SBL wrote:Eh, IDK about biglaw pay being amazing. It's certainly generous, but assuming reasonable efficiency (1.3 hours in office for every 1 billed - actually pretty ambitious for most first years) and 2400/yr billed (a lot but common in NYC and it can be worse) that's 62.4 hrs/week with a 2-week for which you're making about $50/hr before taxes, which are high. Take loans and NYC rent off the top and I honestly wonder if it doesn't compare to what you'd make managing a Home Depot only with worse hours
That was partly what I meant to get at with the poorly-worded "leaving aside the things about the job that weigh against that, since they're not going to change if the salary goes up $15-30K." I know there's a lot of debate over associates being underpaid/overpaid, and I don't mean to weigh in on that or claim that the salary is amazing in real terms. Just that when you're a law student, biglaw still offers the highest salary (and lots of students still have debt). I'm not sure there's a big enough group of people who are going to say "I won't work biglaw at $160k but $175/190K? Bring it on!" to make NYC to 190k a real thing, at least on the basis of needing to attract qualified applicants (there may well be other reasons to raise salaries).
It seems to me that the bigger issue firms would/will face is dealing with attrition after folks who think $160k sounds great figure out that it isn't that much money in real terms and decide to bail out of biglaw after a couple of years.
But also keep in mind that when it comes to firms I'm talking out of my ass.