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Three more Philadelphia law firms have joined in the parade to raise starting salaries. Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin and Saul Ewing both moved their starting wage from $105,000 to $115,000, and Fox Rothschild will jack its rate from $100,000 to $110,000. Six other firms — Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, Blank Rome, Duane Morris, Pepper Hamilton, Reed Smith and Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen — raised their salaries to $115,00 earlier this fall while Cozen O’Connor moved up to $110,000. Dechert and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius had already established a starting salary of $125,000 two years ago while Drinker Biddle & Reath moved to $115,000 soon after. Hangley Aronchick managing partner David Pudlin said the decision was made so that the firm could be competitive in the entry-level recruiting process. But he added that all of the firm’s associates will receive $10,000 raises. The move, implemented by the firm’s five-person board of directors, will take effect Jan. 1. Saul Ewing Chairman Stephen Aichele said the market shift also precipitated the increase at his firm, which will also take effect in the new year. Like Hangley Aronchick, all Saul Ewing associates will receive $10,000 raises. “It’s been a while but the marketplace has changed and we can’t afford to be left behind,” Aichele said. “This is not only for recruiting but also to keep our existing associates.” Fox Rothschild managing partner Abraham Reich said the move to $110,000 — which kicks in early next year — will keep the firm competitive with its large-firm brethren. He said while there will be some ripple effect on the firm’s more experienced associates; not all of them will receive $10,000 raises. He did say the firm will focus on its merit-based bonus program to supplement base salary. Several other firms are still pondering their next move. Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads Chairman Steve Madva said the firm will almost certainly raise its starting salaries from the current $105,000, but the management team is still debating to what degree. Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young Chairman William R. Sasso indicated the same but added that it would not be implemented until September 2005. Both Buchanan Ingersoll and Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis are still plotting their respective courses of action.

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