The latest associate salary increases in Big Law, on top of last year’s pay bumps, could set off another wave of matches across Big Law over the next few weeks. But far beyond that, the ripple effects in the legal industry—and each associate’s career—could be far-reaching in the long run.

The consequences could include a lower margin of error in associate work, while young lawyers themselves may need to recalibrate their career moves, according to law firm leaders and legal market observers. Meanwhile, clients could seek out cheaper legal advice for some matters, especially when faced with more aggressive rate increases that may follow the pay bumps.

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