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Shortly after most D.C. firms raised starting pay for first-year associates to $135,000 last month, a second round of salary bidding broke out. Last week Texas-based Vinson & Elkins and California’s Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe bumped first-year pay to $145,000 in the District. The move comes weeks after New York-based firms such as Sullivan & Cromwell and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae announced first-year pay at $145,000 in New York and Washington. Will other D.C. firms follow? Some of D.C.’s largest firms say not yet. “We don’t have any plans to increase in D.C. beyond what we’ve done at the entry level,” says Warren Gorrell Jr., chairman of Hogan & Hartson. Hogan, however, did raise salaries to $145,000 for New York associates. Texas-based Vinson announced its salary increases on March 8. In a memo detailing the new pay scale, managing partner Joseph Dilg said one of the firm’s “core values is to attract the finest attorneys and to retain and develop these attorneys to be outstanding practitioners in their fields,” according to a copy of the memo that was obtained by Legal Times. Base pay for Vinson’s D.C. first-year associates includes a $5,000 guaranteed bonus. Orrick’s move comes after the firm upped salaries from $125,000 to $135,000 just last month. Meanwhile, some firms are just entering the salary wars. Last week, Reed Smith announced it will raise first-year D.C. associate pay to $135,000, effective July 1.
Anna Palmer can be contacted at [email protected].

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