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)
As Associate Attorneys at Law Firms transition into upper-level roles such as Law Firm Partner, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Law Firm Partners earn $204K on average per year. As Associate Attorneys at Law Firms progress in their field, many go on to become Attorneys. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and median pay for the role is $81K. Another common career choice for Associate Attorneys at Law Firms is to move into a Corporate Counsel role — this promotion usually pays $118K.
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. Lucky workers who know Intellectual Property can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 43 percent above average. Complex Litigation Case Management and Contract Negotiation are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 18 percent and 43 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Litigation Case Management and Negotiation. For most people, competency in Legal Research indicates knowledge of Technical Writing and Complex Litigation Case Management. A tool kit that includes Litigation Case Management also typically contains 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.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $73K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $98K. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $106K. Seasoned veterans with 20 years under their belts enjoy a median income of $122K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Associate Attorneys at Law Firms, heading east means bigger paychecks — those in Washington, Boston, and New York earn more on average than Associate Attorneys at Law Firms in the rest of the country. Falling short of the national average by 16 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Atlanta. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Miami (14 percent lower) and Los Angeles (1 percent lower).