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Compensation & Benefits
What is the starting salary for first-year associates?
When an associate joins G&L, we anticipate a long-term relationship. The starting annual salary for first-year associates is $200,000. In addition to the base salary, associates are eligible for annual, year-end bonuses based on their overall contribution to the firm. While not required to earn a bonus, associates that bill 2,000 hours a year are eligible for at least a $7,500 year-end bonus. During their first full year, associates that bill 2,200 hours a year are eligible for $25,000 year-end bonus. These productivity-based bonuses escalate proportionately after the first year.
Does the firm offer a bar stipend and reimbursement for bar review and exam fees?
Yes. Each new associate will receive a bar stipend of $7,500 (subject to payroll withholdings and deductions), reimbursement for bar exam fees, MPRE fees, bar review course fees, and reimbursement for travel costs to take the exam.
Will the firm pay for moving expenses?
Yes. Within certain guidelines, we pay for the moving and travel expenses of attorneys and their families.
How is compensation determined for associates after their first year?
While salaries are set to be competitive with major law firms at all levels from entry to senior, raises are determined based on associate performance rather than the year in which he or she graduated. As with determining annual bonuses, the firm’s partners consider multiple components in evaluating each associate’s overall contribution to the firm. Likewise, an associate’s billed hours are one of many non-dispositive factors in determining raises. We review and adjust each associate’s salary each calendar year as circumstances dictate.
What retirement, healthcare, student loan repayment, and other benefits does the firm provide?
G&L offers many benefits, including retirement benefits through generous contributions to 401(k) and cash balance plans, comprehensive medical coverage and dental care programs, a student loan repayment program for up to $5,250 annually toward undergraduate or graduate student loan expenses, 14 weeks paid maternity leave after 12 months with the firm (with no impact on calculation of annual bonus), vacation, and convenient free parking. We also pay the mandatory dues for an associate’s membership in the state bar association, dues for memberships in other relevant associations, and the costs for attending approved Continuing Legal Education courses.
In what circumstances do you give advanced standing to incoming associates?
G&L grants advanced standing based on a candidate’s relevant education or experience, such as certain judicial clerkships, advanced degrees and/or work experience.
Summer Clerkship Program
How much does the firm pay its 2L summer clerks?
Each 2L summer clerk earns $4,000 per week. Our summer program typically runs from the beginning of May to the middle of August. Summer associates typically spend at least six weeks with the firm.
Each 1L summer clerk earns $2,500 per week. 1L summer clerks participating in the Diversity Fellowship program may also receive up to $15,000 in scholarship funds: (1) clerks that receive and accept an offer to return as a second-year summer associate will receive a $7,500 scholarship and (2) clerks that receive and accept an offer to return as a full-time attorney after graduation will receive an additional $7,500 scholarship.
How is the summer program structured?
The summer program is designed to simulate life at the firm as a junior associate. Each clerk is assigned a senior associate mentor, who will help them navigate the firm by providing both general advice and targeted coaching. The associate mentor will also help each summer clerk manage their workload. Each clerk is expected to complete a variety of substantive assignments under the supervision and direction of different partners and associates. The supervising attorney for each project evaluates each deliverable based on objective metrics, and the resulting evaluations serve as the foundation for the firm’s ultimate hiring decision.
The summer also features many social events, including a retreat to the firm’s lake house, events like “Escape Room Challenges,” treks to Texas’ best BBQ restaurants, regular happy hours, and frequent lunches with associates and partners.
Working at G&L
Does the firm have a minimum billable hours requirement?
No. While meeting the 2000 or 2200 annual threshold will guarantee a minimum year-end bonus as described above, meeting these thresholds is neither necessary to earn a year-end bonus nor will billing substantial hours guarantee a successful career at G&L. We are particularly unconcerned with your billable hours in your first year at the firm, when we expect you to devote much of your focus to learning about our work and current client matters.
What is your office dress code?
G&L has a casual dress code. Most attorneys wear jeans to work. Occasionally, the firm requires business or business casual attire for client meetings.
What kind of training will I receive as an associate at G&L?
Each associate is teamed with a supervising partner, through whom the associate receives assignments, training, and direction. In addition, during an associate’s first twelve weeks with the firm, the associate spends two weeks with each partner, attending all of the partner’s calls and meetings, to help immediately integrate the associate in the breadth of the firm’s business. Throughout the year, we supplement the on-the-job training associates receive from working on complex client matters with CLE seminars and other online courses.
How do associates receive assignments?
Associates primarily receive work from their supervising partner, although associates may frequently work with other partners and senior associates so long as the projects are coordinated through their supervising partners. This approach provides each associate the opportunity to gain a breadth of experience and the chance to work with a variety of attorneys while having the supervision of a single partner to assist in coordinating assignments and the associate’s growth and development. As with most firms, the volume of work fluctuates throughout the year, depending on the matters on which you work, subject to various client and regulatory deadlines. However, associates very rarely have trouble finding enough work.
What’s different in working for a boutique/small firm like G&L?
Despite G&L’s specialized focus, our work is situated within a complex intersection of multiple legal disciplines, including health law, administrative/regulatory law, corporate law, transactional law, and finance. Beginning in their first weeks, associates have the opportunity to produce substantive deliverables that span many of these areas. We take pride in the long-term relationships we have with our clients, and our relatively small size means that all attorneys, associates and partners alike, have the opportunity to work directly with clients, often much sooner than many of their peers at larger firms. The nature of our work also means that we have the opportunity to work directly with CEOs, CFOs, and individual hospital operators of major healthcare corporations in addition to and sometimes instead of in-house or general counsel. Working with clients at all levels of their leadership provides us with a more intimate understanding of their operations and needs than an ordinary law firm would have.
What is the track to making partner?
G&L does not have a preset length of time before an associate can become a partner. However, our experience shows that it takes approximately eight years for a new law school graduate to develop and demonstrate the full range of skills necessary for G&L to consider them for partnership.
About the Firm
Do I need to have a healthcare background to work at G&L?
No. Although some of our attorneys have a background in healthcare, most do not and it is not required. It is more important that associates new to G&L have the desire and ability to learn and apply new concepts quickly.
What is G&L’s approach to pro bono work?
G&L’s work does not overlap with the typical needs of pro bono clients. Instead, G&L contributes annually to Volunteer Legal Services, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides civil legal services to low-income people through attorney volunteers in Travis County. G&L employees also come together to donate toys to Austin Police Operation Blue Santa, Child Protective Services, and also provide food to the Central Texas Food Bank. In addition, individual partners and associates donate their time to community causes including, for example, holding positions on the Travis County Child Protective Services Board, the National Charity League, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, Seedling Foundation, and Austin Impact.