The race to throw vast sums of money at first-year associates continues.
According to the Above the Law blog, Washington, D.C.'s Williams & Connolly has boosted first-year pay to a staggering $180,000.
Earlier this year, New York-based Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett widened the first-year associate pay gap between Gotham City firms and D.C. shops by $25,000 when it raised first-year pay to $160,000.
And just as several Washington firms were bumping up their first-year salaries to $145,000 from $130,000 or $135,000, McKee Nelson turned up the heat and matched New York's salaries in its Washington office. Other Washington offices have followed suit -- including Nixon Peabody in November -- and as 2007 has progressed, so has the guessing game about which D.C. firm will be next to make the move to $160,000.
Now it seems Williams & Connolly has far exceeded expectations. The Washington litigation firm has announced that its first-year salaries will increase to $180,000, effective Jan. 1, 2008.
The firm had already surpassed New York standards, since it previously paid first-years $165,000, according to Above the Law.
There is a rub, however. Williams & Connolly does not offer end-of-the-year bonuses as most firms do, so it typically compensates by paying higher base salaries.