How Much Are Biglaw Firms Paying Their Associates This Summer?
September 26, 2022
Biglaw firms have been reducing associate compensation over the past few years, but those cuts appear to be over. We analyzed biglaw associate salary data from the Vault Biglaw Salary Calculator to see how much big law firms are paying their associates this summer. Here’s what we found
Millennials are in demand
Thanks to Biglaw firms like Reed Smith and Morrison & Foerster, summer associate salaries are climbing. We want to get students excited about being a lawyer, Reed Smith’s head of recruiting, Miranda Romero, told LegalNewsLine. Salaries at the entry level are up, says
Roger Roye of Morrison & Foerster. The two firms now pay their summer associates an annual salary of $190,000 with a discretionary performance bonus (up from $160K) on top, which is more than triple the average for a law firm.
Defining Big Law
Big law firms are prestigious private partnerships that specialize in corporate and commercial Biglaw. They typically offer their associates challenging work, high salaries,
and opportunities for advancement in the future. Most of these firms have set the beginning salary for an associate at around $160k a year, which is significantly higher than salaries offered by smaller law firms or federal public service.
Why Big Law?
The demand for legal talent has skyrocketed in recent years, due to a prolonged economic recession and the much-publicized meltdown of many well-known law firms.
In response, big law firms have increased salaries and non-salary compensation to attract and retain quality attorneys. Whether a lawyer prefers working at a large firm or not, the prospect of higher pay is an exciting one!
Who is being hired in Big Law this summer?
It’s that time of year again when the power players in Biglaw firms eagerly await the summer associate class. It is time to hire fresh new talent to replace the departing class from the previous year. For some lucky associates, there will be an accompanying increase in compensation;
while others will not see any difference. This summer saw a large jump in offers coming from firms as they look to entice new hires with better bonuses, higher salaries, and other benefits.
The Millennials Retention Strategy
Dedicated to the millennial generation, Heidrick & Struggles’ The Millennials Retention Strategy is an insightful perspective on how to address the issues of diversity and retention in a workforce where millennials make up one-third of professionals.
Heidrick & Struggles identified that employee engagement is at the crux of millennial dissatisfaction: the cohort is most likely to leave companies
if they are dissatisfied with their manager or if they don’t like what they do. According to KCS Research data, 61% of millennials said that a sense of making a difference motivates them on a day-to-day basis, while only 46% said that they wanted increased compensation and benefits as motivation.
What about the associates who have already started at the Biglaw?
Beginning associates are in a very lucky position as they find out whether or not they received an offer from a big law firm. Early signs show that salaries are going up across the board, but this likely doesn’t do much for those of us who already started at the firm and are struggling to cover living expenses on a smaller salary.
Here’s what associates who were just offered their spot with their firm should consider: some firms only offer their summer associate positions to their newest hires; increasing the number of summers offers available would allow those with less experience to make the move while still attracting qualified applicants;
big law firms need to figure out how to best match skillsets with open positions to be able to stay competitive in terms of salary and able to recruit talent down the line.
A hot salary summer is coming and this blog post will reveal how much Biglaw firms are paying their associates this summer. It seems like associate compensation has been a hot topic lately with all the client leaks, but today we will focus on how employers are compensating employees in the legal field.
If you’re interested in finding out what other salaries are available in the job market, be sure to stay tuned for our next blog post. For now, let’s take a look at what these top-tier employers have to offer for summer associates.
Entry-level associates who can add value quickly can expect to make $160,000 to $200,000, while more senior associates can make $220,000-$300,000. (And some will make even more than that.)…
First-year associates also commonly get signing bonuses of between $10,000 and $20,000. And annual cash bonuses are not uncommon…
Most firms pay their top-tier associate salaries on a biweekly basis with an option to defer up to 10% of your salary into an account with the potential for interest.
There are more than a dozen big law firms in New York City. The Biglaw Firm Compensation Report for the summer of 2016 analyzed compensation information from more than 50 such firms and found some interesting insights into the value of an associate’s time on the clock,
as well as what he or she might earn per hour. For instance, most Biglaw pay their top-tier associate salaries on a biweekly basis with an option to defer up to 10% of your salary into an account
with the potential for interest. Furthermore, first-year associates also commonly get signing bonuses of between $10,000 and $20,000 and annual cash bonuses are not uncommon.
Keep browsing Law Scribd for more updates.