Associate Attorney Salary

Earnings for Associate Attorneys in the United States come in at around $67K per year on average. The final incomes of Associate Attorneys generally vary between $45K and $127K; higher pay grades include potential for bonuses, profit sharing, and commissions as high as $15K, $12K, and $28K, respectively. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is location, followed by career duration and the particular employer. Although just under one in four lack health benefits of any kind, a fair number do enjoy medical insurance, and just under a half get dental coverage, too. Work is enjoyable for Associate Attorneys, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Associate Attorneys making up 52 percent of survey respondents. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$44,449 - $120,402

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$16.21 - $56.68

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$44,449 - $120,402  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,060  
Profit Sharing
$302.01 - $12,332  
Commission
$192.19 - $27,821  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$45,136 - $127,265  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,702
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$16.21 - $56.68  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $71.02  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,060  
   
Commission
$192.19 - $27,821  
Profit Sharing
$302.01 - $12,332  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$45,136 - $127,265  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 198
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Job Description for Associate Attorney

Associate attorneys are lawyers who usually have a minimal amount of experience in the field. Many are just out of law school and developing their careers. Associate attorneys typically start out under the guidance of an experienced attorney, assisting with cases and writing reports. After gaining experience, associate attorneys can move up in the ranks of a law firm and start taking on their own clients, and acting as the lead attorney in cases. Associate attorneys essentially do the same job as a regular attorney, and also have other responsibilities such as researching legal information, writing legal briefs and preparing legal documents. Associate attorneys may also take part in jury selection, advising clients, negotiating with outside colleagues, and helping to argue a case in court. Associate attorneys work for their law firms as employees and are not considered partners, nor do they have any ownership in the firm. Their time in a position at a law firm is a valuable opportunity to build their contact list and create a network that they can use throughout their career.

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Associate Attorney Tasks

  • Gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions; evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments for presentation of cases.
  • Analyze and interpret laws, rulings and regulations with probable case outcomes for individuals and businesses.
  • Represent clients in court or before government agencies, present and summarize cases to judges and juries.
  • Advise clients in business transactions, claim liablility, advisability of prosecuting or defending lawsuits or legal rights and obligations.
  • Select jurors, argue motions, meet with judges and question witnesses during the course of a trial.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Associate Attorney


Popular Skills for Associate Attorney


Associate Attorneys seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Intellectual Property, litigation, and Complex Litigation Case Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 55 percent, 14 percent, and 13 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Bankruptcy, Spanish Language, and Technical Writing. Those proficient in Client Interaction are, more often than not, also skilled in Litigation Case Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Associate Attorney

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $65K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $92K. For Associate Attorneys, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $96K. Survey participants with more than two decades under their belts actually report earning less than people with less experience; the former take home only $95K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Washington is home to an above-average pay rate for Associate Attorneys, 68 percent higher than the national average. Associate Attorneys will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+41 percent), New York (+26 percent), Los Angeles (+20 percent), and Houston (+20 percent). The lowest-paying market is Chicago, which sits 4 percent below the national average.

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Experience Affects Associate Attorney Salaries




National Average
$69,000


Skills That Affect Associate Attorney Salaries


litigation
up arrow 14%




Legal Compliance
up arrow 3%

National Average
$69,000

Litigation Case Management
up arrow 1%

Negotiation
up arrow 3%

Legal Research
up arrow 4%

Legal Document Review
up arrow 4%



Real Estate
up arrow 6%

Spanish Language
up arrow 10%

Bankruptcy
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 750 votes.

Gender

Female
48 %
Male
52 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
14%
1-4 years
61%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
5%
20 years or more
1%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 76% dental benefits Dental: 46%
vision benefits Vision: 32% employee benefits None: 22%
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