bdubs wrote:Rock-N-Roll wrote:bdubs wrote:They don't bill at the same rates, the entire point is to provide a source of cheap labor for tasks that don't require a great deal of sophistication.
Absolutely a good point, but hopefully you'll grant me that it need not remain that way.
In general, I know I'm being totally alarmist, but I look at this current system and I wonder what are the pressures that drive partners to keep paying new associates $160,000/yr when there is information out there that claims that these firms are not earning as much as they were before and clients are now bucking hard to lower billing rates?
The rates are all relative, having expensive resources means that partners get to justify even higher rates for themselves.
Remember that this market is one where you are paying for prestige, not necessarily for services rendered. Most clients have no idea how to gauge the quality of the legal representation that they get, so they seek out the firm with THE REPUTATION that meets their perceived level of need. Dropping associate salaries would tarnish that reputation and ability to bill at exorbitant rates.
You can actually thank the salary transparency of most law firms for this, other industries have much more closely guarded pay practices.
Definitely. What you're saying is what I took from the article too. Law firms have to continue to offer this salary level to attract associates from prestigious schools.
But what happens if graduates from prestigious schools start taking these new non-partner track low paying jobs? Graduates of prestigious schools might be tempted to do this if they are unable to find a partner track job or they might even do so from the get-go if they are attracted to the slower pace of the non-partner track jobs.