Silicon Valley Law Firms Hire More Associates and Hike Their Salaries

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Things are looking up for associates at Silicon Valley law firms.

Salaries are increasing and firms are hiring more associates, the Recorder reports. The market is booming, particularly for midlevel associates in corporate departments, because of an increase in mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings, recruiters tell the publication. The market is also good for lawyers in litigation, licensing and patent prosecution.

Two law firms—Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Cooley—have raised salaries to match levels before the recession, the story says. Meanwhile, Cooley has hired 16 associates, including both first-year associates and laterals, at its Palo Alto office since January. The law firm is still searching for three more lateral hires.

For a fourth-year associate, the pay hike will mean base pay of $210,000, up from $185,000 at both law firms, the Recorder says. The new base pay scale at Wilson Sonsini ranges from $160,000 for first years to $265,000 for seventh-year associates in New York, California and Washington, D.C., Above the Law reports.

In-house legal departments in the Silicon Valley are also hiring. A recruiter form The Dubin Group told the Recorder that he is helping a Fortune 50 company hire 10 licensing and patent litigation lawyers.

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