Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salary

For Associate Attorneys at Law Firms, annual average wages total $77K per year. Total cash earnings of Associate Attorneys at Law Firms range from $49K on the low end to $161K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $19K and $12K, respectively. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Associate Attorneys at Law Firms report 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 fair number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a little more than half collect dental insurance. This report is based on answers to 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' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Law Firm Partner. The average Law Firm Partner brings home $206K per year. Becoming an Attorney or a Corporate Counsel is a common transition from an Associate Attorney at a Law Firm role.

Associate Attorney Job Listings

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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 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. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Negotiation, Legal Research, and Technical Writing. A tool kit that includes Litigation Case Management also typically contains Complex Litigation Case Management. Most people who know Legal Research also know Technical Writing and 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.


For many Associate Attorneys at Law Firms, more experience generally translates to higher pay. The average beginner in this position makes around $72K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $93K. Experienced professionals who have spent one to two decades on the job can score lucrative paychecks that average out to $115K. Associate Attorneys at Law Firms who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $132K.

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 will also find cushy salaries in 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. Miami and Dallas are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 9 percent lower and 8 percent lower, respectively.

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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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