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Just when lawyers are getting fatigued from hearing about the sick amountof money associates are being promised at some Northern California firms,another firm announces a raise. Hear ye! Hear ye! California’s Orrick,Herrington & Sutcliffe matched the standard $125,000 base salary Monday.Firm managers elsewhere say they are tired of talking about money.”[Partners] are really pissed off,” said a law firm consultant. And for allthe associates cashing in, here’s a little high school math to chew on:Earning $150,000 is dependent, at some firms, upon billing 2,400 hours.Worth it? Most associates would say yes and give a vigorous nod. Is that$62.50 per hour, as some associates calculated? Not a bad argument if youare assuming that every hour an associate works is billed time. But here’sthe real math and here’s what associates actually make per hour: $36. Toreach 2,400 billable hours, the average associate would likely work morethan 4,200 hours — some associates say — in a year. And just to extendthe benefit of the doubt, even the theory of calculating real hours bytacking on an extra 50 percent of billable hour time — 3,600 hours — putsassociate pay at $42 per hour.

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