A growing number of managing partners and management consultants say recent cuts to associate compensation aren’t a temporary phenomenon. And a few see an even more significant correction to entry-level lawyer salaries coming in the year ahead.

James Cotterman, a consultant at Altman Weil, is one of the pessimists (or realists, depending on your point of view). “We do not see any movement to reinstate the pre-recession pay levels” in the medium term, Cotterman says.