Managing Partner » Raises For Some Associates Means Firing For Many

Raises For Some Associates Means Firing For Many

June 8, 2018

Milbank’s recent move to increase associates pay to $190,000 will put rate pressure on all BigLaw firms, and according to one well-known headhunter, the net result will be unemployment for a number of associates. Clients are unlikely to go along with the rate increases necessary to cover increased associate salaries, nor will partners accept smaller shares. Therefore, pressure on associates to keep up with their billable hours will increase commensurately, flexibility will disappear and the slightest hint of underperformance will mean unemployment. Firms that were willing to give associates six to nine months to catch up on their hours will now start the termination process as early as three months in. Only boutique firms with few partners and big books of business will be able to afford both higher salaries and flexibility for associates.

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