A fresh round of pay raises in January has brought associate starting salaries at most large firms’ New York offices to a new high of $160,000. So how are intellectual property specialty firms, with far more modest per-partner profits than their behemoth general practice counterparts, keeping up with the bidding war for associates? Well, they are doing just fine, thank you very much.

New York’s 70-lawyer IP firm Frommer Lawrence & Haug has been paying its first-year associates $150,000 since July, when most large national general practice firms were still paying their first years $135,000, says partner Porter Fleming. “In our mind, they were playing catchup to us,” Fleming says.

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