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Instant Insights / Are Big Law Associate Raises a Smart Move or a Shot in the Foot?

We haven’t heard the word “lemmings” used to describe reactions from law firms after Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy announced first-year associate to salary hikes to $190,000. Sure, a handful of firms have matched, but the historical rush by Big Law to keep pace has not played out—at least not yet. In this Instant Insights, we explore why the game of follow-the-leader has fewer participants this time around, and we take the pulse of reactions to the raises from clients, competitors and experts.

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Associate pay raises announced Monday by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy weren’t immediately matched by a slew of firms, but industry observers said they expect Milbank’s move to have a cascading effect in the industry.

Milbank told associates around midday Monday that it is raising associate salaries by $10,000 for first through third years, with starting pay at $190,000. Associates in their fourth through eighth years would see their salary increase by $15,000.

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Christine Simmons

Christine Simmons writes about the New York legal community and the business of law. Email her at [email protected] and find her on Twitter @chlsimmons

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