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On a Tuesday morning in March, the partners of Goulston & Storrs were gathered in a glass-walled conference room in the converted warehouse overlooking Boston Harbor that serves as the firm’s headquarters. Partners from Washington, D.C., and New York were hooked in by video. The pressing item on the day’s agenda, recalls Kitt Sawitsky, Goulston’s co-managing partner (“co-director,” in Goulston’s terminology), was associate salaries. Would Goulston succumb to the pressure to match New York rates, or stick to traditional Boston levels — about $15,000 a year lower? With 85 partners in on the discussion, there was no quick answer. Fifteen different partners chimed in before the group finally reached consensus: Stick to Boston rates.

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