I’m a Foreign Legal Consultant. Will I get COLA if my firm promotes me to US Associate?
If a firm initially hires you as a Foreign Legal Consultant (“FLC”), Legal Manager, or other pre-Associate role, you will not get COLA unless and until you are promoted to full US Associate and paid on the “Cravath” scale. Even then, there is no guarantee that your firm will pay you COLA.
We have seen many cases of firms promoting high-performing FLCs to US Associate, yet not giving them COLA.
What About Non-Cash Benefits?
About half of the firms in the market will cover the costs of economy class air travel for the attorney and their family back to their home country.
It’s becoming less common for law firms to pay for their attorneys to fly home in the front of the plane, so don’t expect the business class treatment.
Another extra is School Tuition Reimbursement. Some firms will reimburse a portion of school tuition expenses for all school-aged children.
What About Relocation Expenses?
Some firms cover all customary moving expenses, and other firms will give you a cash stipend – typically $5,000-$10,000 USD – to help with relocation.
Upon arrival in Asia, your firm may arrange for you to stay in a serviced apartment for a period of time (likely 2 weeks) before you find your own flat. The firm will also provide you with contacts for real estate agents, so you can easily settle in to your new city in a place of your own.