Legal Law

Early Compensation Mover Proves It’s Keen To Preserve Taking part in The Wage ‘Sport’

Waaaaaay back on Thursday, when the Biglaw compensation market moved to $200,000 for first-year associates, thanks to Milbank, McDermott, Will & Emery was the first firm to match the raises, doing so within a matter of hours. But then Davis Polk played spoiler, coming over the top of the Milbank scale.

But MWE is not to be deterred. On Friday, the firm announced a re-raise of associate salaries, with the below note, which, without explicitly confirming it, sure makes it seem like the they have more in the tank should another firm — cough Cravath cough — come back over the top:

We are so happy to be in a position to be able to reward our hardworking, best-in-class Associates in this way. We see your amazing level of commitment and know you are “all in” and very aligned with our plans to be the number one career accelerant in the legal profession.
Maybe the games continue or maybe we’re done: Who knows? What we hope for, at least, is that you enjoy your weekend and appreciate these brighter days.

In truth, we expected the re-raise. That’s what happened in 2018 when Cravath came over the top of Milbank’s raises. There will almost certainly be more of the $200K scale firms moving to the $205K scale, they just might be waiting until… other big players in associate compensation make their move so they don’t have to issue a third compensation memo within a matter of days.

Remember everyone, we depend on your tips to stay on top of this stuff. So when your firm matches, please text us (646-820-8477) or email us (subject line: “[Firm Name] Raises”). Please include the memo if available. You can take a photo of the memo and send it via text or email if you don’t want to forward the original PDF or Word file.

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Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).

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