With salaries for first-year associates going up across the country, some law firms are turning to new means to justify the money, raising the required number of billable hours for its newest employees. The question is whether it will happen in Pittsburgh.
"In the past, firms set 2,000 hours as a start, but if you only billed 1,850, nothing happened," said Lori Carpenter, president of the Downtown recruitment firm Carpenter Legal Search. "Now, they seem to be taking a harder line with associates. Certainly, there are changes with the bonus structure base, and we're hearing more often that if an associate is not hitting their goals, their position may be eliminated."
"I attribute some of it to their trying to run lean and mean. What happens is, they want to make sure each associate is working to capacity, and they consider 2,000 billable hours and beyond, capacity." - Lori Carpenter