Big N.Y. Firms Freeze Pay for Midlevel Associates, Pay Fifth-Years $230K
Posted Aug 5, 2008 7:02 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Large New York law firms froze pay for midlevel associates this year, while big firms in several other cities matched New York paychecks by giving their midlevels raises of about 10 percent.
The median 2008 pay in New York is $185,000 for third-years, $210,000 for fourth-years, and $230,000 for fifth-years, the American Lawyer (reg. req.) reports. The publication surveyed more than 7,200 associates at 180 firms. The median pay was the same in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Large New York firms still pay the highest bonuses, however, the publication says. Figures on year-end bonuses there show third-years got a median of $55,000, fourth-years got $65,000, and fifth-years $80,000.
Associates at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz did much better. Bonuses there ranged from $175,000 for third-year associates to $215,000 to fifth-years. Meanwhile in Houston, the median bonus ranged from only $5,000 for third-years to $27,500 for fifth-years.
Meanwhile, most midlevels still owe money on their student loans, and for some the amount is in the six figures.
A chart shows median salaries and bonuses by city and law firm.