Depending on one’s point of view, you can either credit or blame website “Above the Law” for the widening gap between law firm pay and in-house compensation. The site’s frequently updated compensation tracker acts as a blunt peer pressure hammer.

I have seen this cycle numerous times. (1) BigLaw pay gets out of hand and it becomes very hard to recruit mid-level associates into law departments. The handcuffs are tight. (2) The high salaries lead to overworked premium associates who burn out, and they expose underachieving associates who are eased out when the workload boom ends. The handcuffs loosen.

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