For everyone but the newly wealthy associates, the question is: How are the biggest law firms going to pay for their latest round of associate salary raises?

While clients expect that they’ll be footing most of the bill, several Am Law 100 firms say they won’t be tying rate hikes or hours expectations to the raises, which saw first-year pay in California jump twice in recent months — first to $145,000 and now to $160,000 at some of the largest firms.

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