These days, a first-year lawyer at a top firm can earn more than an associate justice of the Supreme Court. This is just one of the points made by Susan Hackett, general counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel, as she argues that there is no good reason for the recent rise in legal associates’ pay. Her organization represents the in-house legal departments that pay for outside lawyers.
After Simpson Thacher & Bartlett announced in January that it was raising its first-year associate pay to $160,000, many other firms soon followed suit. Writing in Corporate Counsel magazine, Ms. Hackett said she has heard “disgusted buzzing” from some corporate lawyers, but “no hint of the revolution that I was sure would erupt.”
“In-house counsel of the world: What are you waiting for?” she entreats. “Who’s managing your company’s legal spending: you, or the firms?”
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