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Corporate Clients Take Note as More Firms Announce Associate Raises


— May 8, 2007

The latest round of associate salary raises is spreading like a virus through the state’s biggest firms — and it has some corporate counsel feeling a little queasy.

Just days after three big California-origin law firms raised starting pay to $160,000 for in-state associates, Latham & Watkins; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; and Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker followed suit Tuesday.

The rash of raises has some big-firm clients worried.

“There seems to be no end in sight,” said James Hall, director of intellectual property at Silicon Valley’s Quantum Corp. “At some point I think it has to impact how much I’ll pay in legal services … That money has to come from somewhere.”

Susan Hackett, senior vice president and general counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel, said the recent round of raises doesn’t take clients into account at all.

“The decision is completely divorced from any recognition of the value that’s provided,” Hackett said. “I don’t see how those people who got paid $10,000 less yesterday got any more talented today.”

Details here from The Recorder via Law.com.


The latest round of associate salary raises is spreading like a virus through the state’s biggest firms — and it has some corporate counsel feeling a little queasy.

Just days after three big California-origin law firms raised starting pay to $160,000 for in-state associates, Latham & Watkins; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; and Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker followed suit Tuesday.

The rash of raises has some big-firm clients worried.

“There seems to be no end in sight,” said James Hall, director of intellectual property at Silicon Valley’s Quantum Corp. “At some point I think it has to impact how much I’ll pay in legal services … That money has to come from somewhere.”

Susan Hackett, senior vice president and general counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel, said the recent round of raises doesn’t take clients into account at all.

“The decision is completely divorced from any recognition of the value that’s provided,” Hackett said. “I don’t see how those people who got paid $10,000 less yesterday got any more talented today.”

Details here from The Recorder via Law.com.

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