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Westlaw News

Associate base pay jumps as firms fight for junior talent

A flurry of special bonuses isn’t the only thing boosting law firm associate pay, salaries have risen as well, the National Association for Law Placement said Wednesday.

The median base salary for first-year associates at law firms of all sizes, surveyed by NALP, was $165,000 as of January 1, 2021, 6.5% higher than in 2019. The most common starting salary for first-years was $190,000, with more than half of firms with over 700 lawyers offering that as their base first-year salary in 2021, the survey found. Median pay was lowest for first-years at firms with 50 or fewer lawyer, clocking in at $85,000, according to NALP.

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