Associates At This Biglaw Firm Won’t Be Taking A Bath When It Comes To Compensation
September 24, 2022
As Biglaw firms across the country fight over the best and brightest incoming law school graduates, many big law firms have taken to offering six-figure starting salaries to their newest associates. But at one of the most prestigious Biglaw firms in the U.S., that might not be enough.
Several reports have surfaced recently claiming that associates at this storied Biglaw firm will be paid more than $200,000 annually–not including bonuses–which would put them among the highest-paid associates in the country, if true.
Will all those bonus dollars eventually find their way into associate pockets?
The $300K Salary Myth
A study released by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) says that there’s been a 4.6% increase in salary offers to new law school graduates this year.
That’s an almost $4,000 increase on average per graduate in the Class of 2017!
In order to place these numbers in context, NACE notes that, last year, starting salaries for new law graduates were at their lowest level since 2008.
The average starting salary offer is up more than 6 percent over last year and are also significantly higher than they have been in recent years.
Even as this pay disparity looms, many analysts predict we will be facing a labor shortage soon because Biglaw firms continue to hire fewer lawyers.
The $100K First Year Associate Salary
Average salaries for newly minted lawyers have been on the rise and most associate attorneys in America start out their careers with six-figure salaries. But if you’re working for a top Biglaw firm,
it is not uncommon to be offered anywhere from $100,000 to more than $200,000 per year as an associate. And once you become partner at the Biglaw firm, your salary will be around $400,000 or higher depending on whether you joined the firm as an attorney or became a partner later on in your career. Plus,
if you’re working with a well-known Biglaw firm that has branches in multiple U.S. states then there will also be bonuses based on how many cases are taken by other partners in that state.
One Lawyer’s Take on Working Here
My employer is one of the top Biglaw firms in the country, and I couldn’t be happier about that. The work here is challenging, it’s high pressure,
but it’s also interesting. We’ve got a culture of high standards and excellence here–everything from the lawyers we hire to the culture of our office itself.
If you’re looking for a place to start your career in law, I recommend taking a serious look at Biglaw firm.
The associates here make around $160,000 starting out – far more than they could hope to get anywhere else. That salary climbs as they put in time with us–most associates hit six figures after five years or so on staff.
The 5 Best Things About Biglaw Firm
The Biglaw firm environment is a great place to take your skills to the next level, there are tons of opportunities for professional development and growth. Plus,
these Biglaw firms are full of intelligent people that can help you prepare for an illustrious legal career.
The only downside is that it doesn’t pay as well as Biglaw firms or in-house counsel positions. You’ll have to learn how to save money on the go if you want a comfortable lifestyle while in your first few years.
The 4 Worst Things About This Firm
The bad news is that associates at this firm won’t be living like kings (or queens) in the near future. The good news is that there are more than a few Biglaw firms where they would be treated much better.
– First, let’s start with salary. Per the 2018 PayScale report, the median pay for an associate at this Biglaw firm is $180,000 which ranks the Biglaw firm as #192 on the list of private firms with the highest median salary for Associates . . . and #10 on our list of private firms with the lowest median salary for Associates. In contrast, other top ranked law firms have their associates making 2 to 3 times as much.
A 5-Year Exit Strategy For Attorneys (At the Office, Not in Prison)
Lawyers as a class are a tenacious bunch. They usually know how to think on their feet and can quickly change gears depending on the particulars of any given situation.
Alas, all that talent in combination with compulsive workaholism leads many lawyers (especially partners) to neglect the fact that they are mortal and should plan for life after the law.
If this sounds like you, we have good news: there is hope for you yet! In an effort to provide a helpful guide for future attorneys to take advantage of their options when it comes time to hang up their legal hat, our firm’s associates would like to offer you some sage advice.
Does this firm have a bad reputation?
Some associates are earning $135,000 per year at top firms like this one. With this starting salary and a pay scale of 10%, that means an average salary of $151,500 over a four-year career with this firm.
By 2020, the starting salary is predicted to be more than double that for law school graduates – about $80,000 per year. There’s no doubt these salaries would help anyone who wants to live in any area of the U.S., except maybe San Francisco and New York City.
Unfortunately, it looks like the only negative to some members of law firms will be long hours and intense pressure from senior lawyers to work themselves silly because they want their associates’ noses on every file before they leave for the day or night.
Keep browsing Law Scribd for more updates.