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California firms may have influenced some East Coast firms’ more casual dress codes, but when it comes to pay increases, the East doesn’t meet West. In New York, Peter Brown, managing partner of Brown, Reysman, Millstein Felder & Steiner L.L.P., doubts that there will be a domino effect resulting from recent pay increases at some California firms: “In the end, it will be a special case reflecting a market condition which is unique to Northern California.” Silicon Valley’s Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian announced a pay increase for first-year associates to $125,000, plus a guaranteed $20,000 bonus, with the possibility of an extra $5,000 bonus. Partner Steven Franklin says that the move is meant to help attract and retain associates in a tight market. In Boston, high-tech firms are still considering their options. But Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C. managing partner Irwin Heller says that his firm will not match the Gunderson firm. “We will match our regular competitors,” he says, but a 40 percent increase would mean that “people have to work absurd hours or charge absurd hourly rates.”

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