Paul L. Caron

Friday, December 1, 2023

BigLaw Associate Compensation Soars To $240k for 1st Years, $550k For 8th Years

Here is the latest associate compensation at Cravath and at least 27 other law firms:

Year Salary Bonus Total
1st 225,000 15,000 240,000
2nd 235,000 20,000 255,000
3rd 260,000 30,000 290,000
4th 310,000 57,500 367,500
5th 365,000 75,000 440,000
6th 390,000 90,000 480,000
7th 420,000 105,000 525,000
8th 435,000 115,000 550,000

According to and Above the Law, Akin Gump, Baker Botts, Baker McKenzie, Cleary Gottlieb, Covington & Burling, Davis Polk, Debevoise, Dechert, Fried Frank, Gibson Dunn, Hogan Lovells, Holwell Shuster, Kirkland, Mayer Brown, McDermott, Will & Emery, Norton Rose Fulbright, O’Melveny, Paul Hastings, Paul Weiss, Proskauer, Simpson Thacher, Skadden, Sidley Austin, Wachtell, Vinson & Elkins, Willkie Farr, and Yetter Coleman have matched Cravath.

Bloomberg Law, Cravath Salary Raises Pressure Rivals Who Can’t Afford Match:

Cravath Swaine & Moore’s move to raise associate salaries beyond the scale set by its rival Milbank pressures less-profitable firms to ponder pay bumps they can’t afford.

While firms in the top tiers of revenue and profitability are likely to follow Cravath’s lead—and several already have—others in the industry are ill-positioned to do so, said Michelle Fivel, a legal recruiter at Hatch Henderson Fivel. “This could be the year” the pool of firms following Cravath shrinks, she said.

The prospect of Cravath-type raises will “stress a lot of firms,” said Peter Zeughauser, a law firm management consultant at the Zeughauser Group. Some will avoid such raises and suffer the fall-out of “more poaching” from firms that can pay top compensation, he said.

ABA Journal, Associate Pay Hikes Gather Steam After Cravath Announcement; Which Law Firms Have Matched?

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