In February, a dramatic round of associate salary raises saw most top firms bumping first-year associates to $160,000 in New York, but starting the scale at $145,000 or less in California and elsewhere.



In a Tuesday memo to Pillsbury associates, partner Deborah Baum writes that “the firm has been carefully considering the latest information regarding recent salary increases adopted by some firms” and is preparing a recommendation for next week.

“We want to take the time to thoughtfully consider your views and take into account your concerns, which we share, regarding the need to stay competitive, together with the implicit work-life balance impact of additional salary increases,” Baum writes.

The memo was posted on the law blog “Above the Law” on Tuesday and authenticated by The Recorder. Pillsbury representatives declined to comment on Tuesday.


Some firms that have matched have done so partly with money already set aside for their associates. MoFo, Heller and, according to a leaked memo, Wilson Sonsini have eliminated or reduced some associate bonuses.



Some firms that have matched have done so partly with money already set aside for their associates. MoFo, Heller and, according to a leaked memo, Wilson Sonsini have eliminated or reduced some associate bonuses.

At MoFo and Heller, the bonus given to associates at 1,950 and 2,000 hours, respectively, has been scrapped, while all other bonuses have been left intact. While MoFo said it won’t be expecting more hours from its associates, industry observers say eliminating the bonus could send just the opposite message.
Associate Salary Wars

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