Alston & Bird has raised the starting salary for first-year associates in its Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., offices to $145,000 — almost 50 percent more than it was paying them a mere 15 months ago. It also has raised the starting salary for Atlanta patent attorneys to $160,000.

“That’s the market in Charlotte and Raleigh,” said the firm’s managing partner, Ben F. Johnson III. Several other firms, including Hunton & Williams; Dechert; Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft; and Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, recently raised salaries for their Charlotte associates, increasing starting pay to $145,000. (Hunton also raised starting pay in Atlanta to $145,000.)