X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Firing a pre-emptive shot in the law firm salary skirmishes, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner has raised pay for its junior and midlevel associates. Effective Jan. 1, the Washington-based intellectual property boutique is bumping base salaries for first-year associates from $125,000 to $135,000. Those in their second year will move from $135,000 to $145,000. Third- through sixth-year associates will see a raise of $5,000 in their base pay. “We always look at the market, and we sensed that perhaps there’s a trend at some firms to go north,” says Finnegan Chairman Christopher Foley. “It’s been awhile since we increased.” The move puts 300-lawyer Finnegan’s salaries for first- and second-year associates in line with those paid by rival IP boutique Fish & Richardson. The new pay scale pushes Finnegan base salaries above those paid to IP associates at general practice firms like Howrey; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; and Jones Day, where base pay for first-year associates has stayed level at $125,000 for five years.
READER COMMENTS
Have a comment about this story? We want to hear from you. Your comments will be posted at the end of this story…Editor’s Note: Legal Times reserves the right to post comments that are deemed appropriate for this forum. Please include a name and location with your comments.

The raises will increase pressure at those and other big firms to rework their junior-associate pay packets. Howrey was among several D.C.-area firms to raise salaries for senior associates this summer. “It’s going to be difficult to stay competitive for the best junior IP candidates if their salaries are not equal to those leading the market,” says Daniel Binstock, a recruiter in the D.C. office of BCG Attorney Search. “Traditionally, a lot of people view IP as its own special subset of the market. But as most general practice firms have incorporated IP practices, it’s harder to distinguish it from most other practices of law.” The last major increase at Finnegan, Foley says, occurred when most large law firms raised first-year associate salaries from $95,000 to $125,000, at the height of the dot-com boom in 2000. Salaries for junior lawyers at America’s largest firms have remained fairly flat since then, even as pay for partners has grown steadily. Earlier this fall two Los Angeles-based general practice firms, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges and Irell & Manella, raised starting salaries to $135,000. No other large general practice firms have followed, though Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom remains above market at $140,000 for first-year associates. Joseph Conroy, partner in charge of Cooley Godward’s Northern Virginia office, says that his firm expects to decide whether to raise associate salaries before the end of the year. “It’s under review,” he says. “We haven’t made a decision yet.” Base pay for midlevel associates at Finnegan is structured as follows: third-years, $155,000; fourth-years, $170,000; fifth-years, $185,000; sixth-years, $200,000. Pay for seventh- and eighth-year associates remains steady at $210,000 and $225,000, respectively, though Foley says that those associates are eligible for bonuses as high as $65,000 to $75,000. Foley says he did not consult with other law firm managing partners before making the move. “We’ve been flying solo,” he says.


Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.