Some of Boston's top law firms are moving away from a system of automatic pay hikes for associates and instead offering pay increases based on lawyers' performance. That will mean smaller paychecks for many lawyers, experts say, and could lead to confusion over precisely how associates' achievements will be assessed. "The problem is how do you measure merit? ... I have never been that impressed with how successful firms have been in making those critical decisions," says law professor Roger Abrams.
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