General counsel are keeping an eye on billing rate changes after Am Law 200 firms increased associate salaries across the board this year. But a larger concern for some legal department heads is on the talent front: attracting associates who can leave behind lockstep salary increases and head in-house.

In June, Milbank bumped up starting associate salaries to $200,000, along with increases for more senior associates. Davis Polk & Wardell raised associate pay higher, and dozens of other Am Law 200 firms matched this scale or increased associate pay generally.