Network Firm News

Thursday, August 17, 2006

First Salary Increase for New Lawyers Since 2000

Leigh Jones/Staff reporter
National Law Journal, p. 10
August 7, 2006

National Association for Law Placement (NALP) says so. The going rate at firms of 500 and more attorneys was $135K in 2006 (up $10K from 2005) because of:
a. increasing work loads; and
b. declining numbers of law school applicants; and
c. increasing attrition.

But increased salaries could only worsen the problem, according to Altman Weil's Ward Bower: the raise causes salary compression in more senior classes and thus more incentive for newbies to leave when they reach compressed levels.

And here's the evidence that Bower's concern is justified: Attrition jumped too from 60% at the 5 year level in 2000 to 78% in 2006. In other words six years ago 40% (two in five) of the freshman class would have survived to the 5th year but today only 22% (one in five) -- that's half the number of survivors as in 2000 and it has to cost money.

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