Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salary

The average Associate Attorney at a Law Firm in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $77K annually. Final cash compensation to Associate Attorneys at Law Firms varies from around $49K to approximately $161K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $19K and $12K, respectively. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. The majority of Associate Attorneys at Law Firms claim high levels of job satisfaction. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Associate Attorneys at Law Firms making up 50 percent of survey respondents. A strong majority report receiving medical coverage from their employers and over one-half collect dental insurance. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$48,699 - $155,594
(Median)
$49K
$77K
$160K
MEDIAN: $77,324
10%
50%
90%

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$14.72 - $73.08
(Median)
$15
$31
$73
MEDIAN: $31.00
10%
50%
90%

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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$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$48,699 - $155,594  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $19,380  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $12,000  
Commission
$7,000  
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).
)
$48,953 - $161,118  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 909
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$30$60$90
Hourly Rate
$14.72 - $73.08  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $39.73  
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$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $19,380  
   
Commission
$7,000  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $12,000  
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).
)
$48,953 - $161,118  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 41
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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 may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Law Firm Partner. The latter position pays an average of $206K annually. Becoming an Attorney or a Corporate Counsel is often the next step for an Associate Attorney at a Law Firm.

Associate Attorney Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Associate Attorney (Law Firm)


Survey results suggest that Associate Attorneys at Law Firms put a wide range of professional skills to use. 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 54 percent, 50 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Negotiation, Legal Research, and Technical Writing. Most people experienced in Legal Research also know Technical Writing and Complex Litigation Case Management. Most people who know Litigation Case Management also know 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.


Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $72K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $93K. After one to two decades on the job, professionals can reap plentiful salaries that average out to the six-figure sum of $115K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $132K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $80,253

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

With a pay rate for Associate Attorneys at Law Firms that is 31 percent greater than the national average, Washington offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Associate Attorneys at Law Firms can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+27 percent), New York (+25 percent), Houston (+20 percent), and Philadelphia (+12 percent). Atlanta is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 12 percent. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Miami (9 percent lower) and Dallas (8 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 64%



National Average
$80,000


Skills That Affect Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salaries

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 54%

Intellectual Property (IP)
up arrow 50%


litigation
up arrow 2%

National Average
$80,000

Litigation Case Management
up arrow 1%



Negotiation
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 128 votes.

Gender

Female
50 %
Male
50 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
12%
1-4 years
53%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
9%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 79%
dental benefits
Dental: 52%
medical benefits
Vision: 37%
dental benefits
None: 20%
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