{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Junior here. Can a partner/counsel/senior associate (or anyone else who knows what's up) explain revenue collection to me like I'm 5?\n\nBasically I'm wondering how it is that big law firms generally have the same pay for associates as other big law firms. However, speaking to some of my friends at other firms, our billing rates are WAY different (ex. my hourly rate as a second year at my firm is the same as a 4th year's rate at another firm). How are situations like this even possible?", "post_id": "5fd980bf2d7012002ace7658", "reply_count": 2, "vote_count": 7, "bowl_id": "5df70ed2f7169f002b172d3f", "bowl_name": "Big Law" }

Junior here. Can a partner/counsel/senior associate (or anyone else who knows what's up) explain revenue collection to me like I'm 5? Basically I'm wondering how it is that big law firms generally have the same pay for associates as other big law firms. However, speaking to some of my friends at other firms, our billing rates are WAY different (ex. my hourly rate as a second year at my firm is the same as a 4th year's rate at another firm). How are situations like this even possible?

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Billing rates are vastly different across different practices even at the same firm, that may be part of the disconnect you’re seeing. As long as it averages out where a higher rate finance associate compensates for a lower rate labor and employment associate, the firm does fine and can pay those associates the same. And all biglaw make enough money to pay associates what they do (or they just wouldn’t pay it), it’s just that the places where they have super high billing rates (if that actually get realized in collections), the partners make more (look at PPP) and don’t necessarily pass it through to associates.

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Big clients are willing to pay bigger bills understanding the associates at huge law firms are higher caliber than smaller firms (discard for now whether that’s true). Billing rates are very carefully thought out: low enough that clients are willing to pay but at the highest possible point that junior associates’ time don’t get written off. Different firms come to different numbers on that. Same reason why bread costs different depending on which store you go to: buyer tolerance

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