Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Cozen O’Connor has become the latest Philadelphia firm to raise its starting salary for first-year associates. Their starting salary will go from $110,000 to $125,000, firm management said Monday, in a move that will become effective July 1. The $15,000 increase is the largest of any Philadelphia firm this year. The increase will only apply to certain offices, including Philadelphia; Cherry Hill and Newark, N.J.; West Chester, Pa.; Wilmington, Del. and New York City, according to firm Managing Partner John J. Cunningham. The firm decided to initiate the increases July 1 because it still needs time to determine how experienced associates will be compensated. Cunningham said the more senior associates are to be compensated based on merit, with no uniform raise given to any level other than the first years. Not every experienced associate should expect a percentage increase comparable to that given the first years, Cunningham indicated. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them don’t get considerable raises,” he said. Cunningham said the firm debated internally for a while about whether to make the increases or keep the salaries at the same level and do more with its bonus program. He said that ultimately the $125,000 mark seemed to be where the competition was. “Matching competing offers for first-year associates in the area effectively takes the salary issue off the table” firm Chairman Stephen A. Cozen said in a statement Monday. “New associates can now make informed decisions based upon more substantive criteria, such as professional challenge and growth opportunities, quality of life and firm culture.” The firm will not increase rates because of the salary bump, Cunningham said, adding that it is still to be decided whether billable hour requirements will go up. He said he does not expect them to increase materially. “We as a firm will absorb it,” Cunningham said of the increases. “Our hope certainly is that our people will work harder in return for this.” DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary kicked off the bonanza in January, increasing Philadelphia first-year pay to $125,000. Drinker Biddle & Reath did away with its base/bonus program the same day, making first-year pay $125,000, excluding bonuses. About two weeks later, Wolf Block Schorr & Solis Cohen and Duane Morris both pushed their starting salaries to $125,000 on the same day. Morgan Lewis & Bockius also raised its starting salary that day, moving Philadelphia first-year pay to $135,000. The firm had a short stint as the single highest-paying firm in the city until Dechert matched it at $135,000 March 1. Other firms that raised salaries in March include Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll — which announced the increase in February, but made it effective March 1 — Blank Rome, Pepper Hamilton and Saul Ewing. All of those firms bumped first-year pay to $125,000. Saul Ewing, Pepper Hamilton and Ballard Spahr gave the $10,000 increase to each of its associate levels with the exception of Pepper Hamilton’s Detroit and Harrisburg offices, where pay went up $7,000. Buchanan Ingersoll bumped up its starting pay to $125,000 in mid-March, but has not yet make decisions on other associate levels. The following day, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis also made the jump to $125,000, effective July 1.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

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

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


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 © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.