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LOS ANGELES — More law firms have joined the ranks in announcing plans to raise their first-year associate salaries in California to $160,000. Latham & Watkins, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker and Susman Godfrey are the latest to raise salaries since Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe announced last week that it would raise the pay of its first-years in four of its California offices to $160,000, as of June 1. Yesterday, O’Melveny & Myers and Morrison & Foerster followed suit in announcing they would raise their first-year associate salaries in California starting May 1 to $160,000. Also on Tuesday, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher announced it would raise first-year associate salaries to $160,000 in all its U.S. offices, according to Pearl Piatt, a firm spokeswoman. The firm also is raising the salaries of its higher-level associates. Gibson had raised the salaries of its New York associates to $160,000 earlier this year. Latham & Watkins picked the same date to raise its first-year associate salaries in all 10 of its U.S. offices. Paul Hastings also picked May 1 to raise its associate salaries in California, where it has five offices, and in Washington and Chicago. The only office not affected is in Atlanta, said Greg Nitzkowski, managing partner of the firm. Paul Hastings also raised the salaries of its other associates, with its eight-years making $280,000. “We have to be guided by what the market sees is the value of the compensation for associates,” Nitzkowski said. Earlier this year, all five of the firms raised the salaries of their first-year associates in New York to $160,000 but raised California pay to $145,000, causing a split in compensation. Houston-based Susman Godfrey has raised associate salaries in its New York and Los Angeles offices. The firm has raised first-year associate salaries to $160,000, and second-year associate pay to $170,000, plus benefits. Susman Godfrey opened a four-lawyer New York office last September. The firm has nine attorneys in Los Angeles. In its other offices, in Houston, Dallas and Seattle, the firm’s first-year associates make $140,000. Second-years earn $145,000. The 80-attorney litigation firm also pays merit bonuses at the end of the year that range from $30,000 to $80,000.

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