It’s been two weeks since Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy began forcing the Big Law compensation curve to its latest inflection point.
After New York-based Milbank threw down the gauntlet—and Cravath, Swaine & Moore gamely picked it up—$190,000 starting salaries are officially the new top-market standard, with senior associates commanding as much as $340,000, excluding bonuses.
The announcements keep coming—in just two days Cahill, Gordon & Reindel; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; Davis Polk & Wardwell; Kirkland & Ellis; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Sullivan & Cromwell; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Willkie Farr & Gallagher and others joined the list.
What do the increases mean for the legal industry as a whole? Do less profitable firms need to raise salaries too to compete for talent? Are firms digging themselves into a hole from which they can’t escape? What do clients make of all this?
For answers to these questions and more, ALM’s newsroom, researchers and contributors have you covered. See below for a compilation of the latest news and analysis.
These Boutiques Aren’t Hesitating to Match Milbank on Associate Pay Several elite litigation boutiques are keeping pace with salary increases at Milbank and Cravath. One hints it’s about to go even higher.
Salary Wars Were So Last Week. Here Come the Training Wars A training program run by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy at Harvard Law School could signal a new front in the ongoing battle for high-end legal talent.
Is the Associate Starting Salary Contagion Contained? Three positive signs suggest an intelligent segmentation may be emerging.
Midsized Boutiques Acted Quickly to Keep Up on Associate Comp At most midsize law firms, matching Milbank is not in the cards. But for highly profitable boutiques, it was the obvious choice.
Weil, Skadden Match Cravath as Firms Aim For Moving Target on Associate Raises With Cleary Gottlieb; Kirkland; Skadden; Weil, Gotshal & Manges and several other law firms now announcing raises, it looks like the dam has broken for increases among the most profitable U.S. firms.
Cravath Sets New High in Associate Salary Race The new associate salary scale set by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy last week has been surpassed by Cravath, Swaine & Moore. The firm has agreed to pay $5,000 and $10,000 more for its midlevel and senior associates.
Law and Lemmings: Associate Salary Increases Are a Mass Act of Self-Harm By matching Milbank’s pay raise, firms in the middle of the Am Law 200 are paving a path to ruin.
New York Boutique Selendy & Gay Matches Milbank Salary Scale No word yet on whether Philippe Selendy and Faith Gay’s alma mater, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, is also boosting associate pay.
Some Law Firm Staff See Pay Gap Widen as Associate Salaries Soar “If they had such a profitable year,” why can’t they give more to staff, one legal secretary asked of her firm. Others say they are paid fairly, and associate raises are well deserved.
‘The Tone Deafness is Astounding’: Clients Unhappy About Milbank Associate Raise Announcement In-house leaders didn’t pull punches in their evaluation of Milbank’s big associate raises.
This Big Law Leader Decided to Match Milbank. Why? Winston & Strawn Chairman Tom Fitzgerald discusses the reasons behind his firm’s move to boost associate salaries. Plus, Law.com senior editor Brian Baxter shares what’s buzzing in the legal community about the increases and how they stack up to previous salary hikes.
The Law Firm Disrupted: Will Milbank’s Raise Burst the Big Law Prestige Bubble? The move this week by one Am Law 100 firm to raise associate salaries has already triggered a spate of matches. But a tipping point could be looming on the horizon.
Should Your Firm Match Milbank? A cold-hearted look at market data and dynamics suggests firms would do well to approach the incipient round of salary increases extremely thoughtfully
Simpson Thacher Matches Milbank Salary Scale, Adds Summer Bonuses Associates “in good standing” will receive midyear bonuses in addition to pay increases matching those set by Milbank earlier this week.
Inside Track: Associate Pay Raises – Now What? This week on Inside Track: Milbank has raised its associate rates and at least one general counsel isn’t happy with the development. Plus a look at how Sanofi’s top lawyer in North America managed the company’s response to a controversial tweet from Roseanne Barr.
Your Law Firm is Pay You $190K Right Out of Law School. Now What? Even as associate salaries climb, lawyers are seeing pensions shrink and the promises of partnership fade.
Associate Salary Increases: Don’t Follow Milbank’s Lead Some firms may want to match Milbank’s new salaries. Most should not.
This is an Awesome Time to be a Big Law Associate – Not! Too much upbeat news makes The Careerist skittish. And there’s plenty out there right now for young lawyers.
The $190K Question: Will Clients Balk At Rising Associate Salaries? Winston & Strawn and Proskauer have already matched Milbank’s new pay scale. As others debate whether to join them, clients may not all be content to sit on the sidelines.
Fewer Firms Expected to Follow Milbank’s Associate Pay Boost The pay increase could result in differentiation among law firms, observers say.
Milbank Boosts Associate Salaries With $190K Starting Pay “If we didn’t do this at some point,” another law firm would have done it first, said Milbank chairman Scott Edelman.