirmation of or opinion on the matters expressed on that site.
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