Are the tough times over? US Associates see pay increase

September 22, 2010 Associate pay seemed for some time to be directly linked to the financial health of law firms – when demand for legal services outstripped supply, the cost of labour went up.

So, can we look at associate salaries returning to pre-recession levels and conclude that all is well for the business of large law firms? Not exactly, according to industry experts.

While large law firms are seeing more work coming in than at the recession’s nadir, the industry is still not as strong as it was in 2006-07. The increase in associate pay can be explained by recognizing that good associates are still valuable, but that law firms don’t need as many associates as before the downturn.

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