Vault just posited, "Will Law Firms Increase Salaries in 2015?" Quoting heavily from both NALP and Vault's own survey, it describes a dystopia the likes of which even Scott Bullock couldn't fathom.
Briefly, BigLaw starting salaries have not budged in almost a decade and are actually dropping outside large cities.
Tell me the following isn't bleaker than a box of starving kittens in downtown Mogadishu:
"There are no financial incentives to work harder here. Partners make ridiculous profits and associates do not share in any of the bounty."
"Hard to say that I'm being cheated at $300K/year, but no doubt this will be another record-breaking year for the profits per partner, and we haven't seen associate salaries or bonuses increase since 2007."
"Our bonuses are s**t compared to what they were. Our salary is low compared to what it was in 2007. Firms need to update."
"It is time for a raise. Law school tuition has skyrocketed since the move to 160,000 and I'm pushing 300,000K [sic] in debt paying for both undergrad and law school. The days of the big bonuses helping you pay off your student loans are over, and billing over 200 hours per month has me feeling like even the coveted 160k is not commensurate with my work or sufficient to justify the cost of a legal education."
Bah! In my day we went into law strictly for presTTTige. Granted, we were always balls-deep in models & bottles, but there was none of this whining about deserving a bigger piece of the pie. We got what we got, and we liked it.
This complicated chart describes what is happening. You coders in the basement can ignore it; you'll always get at least minimum wage. The rest of you should be happy inflation is low.
"This is an outrage!" you say. Well, pull close, Grasshopper, and I'll explain why firms are cutting real compensation.
Because they can.