Most law firms which are made up of several person are create as a hierarchy with Partners at the very top and varying degrees of Associate Attorneys below them. Partners are often the owners of the company and Associates are employees lawyers. The Associates tend to be given the chance to work their way up the ladder to become Partners and share in the gains of the firm rather than receiving wages.
It is important to have a written agreement or contract involving the Associates and the Firm that spells out everyone's duties and obligations as well as the conditions under which they may advance. The next is just a draft contract between an Associate and a law firm that may be customized to meet the requirements of a law firm hiring an Associate Attorney.
This AGREEMENT made with this 21st day of March, 2011, involving the Law Offices of at Smith, herein referred to as the "Firm" and Joe Blow, hereinafter referred to as the "Attorney."
The Firm is just a Sole Proprietorship, operating as a small business rendering legal services. If, during the definition of with this contract, the Firm changes to some other kind of business organization, this contract will remain binding on both Firm, under it's new formation, and on the Attorney.
The Attorney is licensed to rehearse law in the State of Texas.
The Firm and the Attorney desire to have the attorney practice law as a worker of the Firm.
It is agreed by and involving the parties as follows:
Section 1. Employment and Duties.
Employment. The Firm employs the Attorney and the Attorney accepts employment being an attorney in accordance with the terms with this Agreement.
Full Time. The Attorney shall devote full working time and attention on the practice of the law for the Firm and the Attorney shall not, without the written consent of the Firm, directly or indirectly rendered services of a specialist nature to or for any person or firm except as a worker of the Firm.
Duties and Assignments. The Firm shall determine the duties to be performed by the Attorney and the means and the manner where those duties shall be performed. The Firm shall determine the assignment of the clients to the Attorney and the Attorney shall perform services for such clients assigned. The Firm determine the rates at which the Attorney's work shall be billed.
Section 2. Compensation
Salary. For several services rendered by the Attorney under this Agreement, the Firm shall pay the Attorney and annual salary of $58,000, payable weekly or as may otherwise be mutually agreed. The salary might be changed by mutual agreement of the parties at any time.
Bonus. In the addition to the salary specified in 2.1., the Attorney may receive a bonus. The bonus, if any, is going to be in such amounts whilst the Firm may determine in its absolute discretion.
Additional Compensation. In addition to the salary and bonus specified in items 2.1 and 2.2, the Attorney is going to be eligible to get a percentage of the Firm's part of Personal Injury cases. The Attorney will receive 10% of the Firm's payment from a Personal Injury case, once the Attorney has performed as the principal attorney on that case. Additionally, the Attorney will receive 10% of the Firm's payment from a Personal Injury case, once the Attorney personally brought the case to the Firm.
Section 3. Partnership. It is the policy of the Firm to employ as attorneys persons who is going to be given the chance to become partners in the Firm. The Firm after having a certain amount of years could make the determination regarding whether the Attorney is going to be admitted to partnership. The Firm expects to create this determination with respect to this Attorney, no earlier than July 1, 2005, and no later than July 1, 2007.
Section 4. Facilities.
Office. The Firm shall furnish the Attorney with office space, staff assistance, and such other facilities and services as are reasonably required to the performance of the Attorney's duties.
Liability Insurance. The Firm shall maintain professional liability insurance within the acts and omissions of the Attorney in performance of the Attorney's professional duties.
Travel. The Attorney might be required to travel on business for the Firm, and shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred, provided, however, that a detailed account of such expense is provided to the Firm.
Professional Societies. The Firm shall pay the Attorney's dues for memberships in The State Bar of Texas and the American Bar Association.
Education. The Firm shall pay the reasonable amount of expenses incurred by the Attorney to steadfastly keep up or improve the Attorney's professional skills. The Attorney agrees to submit to the Firm such documentation as might be required to substantiate such expenses
Section 5. Additional Benefits.
Medical Insurance. The Firm agrees to provide medical coverage for the Attorney, the Attorney's spouse and dependents under friends accident and health insurance policy, the terms and great things about which shall be determined by the Firm. The Attorney is covered under her spouse's policy and doesn't require such coverage currently. That Attorney will notify the Firm at such time that she needs this benefit.
Vacation. The Attorney shall be eligible for three weeks vacation time every year however, the Attorney's vacation is going to be scheduled at such time as will least interfere with the company of the Firm. The Attorney is further eligible for time off on all holidays normally celebrated in accordance with the Firms stated policy.
Life Insurance. The Firm may provide group life insurance coverage, in amounts which shall be determined by the Firm.
Retirement Plan. The Attorney shall be involved in any Firm qualified retirement plan based on the terms of said plan as amended from time for you to time.
Disability. In the event the Attorney is unable to perform his or her regular duties consequently of personal disability the Firm can pay the Attorney's salary during such disability for a complete of ninety (90) days in just about any 24 month period.
Section 6. Operations.
Records and Files. All records, documents, and files concerning clients of the Firm shall fit in with and remain the property of the Firm. On termination of employment, the Attorney shall not be entitled to keep or reproduce the Firms' records, documents or files relation to any client unless the client shall specifically request that its files be transmitted to the Attorney.
Fees. All fees and compensation received or realized consequently of the rendition of professional legal services by the Attorney shall fit in with and be paid to the Firm. Any fee or honoraria received by the Attorney for professional services or other professional activities performed by the Attorney shall fit in with the Firm.
Section 7. Term.
One Year, Automatic Extension. The term with this Agreement shall begin on the date hereof and continue for an amount of 12 months and shall be automatically extended from year to year unless terminated in accordance with this specific section.
Events of Termination. This Agreement shall be terminated upon the happening of some of the following events:
The death of the Attorney.
The determination of the Firm that the Attorney has become disabled.
Dismissal for cause of the Attorney as hereinafter provided.
Occurrence of the effective date of termination, notice of which has been given in by either party to one other, so long as you will find at least sixty (60) days between giving of the notice and the effective date of termination.
The mutual written agreement of the Attorney and the Firm to termination.
Termination on Disability. The Firm may determine that the Attorney has become disabled for purposes of the Agreement in the event that the Attorney shall fail, as a result of illness or incapacity, to render for ninety (90) days or more in just about any two-year period, services of the smoothness contemplated by the Agreement, and thereunder shall be deemed to have been terminated at the time of the finish of the calendar month where such determination was made.
Causes for Dismissal. The Firm may dismiss the Attorney for cause in the event it determines there's been continued neglect by the Attorney if his or her duties, or willful misconduct on the area of the Attorney, including buy not limited by a finding of probable cause by the Bar for investigation an issue filed using its discipline system or the filing of criminal charges against the Attorney, which would make retention of the Attorney by the Firm prejudicial to the Firm's best interest.