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Holland & Knight not surveyed again

Published October 6, 2003

Every year, American Lawyer asks mid-level associates at U.S. law firms what they do and don't like about their jobs.

Law students eagerly await results of the confidential survey for clues on which firms to pursue or avoid. Though participation is risky - law firms that agree to let their third- and fourth-year attorneys be surveyed can't control the results - most large firms agree to take part.

Not Holland & Knight.

For the second straight year, the 1,250-lawyer firm, founded in the Tampa Bay area, missed out on the survey. It is the only one among the country's 25 highest-grossing law firms to do so. (Baker & McKenzie participated but didn't submit the minimum number of surveys.)

Just why Holland skipped the surveys is not clear. Last year, spokeswoman Karen Schoening said it "fell through the cracks" during a busy time. In fact, the questionnaire arrived shortly after Holland fired about 60 lawyers and told associates it would tie compensation more closely to merit.

This year, Schoening blamed American Lawyer for faxing the survey to the wrong phone number. Margaret Daisley, director of editorial research at the magazine, said her staff sent at least two faxes, one e-mail and one phone call to a Holland recruitment coordinator.

"I'm mystified," said Daisley.

Some other Florida firms must have received their faxes. Carlton Fields of Tampa ranked sixth best out of 159 firms surveyed, Greenberg Traurig of Miami ranked 25th, and Foley & Lardner, a Milwaukee firm with a strong presence in the bay area, ranked 122nd.

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