Law firm leaders in the Am Law 100 have a mixed reaction to Milbank’s decision to raise salaries to $225,000 for first years, with some in the firm’s Am Law 50 peer group balking at the move as “tone deaf” while others at firms with lower revenues see possible business advantages.

While many of Milbank’s direct competitors in the Am Law 50 are expected to match the $10,000 increase to associate pay, some leaders in the lower half of the Am Law 100 no longer see elite firms’ pay raises as a competitive pressure because the market has become so stratified.