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I love it when the legal profession whips itself into a frenzy. All that emoting. The shock. The awe. The outrage.

And it doesn’t take a seismic event to get the profession all hot and bothered. This year, it was spurred by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, which bumped its first-year salary from $180,000 to $190,000. Immediately, there was breathless speculation: What would other firms do? Will Milbank end up as the lone wolf?

As if any of this was a mystery. Was there any doubt that most “major” firms—or those with pretense of being so—would fall in line like docile sheep? But once firms bumped salaries, the rite of indignation started. And it was the clients who were supposedly miffed.

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Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen is a senior columnist at The American Lawyer and the creator of The Careerist blog.

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