Location, Location, Location Determine Raises

So says The Recorder about raises for associate attorneys:

"As firms across the country lift associate salaries, some are opting to pay the same in all U.S. offices outside New York, while others still pay less in secondary markets like Philadelphia, Atlanta or Miami.

"Those with the one-salary-fits-all approach — like Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Morrison & Foerster — tend to be mostly in larger markets and argue it’s necessary as practices become integrated across markets. But some firms, especially those with lots of U.S. offices, see no need — so far, anyway — to pay top dollar in places like Pittsburgh and Detroit."

"For example, Foley & Lardner last week unveiled a new salary structure, matching the new $135,000 market rate in major markets but paying $115,000 in several smaller cities. In those offices, the overall economics and billing structures aren’t as robust, Chairman Ralf Böer said. Even so, the firm — with offices in places like Detroit; Tallahassee, Fla.; and Madison, Wis. — is considering adopting a one-scale model, a decision that will likely be made during the next few years, he said.

"’As more and more attorneys practice nationally, the rate constraints that may exist in their home office may disappear,’" Böer said, at least when they are working on national matters. "’The more we succeed in integrating, the more the reason for salary differences, based on some markets having lower hourly rates, disappears over time.’"

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