BigLaw's Associate Salary Model Is A Relic Of A Bygone Era

Law360 (June 21, 2018, 2:29 PM EDT) -- The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Legal industry compensation practices are once again in the news as headlines tout BigLaw reportedly reaching a high watermark for first-year associate salaries. Firms are “announcing” $190,000 as the starting rate, along with unveiling a “stair-step model” for salary increases to be expected for two to seven years of experience. Although many budding attorneys are no doubt intrigued by the promises of higher lockstep gains, others are coming to the realization that all that glitters is not gold.

The typical model of increasing associate salaries uniformly fails star associates, the firms...

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