Davis Polk finally announces its associate pay scale; 'this is not a Milbank match'
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Updated: Davis Polk & Wardwell has finally announced its new associate pay scale, and it is more generous than the standard set by Milbank last month, at least for more experienced associates.
“This is not a Milbank match. We repeat, this is not a Milbank match,” Above the Law reports.
The Milbank scale begins at $215,000 for the class of 2021 and tops out at $385,000 for the class of 2014 and beyond. The Davis Polk scale also begins at $215,000, but it beats Milbank beginning with the class of 2018. The most experienced associates at Davis Polk will earn $396,500.
Law.com reports that the move “was somewhat unique in its timing.” It took about a month for Davis Polk to inform associates of its decision. The last few rounds of bonuses or pay increases, on the other hand, were “upped by Davis Polk within a few days,” Law.com reports.
Here is the Davis Polk scale, as reported by Above the Law and Law.com:
• Class of 2021: $215,000 (same as Milbank)
• Class of 2020: $225,000 (same as Milbank)
• Class of 2019: $250,000 (same as Milbank)
• Class of 2018: $293,500 (compared to $285,000 at Milbank)
• Class of 2017: $335,000 (compared to $325,000 at Milbank)
• Class of 2016: $360,500 (compared to $350,000 at Milbank)
• Class of 2015: $381,000 (compared to $370,000 at Milbank)
• Class of 2014 and beyond: $396,500 (compared to $385,000 at Milbank)
The raises are retroactive to Jan. 1 for associates in good standing March 15, according to Law.com.
Many law firms had held back announcements on pay hikes, possibly because they were waiting to see what Davis Polk and Cravath, Swaine & Moore would do. When Milbank announced raises in 2018, Cravath followed with a higher scale. The same thing happened last year when Davis Polk decided to pay more money than Milbank.
• Debevoise & Plimpton (with a higher tier of $406,500 for class of 2013 and beyond)
• Ropes & Gray (matching Debevoise)
Before the Davis Polk announcement, several California law firms had recently announced that they were matching or slightly exceeding the Milbank scale, Law.com previously reported.
Those law firms included Fenwick & West; Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Cooley; and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian.
Above the Law keeps track of law firms that have announced salary increases at its “Salary Wars Scorecard” here.
Updated Feb. 24 at 2:10 p.m. to include law firms that matched Davis Polk & Wardwell.