Some first year lawyers recently learned that golden handcuffs can quickly tarnish.
After being laid off, the new attorneys are being pressed by Wall Street law firm Thatcher Proffitt & Wood to pay back salary advances they received to cover bar exam and start up costs, according to Legal Times. These advances were often seen as a form of signing bonus, although some firms actually provided bar fees as actual bonuses and not as loans.
When they received the advances, the new lawyers thought they would be able to pay them back from the salary they expected to earn at the firm. Little did they know that the firm would quickly implode, requiring them to scramble for jobs and repay the salary advances.
Other law firms have elected not to pursue repayment of salary advances paid to their associates, including Latham & Watkins, which laid off 190 associates last week, according to Legal Times.
In Colorado, an employer may recover expense of educating and training an employee who has served an employer for a period of less than two years if it has a contract in advance with the employee allowing such recovery. C.R.S. 8-2-113.