Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salary
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.Read More...
Additionally, associate attorneys also assist other attorneys with complex or high-profile cases.
Associate attorneys should be familiar with many research techniques to locate information relevant to cases in their area of responsibility. They must also have the ability to interpret current laws and rulings, as well as advanced knowledge of court decisions and local, state, and federal law. They must have strong writing abilities, as one of their main responsibilities includes creating briefs used in court.
These attorneys work in an office setting, and one of their main tools is a personal computer to keep key files and conduct research. They report to more senior partners in the law firm.
A law degree and licensure to work in their state is needed for this position. Previous years of experience in another law firm may be preferred.
Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Tasks
- 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.
- Represent clients in court or before government agencies, present and summarize cases to judges and juries.
- 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.
Common Career Paths for Associate Attorney (Law Firm)
For Associate Attorneys at Law Firms, progressing to a Law Firm Partner role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Law Firm Partner can earn $204K annually. Many Associate Attorneys at Law Firms advance into roles as Attorneys or Associate Attorneys, but the median salaries are $4K lower and $13K lower, respectively.
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Popular Skills for Associate Attorney (Law Firm)
Associate Attorneys at Law Firms report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, facility with Intellectual Property, Complex Litigation Case Management, and Contract Negotiation are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 41 percent, 19 percent, and 16 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Litigation Case Management and Legal Document Review. The majority of those who know Legal Research also know Technical Writing and Complex Litigation Case Management. Those familiar with Litigation Case Management tend to be well versed in Complex Litigation Case Management and Technical Writing.
Pay by Experience Level for Associate Attorney (Law Firm)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Associate Attorneys at Law Firms, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $76K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $97K. Experienced professionals who have spent one to two decades on the job can score lucrative paychecks that average out to $107K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $111K.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Associate Attorneys at Law Firms in Washington enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 47 percent above the national average. Associate Attorneys at Law Firms can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Houston (+45 percent), Denver (+42 percent), Boston (+37 percent), and New York (+26 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Atlanta, 17 percent below the national average. Employers in Miami and Irvine also lean toward paying below-median salaries (15 percent lower and 1 percent lower, respectively).
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Key Stats for Associate Attorney (Law Firm)
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