The Changing Face of Associate Compensation

The Changing Face of Associate Compensation

Associate compensation is changing.  Or is it?  Many law firms rolled back wages last year, and now some are restoring the reductions.  Law firms talked extensively about abandoning the lockstep method of remunerating their associates, yet many new programs appear more like modifications built on a lockstep foundation.

Since 1992, market forces have raised recent graduate starting salaries at an annual compound rate of 6.2%.  For the same period inflation increased at an annual compound rate of 2.5%.  Thus, starting law school graduates experienced significant real wage growth over the period.

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