Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salary

Associate Attorneys at Law Firms in the United States pull down an average of $74K annually. In the world of Associate Attorneys at Law Firms, overall income ranges from $46K near the bottom to $151K at the top; this can include more than $15K from bonuses and more than $20K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. A strong majority report receiving medical coverage from their employers and one-half collect dental insurance. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 51 percent. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$45,815 - $145,025
(Median)
$46K
$74K
$150K
MEDIAN: $74,330
10%
50%
90%

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$14.92 - $63.89
(Median)
$15
$30
$64
MEDIAN: $30
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$45,815 - $145,025  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,318  
Profit Sharing
$1,014 - $19,727  
Commission
$200.00 - $27,514  
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).
)
$46,045 - $151,126  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,340
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30$60$90
Hourly Rate
$14.92 - $63.89  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $41.12  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,318  
   
Commission
$200.00 - $27,514  
Profit Sharing
$1,014 - $19,727  
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).
)
$46,045 - $151,126  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 61
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Job Description for Associate Attorney (Law Firm)

Associate attorneys at law firms are responsible for completing legal tasks for their firm. They conduct research for current legal cases, attend court proceedings, and provide accurate analysis and advice on future legal actions. In addition, they complete and deliver crucial documents to courts as needed. Associate attorneys provide legal advice to their clients, and thus must respect confidentiality agreements. They also negotiate on behalf on their firm with jury selection, and they may also argue cases in court.

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Associate Attorney (Law Firm) 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.

Common Career Paths for Associate Attorney (Law Firm)


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Associate Attorneys at Law Firms who go on to become Law Firm Partners may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Law Firm Partners is $203K annually. The most common next step for an Associate Attorney at a Law Firm is to become an Attorney or a Corporate Counsel. The former position pays an additional $3K per year on average, and the latter position pays $40K more per year.

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Popular Skills for Associate Attorney (Law Firm)


Survey results show that Associate Attorneys at Law Firms use a fair number of skills. Most notably, facility with Contract Negotiation, Intellectual Property (IP), and Complex Litigation Case Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 71 percent, 55 percent, and 17 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Negotiation, Legal Research, and Technical Writing. Those familiar with Legal Research also tend to know Technical Writing and Complex Litigation Case Management. Most people skilled in Litigation Case Management are similarly competent in Complex Litigation Case Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Associate Attorney (Law Firm)

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


Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $70K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $96K. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $114K. Survey participants with more than twenty years of experience only make around $108K on average, though; this group reports a lower median than the one claimed by mid-career individuals.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 35 percent, Associate Attorneys at Law Firms in Washington receive some of the highest pay in the country. Associate Attorneys at Law Firms can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+31 percent), New York (+26 percent), Houston (+25 percent), and Philadelphia (+16 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 9 percent south of the national average, can be found in Atlanta. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Miami (6 percent lower) and Dallas (5 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salaries


Late-Career
up arrow 39%


National Average
$78,000


Skills That Affect Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salaries

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 71%

Intellectual Property (IP)
up arrow 55%


Litigation Case Management
up arrow 1%

National Average
$78,000

Technical Writing
up arrow 4%


Negotiation
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 281 votes.

Gender

Female
51 %
Male
49 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
13%
1-4 years
54%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 78% dental benefits Dental: 50%
vision benefits Vision: 34% employee benefits None: 20%
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