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Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salary

Median pay for Associate Attorneys at Law Firms in the United States is around $73K per year. Total cash compensation to Associate Attorneys at Law Firms bottoms out near $46K and approaches $153K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $16K from bonuses and almost $15K from profit sharing. Geographic location and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to a fair number, and around half earn dental coverage. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 50 percent. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$45,552 - $146,558
(Median)
46K
73K
100K
150K
MEDIAN: $72,802
10%
50%
75%
90%

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$14.73 - $66.24
(Median)
15
29
49
66
MEDIAN: $29.00
10%
50%
75%
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
$45,552 - $146,558  
   
Bonus
$247.98 - $16,027  
Profit Sharing
$1,532 - $14,681  
Commission
$496.65 - $23,154  
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).
)
$45,698 - $153,286  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 2,080
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
$14.73 - $66.24  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $41.46  
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
$247.98 - $16,027  
   
Commission
$496.65 - $23,154  
Profit Sharing
$1,532 - $14,681  
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).
)
$45,698 - $153,286  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 83
United States (change)

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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For Associate Attorneys at Law Firms, career progression to a Law Firm Partner role may result in a considerable increase in compensation. On average, a Law Firm Partner, an upper-level role, can earn $203K annually. Associate Attorneys at Law Firms typically move into roles as Attorneys or Corporate Counsels, and those positions pay $5K more and $41K more, respectively.

Associate Attorney Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Associate Attorney (Law Firm)


Associate Attorneys at Law Firms seem to require a number of specific 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 67 percent, 58 percent, and 16 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Negotiation and Legal Research. Skill sets containing Litigation Case Management also tend to include Complex Litigation Case Management and Technical Writing. Those proficient in Legal Research are, more often than not, also skilled in 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.


Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $70K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $96K. Between 10 and 20 years, pay surpasses six figures; at this stage, the average professional scores around $113K. Survey respondents who have worked for more than 20 years actually report somewhat lower incomes of $110K.

Pay Difference by Location


Washington offers some of the highest pay in the country for Associate Attorneys at Law Firms, 59 percent above the national average. Associate Attorneys at Law Firms will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+37 percent), New York (+32 percent), Houston (+27 percent), and Philadelphia (+18 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 6 percent south of the national average, can be found in Chicago. Workers in Miami and Dallas earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (4 percent less and 3 percent less, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salaries


Late-Career
up arrow 44%


National Average
$76,000


Skills That Affect Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salaries

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 67%

Intellectual Property (IP)
up arrow 58%


Litigation Case Management
up arrow 4%

National Average
$76,000

Technical Writing
up arrow 2%


Negotiation
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 578 votes.

Gender

Female
50 %
Male
50 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
12%
1-4 years
55%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
7%
20 years or more
1%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 79% dental benefits Dental: 49%
vision benefits Vision: 33% employee benefits None: 20%