Top law firms continue to jockey for competitive position in different legal markets. You can follow the play-by-play or raise-by-raise in "Law Firm Salary Increases Raise Eyebrows, Expectations" at the Law.com. While the mid-$100,000 salary levels for freshly minted law school associates does raise eye brows and drop jaws, another perspective on their salary is provided in "Starting Pay at Top Firms Falls Farther Behind Partners."
In the latter article, Leigh Jones points out that partners are really the ones raking it in: "At the same time, profits per partner at nation’s 100 highest-grossing law firms in 2005 averaged $1.07 million, according to The American Lawyer, an affiliate of The National Law Journal…associates were making 11.7 percent of the amount partners pulled in for 2005, the smallest percentage in the last 10 years."
I guess all these eye-popping figures reflect mostly on the stratospheric rates the rest of us pay for legal services.