sunynp wrote:Are you guys serious? How can anyone think that the salaries are going up when firms are still getting over people being deferred, the top firms aren't giving spring bonuses and Dewey is on the verge of collapse? Plenty of qualified people go to firms for $160,000, where is the pressure for raising the salary? If you are talking about retention, where are people going to go to make more?
I'm not even sure how you can bother to have this conversation.
First, I don't think salaries are going up. Desmarais isn't big enough to move the market. But, there is extraordinary pressure among law firms to conform to "market" pay and bonuses, because the whole industry is built on reputation, and the customers are savvy. So firms aren't paying $180, or even $160 to fill an office with anyone qualified, they are paying that much to attract a few superstars; the rest of the associate class is just free-riding on them.
if a firm isn't recruiting it's fair share of Harvard grads and Order of the Coif members, the firms won't be able to justify charging outrageous hourly rates for their time. If clients start to balk at bills, and the younger associates bring in less, that money comes straight out of a partner's pocket. If that partner doesn't have a contract, and has business, they are going to skip on down the road, and boom-you're Howrey.
And in biglaw, retention isn't about where are people going to go and make more, it's a matter of "are we paying these miserable fucks enough to keep them from quitting to go work sane hours at half the salary."