April 13, 2010
The statistics are pretty stark: “In one decade, in part because of the Internet and housing bubbles, salaries for associates at big firms shot to the moon. From 1997 to 2007, the median starting salary at the nation’s largest firms doubled, to $160,000 a year plus bonus, from $80,000, according to the Association for Legal Career Professionals.”
Is the hay-day of associate pay over? It could be changing says a recent article from the New York Times. This article presents a fascinating look at the business model of large law firms and how that could be changing, including looking at tiered systems of payment as well as pay cuts or wage freezes. The bottom line appears to be that firms are revisiting the way they do business and young associates appear to be the focus.