Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salary

For Associate Attorneys at Law Firms, annual average wages total $74K per year. Overall compensation packages to Associate Attorneys at Law Firms range from $46K on the low end to $153K on the high end; this includes bonuses that peak near $15K and profit sharing that approaches $12K, with some high rollers snagging commissions as high as $28K. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Women Associate Attorneys at Law Firms who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — nearly one in five lack coverage. On the flip side, a fair number have medical insurance and approximately half receive dental plans. Most Associate Attorneys at Law Firms like their work and job satisfaction is high. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$46,252 - $147,006

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$14.85 - $64.27

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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
$46,252 - $147,006  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,322  
Profit Sharing
$1,000 - $12,000  
Commission
$-0.50 - $28,093  
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).
)
$46,448 - $152,543  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,255
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
$14.85 - $64.27  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $41.12  
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 - $15,322  
   
Commission
$-0.50 - $28,093  
Profit Sharing
$1,000 - $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).
)
$46,448 - $152,543  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 58
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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 $203K per year. Attorneys or Corporate Counsels are common next-step roles for Associate Attorneys at Law Firms moving up in their careers; annual pay for Attorneys is $3K higher on average, and it's $40K higher for Corporate Counsels.

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Popular Skills for Associate Attorney (Law Firm)


Associate Attorneys at Law Firms report using a diverse set of skills 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 71 percent, 55 percent, and 16 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Negotiation, Legal Research, and Technical Writing. Most people familiar with Litigation Case Management also know Complex Litigation Case Management. 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.


Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $70K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $96K on average — a distinctly larger sum. After 10 to 20 years, professionals can make it pretty big; the median salary sits in the six-figure neighborhood of $114K. Associate Attorneys at Law Firms who have racked up more than two decades of experience report lower incomes overall; the average sum for this crowd comes out to only $108K.

Pay Difference by Location


Washington offers some of the highest pay in the country for Associate Attorneys at Law Firms, 35 percent above the national average. Associate Attorneys at Law Firms will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+31 percent), New York (+25 percent), Houston (+24 percent), and Philadelphia (+16 percent). With compensation 9 percent below the national average, Atlanta is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Workers in Miami and Dallas earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (6 percent less and 5 percent less, respectively).

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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 242 votes.

Gender

Female
50 %
Male
50 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
13%
1-4 years
53%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
1%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 78% dental benefits Dental: 50%
vision benefits Vision: 35% employee benefits None: 20%
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