Law Firms

Several firms follow Cravath after it beats Milbank on associate pay raises and adds bonuses

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Cravath set a new standard for associate pay on Monday when it announced it was paying salaries ranging from $190,000 to $340,000. Now several other law firms have announced they are matching Cravath’s salaries.

Cravath’s scale beat Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, which announced the prior week it is also paying $190,000 to new associates, but it is topping out associate pay at $330,000. In addition, Cravath beat Milbank when it announced special bonuses ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

Above the Law keeps a running tally of pay announcements here, and also covers them individually. After Cravath’s announcement, these firms announced pay raises in the United States that match Cravath, along with special bonuses up to $25,000:

This is Cravath’s salary structure for associates, including special bonuses:

  • First year: $190,000, with $5,000 special bonus
  • Second year: $200,000, with $7,500 special bonus
  • Third year: $220,000, with $10,000 special bonus
  • Fourth year: $255,000, with $15,000 special bonus
  • Fifth year: $280,000, with $20,000 special bonus
  • Sixth year: $305,000, with $25,000 special bonus
  • Seventh year: $325,000, with $25,000 special bonus
  • Eighth year: $340,000, with $25,000 special bonus

Here is Milbank’s scale:

  • First year: $190,000
  • Second year: $200,000
  • Third year: $220,000
  • Fourth year: $250,000
  • Fifth year: $275,000
  • Sixth year: $295,000
  • Seventh year: $315,000
  • Eighth year: $330,000

Several firms matched Milbank’s scale last week, including Proskauer Rose (for associates in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C.); Winston & Strawn; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (which is also paying bonuses ranging from $5,000 to $25,000); Jones Day (for new associates; compensation is not lockstep); Irell & Manella; and Selendy & Gay, formed with lawyers from Quinn Emanuel.

Updated on June 15 to add more law firms to the list.

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