Bloomberg Law
June 8, 2016, 2:28 AM

Is Following Cravath’s Lead the Best Way to Set Salaries?

Casey Sullivan

Setting associate salaries at top law firms seems to be a fairly simple process.

“Cravath raises, we raise,” said Scott Edelman, chair of the New York law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, in an interview Tuesday after making a quick decision to raise the 650-lawyer firm’s starting salaries for associates, from $160,000 to $180,000.

The news on Monday that Cravath, Swaine & Moore would increase its first-year salaries by $20,000, to $180,000, set a domino effect in motion of other law firms matching the salaries, a process that’s been accepted for the most part as the industry standard. The ...

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