US firm Duval & Stachenfeld doubles starting salaries

April 27, 2014 Duval & Stachenfeld has announced that it will double its starting salary for associates to $175,000, in an effort to compete with rivals in the recruitment game.
“We put a lot of effort into our people. It’s not only attracting, it’s retaining them. So I don’t necessarily want to have a salary differential when big law firms call our people,” said firm co-founder Bruce Stachenfeld. “We have the same client base. If we’re doing the same work with the same level of people, then we should be paying the same amount. I don’t like to kid myself. [We] don’t have the brand name.”

Commenting on the move, Ward Bower from Altman Weil said that offering starting salaries higher than top law firms is not standard.
“For typical mid-market midsize firms, it would be insanity to do that,” Bower said. “Unless you’re going for top lawyers from top law schools, you can probably hire them for a lot less than $175,000. That’s a bold statement. That’s coming out of partners’ pockets. It’s going to give them access to a talent pool that they otherwise wouldn’t get.”

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