Saturday, October 16, 2004

Someone wrote a comment in the previous thread: "Housing prices increase annually. Living costs increase annually. Can someone tell me why starting salaries don't? Why keep it at $125K for 4 years and then suddenly increase it to $135 or $140? Why not just do it piecemeal, each year, to match inflation? In other words, why not just decide how much a starting lawyer is worth to a Biglaw firm, as compared to other indicators like cost of living, and then just adjust that on an annual basis to match inflation? I don't mean to rant; I honestly don't understand the current system. If someone could explain it, that would be great."

With those kinds of critical thinking skills, you must be one of my associates. We're a business. We want to pay as little as we can. This has nothing to do with the cost of living. It has to do with what the market will bear. If people want to think that the economy has been terrible and we're losing money and that's why we haven't raised our starting salary, and so they accept that it has stayed at $125K, then we're in no mood to convince them otherwise. The only reason it got that high is because we were competing with high-tech firms during the dot-com boom and needed people to choose us. Now, we're competing with nobody, so why raise the salary? We'd lower it if we could, but no one has the guts to, because if our peer firms don't follow, no one will come work for us. This is economics, not social welfare. Why not adjust our salary to match inflation? Where in private industry does this ever happen? There's no "how much a starting lawyer is worth" -- despite all these overeducated young associates thinking they're all superstars, some of them are worth a lot, and some of them are worth nothing. But if we start playing around with salaries we'll confuse recruits and lose out on them. We will do what our peer firms do, and our peer firms do what we do? Cost-of-living adjustments? You must work for the government.

The time is nigh. See Hamlet (III, ii, 239).
i agree, depressionada: AL doth protest too much, methinks. perhaps we'll see some movement soon.
Cister, Cister. Macbeth (I.i.10).

Bush knew.
wow, quite a dearth of commentary this time around -- the literati scared everyone off...
Or nobody likes Shakespeare-quoting, Che Guevara wannabe tools.
Is it grammatically correct to end a sentence with the phrase "taken care of"? Assuming it is grammatically correct (I think it is, but I'm not sure), is it bad form?
seriously, time for a new post.

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