Milbank was the first shoe to drop, but it was far from the last.

After the Am Law 50 mainstay raised the associate salary scale in June, pushing first-year associate pay to $200,000 and then $205,000 once Davis Polk & Wardwell went above the initial hike, law firms across the industry began following suit. But while many U.S. competitors simply matched the new market rate, firms with international offices and those based in countries around the world had complex decisions to make, factoring in competition, cost of living and regional differences.