First-year associate salaries of $160,000 may seem like a jaw-dropping amount to pay for fledgling attorneys, but compared with profits per partner, starting pay at the nation’s top law firms proportionately has been at its lowest point in a decade.
Several law firms recently announced a boost in first-year associate pay by about $15,000, up from $145,000. New York’s Simpson Thacher & Bartlett was first out of the gate last month, with many New York firms following. In addition, Greenberg Traurig announced it would raise first-year salaries to $160,000 in its New York office.
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