$200 K Pay for Big-Firm Midlevel Associates
Third-year associates working at the 200 largest law firms take home median pay of $200,000, but a lot of them need the cash to help pay off large student loans.
American Lawyer reports that 81 percent of midlevel associates at Am Law 200 firms owe money for student loans, and 60 percent of them owe at least $50,000.
Total median compensation was $222,000 for fourth-year associates and $245,000 for fifth years. The figures include bonuses.
The legal magazine’s breakdown of median salaries (sub. req.) by city shows New York firms pay the most. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz pays its third-years the most: $190,000 in salaries and $190,000 in median bonuses.
“Of course, in New York, a city where a 400-square-foot studio can sell for a half-million bucks, it’s hard to argue that associates are actually getting a better deal than their counterparts in other parts of the country,” the magazine writes. “Using a simple cost-of-living calculation, the median pay for a third-year in Manhattan—$210,000—goes about as far as $99,000 does in Atlanta.”