One of the big news items this week has been the decision by Cravath, Swaine & Moore to raise its starting salaries for first year associates to $180,000. Cries of “Not worth it!” and “What value do first year associates provide clients?” (answer: probably none) can be heard from all four corners of the planet.
My view on this though is so what? I don’t really care what you pay your first year associates. In the same way I don’t really care what you pay your other associates or partners. Nor do I really care what your rent is costing you.
Unless, that is, I get to thinking that: I am the one paying for all this. In which case, I suddenly become very interested.
But here’s the thing: I’d only really start to think that I’m the one paying for all your luxuries – the boat you have moored at the marina, the sports car you drive, the house you live in, the first year associate you can call on day and night – if I didn’t value the service you provide me. In other words: If I didn’t think I was getting value for money.
So if you’re one of the many private practitioners questioning the move by Cravath, Swaine & Moore, my only comment/question is this:
If you are providing your clients with a value for money service offering – and you are able to communicate this, why should it bother you?