At least one small firm lawyer isn’t very impressed by the recent news that first year associate salaries at some firms will increase to $135,000. In a listserve post, attorney Robert Hughes noted that:
Let’s see. $135,000 per year equals $2600 per week divided by about 90 hours per week equals $28.85 per hour. What a deal. I pay contract lawyers this much. I rate in the top 1% of law firms nationwide in my payrates. Hooray!
So if you’ve turned up your nose at small firm practice because you thought it couldn’t match a large firm salary, you may want to think again. $135k a year is plenty of money (which you might really need if you have family or loans). But how long is that kind of pay worth it to you?