Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salary

Pay for Associate Attorneys at Law Firms in the United States sits in the ballpark of $74K annually. Total cash incomes of Associate Attorneys at Law Firms run from $46K to $150K, depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $15K, profit sharing that reaches $20K, and some commissions of nearly $27K. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Women make up a slight majority of Associate Attorneys at Law Firms (50 percent) survey respondents. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and around one in five lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by a strong majority and dental coverage is claimed by one-half. The majority of Associate Attorneys at Law Firms claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$45,920 - $144,999
(Median)
$46K
$74K
$140K
MEDIAN: $74,060
10%
50%
90%

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$14.71 - $63.62
(Median)
$15
$30
$64
MEDIAN: $30
10%
50%
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
$45,920 - $144,999  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,392  
Profit Sharing
$1,021 - $19,574  
Commission
$201.34 - $27,404  
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).
)
$46,114 - $150,488  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,404
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
$14.71 - $63.62  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $40.93  
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
$0.00 - $15,392  
   
Commission
$201.34 - $27,404  
Profit Sharing
$1,021 - $19,574  
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).
)
$46,114 - $150,488  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 63
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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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At the upper end, Associate Attorneys at Law Firms who move into a Law Firm Partner role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Law Firm Partners is a much higher $203K per year. Typical career progression for an Associate Attorney at a Law Firm involves becoming an Attorney or a Corporate Counsel, roles that pay $3K more and $40K more on average.

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Popular Skills for Associate Attorney (Law Firm)


Survey results imply that Associate Attorneys at Law Firms put a diverse skill set to use. 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 72 percent, 55 percent, and 15 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Negotiation, Legal Research, and Technical Writing. Those proficient in Legal Research are, more often than not, also skilled in Technical Writing and Complex Litigation Case Management. It is often found that people who know Litigation Case Management are also skilled in 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.


Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $70K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $96K. Between 10 and 20 years, pay surpasses six figures; at this stage, the average professional scores around $115K. People who have worked for 20 years or more actually report earning less than people who are in the middle of their careers; the veterans take home a mere $108K by contrast.

Pay Difference by Location


For Associate Attorneys at Law Firms, Washington provides a pay rate that is 40 percent greater than the national average. Associate Attorneys at Law Firms can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+32 percent), New York (+26 percent), Houston (+25 percent), and Philadelphia (+17 percent). The lowest-paying market is Atlanta, which sits 9 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Miami and Dallas (6 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salaries


Late-Career
up arrow 40%


National Average
$77,000


Skills That Affect Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Salaries

Contract Negotiation
up arrow 72%

Intellectual Property (IP)
up arrow 55%


Litigation Case Management
up arrow 2%

National Average
$77,000

Technical Writing
up arrow 4%


Negotiation
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 300 votes.

Gender

Female
50 %
Male
50 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
12%
1-4 years
54%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
8%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 78% dental benefits Dental: 50%
vision benefits Vision: 34% employee benefits None: 20%
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