Notice And Comment: The Latest Biglaw Pay Raise

It looks like this salary scale will stick; what do we all think of it?

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In case you missed the news (which I discussed in the most recent issue of Judicial Notice), we’re in the midst of a new round of Biglaw pay raises. Last Thursday, Milbank announced pay raises for its associates, with a new salary scale starting at $200,000 for first-year associates and topping out at $355,000 for eighth-year associates. A day later, Davis Polk & Wardwell announced a slightly higher scale, starting at $205,000 for first-year associates and going up to $365,000 for eighth-year associates.

Here’s the former scale and the two new scales, side by side for comparison (Milbank on the left, Davis on the right):

Will the DPW scale end up being the new Biglaw salary scale? It’s looking that way. Just yesterday, another compensation leader, Cravath Swaine & Moore, announced its new pay scale — which followed, rather than trumped, the Davis Polk scale. My guess is that everyone else will soon fall in line.

Here’s my hot (or maybe lukewarm) take: Biglaw partners are making out like bandits, so they shouldn’t begrudge their associates these salaries.

What do all of you think of this latest pay raise? Please share your two cents — or $205,000 — in the comments. Thanks!


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