imchuckbass58 wrote:-The associated costs of associates are much, much higher than you think. I do not have figures, but I would not be surprised if it was upwards of $100k/year. When I worked in consulting we looked at the all-in costs of workers, and in the company we were looking at, workers making $80k/year cost approximately $150k total to support (only variable costs like benefits, office space, etc.). I'm sure it's higher since lawyers have better health plans, secretarial support, expensive real estate, etc.
-Recruiting associates is extremely expensive. Think about how how much it costs for a firm to put on all those receptions, take 20 lawyers off billable matters to do interviews, fly back people for callbacks, etc. And that's only for one school. Add into that the fact that even at top schools all that recruiting may yield you 4 or 5 associates. Again, consulting refernce - recruiting a new analyst cost something like $50,000/head (not including what you pay them over the summer to jack off and go to lunch).
I don't doubt your figures, but they reflect the overall per-employee cost. The marginal cost of each additional employee would be much less as things like heath care plans and training programs are aggregated.
And with regard to your second point, if I were a BigLaw hiring partner I might completely change the way people are hired, but you're always going to have recruiting costs. That's part of the lifeblood of the business, its like office supplies or the phone bill.