Law Firms Announce New Associate Pay Scale
Summary: After Cravath announced the change in their associate salaries, law firms of all sizes are announcing changes to their associate salaries as well.
Law firms across the country are embracing the new change in associate salaries. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP started the movement last week, with many firms following suit within hours of the announcement. First year associates at many law big law and even smaller firms can expect $180,000 a year plus bonuses.
Hueston Hennigan, a California boutique, matched Cravath’s rate just hours later. They have matched the scale set by Cravath exactly.
Firms offering 7th year associate pay of $300,000 include: Boies Schiller, Jenner & Block, Brown Rudnick, and Quinn Emanuel.
Firms offering 8th year pay of $315,000 include: Milbank Tweed, Cahill Gordon, Irell & Manella, Simpson Thacher, Debevoise & Plimpton, Winston Strawn, Skadden Arps, Keker & Van Nest, Gunderson Dettmer, Vinson & Elkins, Latham & Watkins, Sidley Austin, Munger Tolles, Proskauer Rose, O’Melveny & Myers, McKool Smith, Yetter Coleman, White & Case, Hogan Lovells, Paul Hastings, Gibson Dunn, Akin Gump, Ropes & Gray, Bracewell, Fried Frank, Covington & Burling, and Mayer Brown.
Firms offering 9th year associate pay of $325,000 include: Paul Weiss, Weil Gotshal, Cleary Gottlieb, Holwell Shuster, Freshfields, Cooley, Davis Polk, Willkie Farr, Clifford Chance, Shearman & Sterling, Morrison & Foerster, and Wilson Sonsini.
Sullivan & Cromwell’s rates go as far 9th year associates being paid $345,000. Kirkland & Ellis and Greenberg Gross only reach $280,000 for their 6th year associates. Susman Godfrey has first years set at $190,000 and $300,000 for 6th year associates.
Fenwick & West has a different pay scale that involves tiers. Their first tier has been set at $180,000 and their third level at $300,000-325,000. Locke Lord also follows a different scale based on large markets and small markets. Baker Botts follows a level system with the first level at $180,000 and level four at $305,000.
Desmarais LLP has the highest starting level, set at $200,000 for first year associates and $335,000 for 8th year associates.
Baker & McKenzie has not made a final announcement yet.