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BOSTON � A second wave of associate salary increases is sweeping the Boston legal market with several firms boosting first-year pay to $160,000 for the incoming September class. At Bingham McCutchen, DLA Piper, McDermott Will & Emery and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, along with Boston-based Foley Hoag, compensation is $160,000 for the Boston September class and firmwide in some cases. Ropes & Gray raised salaries to $160,000 on May 1 and Goodwin Procter did the same on June 1. First-year starting salaries are now also $160,000 at Choate Hall & Stewart. Foley Hoag characterized the change as a way to maintain top-quality legal help. “Foley Hoag has a long-standing commitment to providing our clients with high-quality service from top-tier lawyers,” said the firm’s chief operating officer Tom Block. “Raising our associate starting salary will allow us to continue that practice.” Earlier this year, at least eight firms raised their Boston salaries to $145,000 from $135,000. At that time, Boston’s Fish & Richardson and three New York firms jumped to $160,000: Proskauer Rose; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; and Weil, Gotshal & Manges. The Boston changes mirror activity in other markets. In the past few weeks, many major Chicago and Los Angeles law firms have moved first year associate salaries to $160,000 to match New York increases.

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