For supervising attorneys in New York City’s public law offices, the familiar struggle to keep debt-ridden young lawyers in the fold has become even more difficult in recent months, as associate salaries at private law firms have exploded into the stratosphere.

“It’s always a problem,” said James M. Kindler, the Chief Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. “And the greater the split between what the law firms can pay and what we can pay, the bigger the problem it is.”