Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

Oh Happy Day, $190,000 Starting Pay!

There's nothing quite like a pay raise to lift your spirits.

And with law firms raising starting salaries to all-time highs for new associates, it's a time for rejoicing. No more recession blues for those law graduates who make it to the top-paying law firms.

"Oh Happy Day," Christmas came early with big-time pay!

$190,000 to Start

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy rolled out the red carpet first, offering new associates $190,000 to start. Because lawyers are competitive by nature, other firms soon followed:

  • Proskauer Rose
  • Winston & Strawn
  • Simpson Tacher & Bartlett
  • Barack Ferrazano
  • Jones Day
  • Irell & Manell

Not to be outdone, boutique law firm Hueston Hennigan was the first in California to match the salary hike. It's a good sign for new lawyers, but also for the profession in general.

The past ten years have been rough, as the economy winnowed out law jobs and steered students clear of law schools. But now is a good time to be a new lawyer, and it will be even better this summer.

Mid-Year Bonuses

Who needs Christmas when some firms are sweetening the pot with mid-year bonuses?

Simpson Thacher will pay $5,000 for new associates and $25,000 for more experienced attorneys. Just in time for summer vacation -- as if.

Seriously, many associates will bank vacation days while they make bank. At Milbank, for example, first- through third-year associates will get a $10,000 pay raise. Fourth- through eight-year, $15,000.

You can hear the chorus now: "Time to double-up on student loan payments!"

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