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What obligation do law departments have to train associates?

Allow me to be hard-nosed. No law department should have the slightest compunction about not paying for the training of associates at law firms. Especially is this true given the horrendous turnover rates of associates; the department often does not receive a return on its training investment. Yes, yes, if all law departments boycotted all training of associates, where would the next generation of lawyers come from?

One answer comes from the olden days when partners built into their billing rates the cost of the associates they employed – but did not bill. Were we to return to that by-gone practice, we might see much lower leverage and much less over-billing by associates.