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Inside Legal Blogs [By The Judge] Hi, folks. With all the recent hype over associate salary hikes at big law firms, one might have begun to feel that the good days had arrived at last. However, Tom Collins’s August 14 post at morepartnerincome, “New Associate Salaries in Midrange Law Firms,” tells a different story. According to a recent report by NALP, Collins explains, not everyone has a reason to be happy. Starting salaries of $135,000 or higher are only granted to a meager 14% of graduates. The truth is that 42% of new law graduates start out with salaries of $55,000 or less.

The August 3 post “Differential Pricing at

Ken Shigley’s August 6 post, “New

when you compare those law firms’ starting

Law Firms & Gender” at Conglomerate

associates’ salaries compared with judicial

salaries with the salaries of judges who are

features Christine Hurt’s opinions on the

salaries,” at the Atlanta Injury Law & Civil

responsible for running the court system.”

recent rise in associate salaries. It begins,

Litigation Blog reveals Shigley’s frustration with the current salary situation. He finds it very difficult to swallow the fact that two Atlanta law firms—Alston & Bird and Hunton & Williams—have raised associate starting salaries to $145,000 (which, by the way, is exactly 10 times the pay he used to draw 30 years ago as a public prosecutor, without adjusting for inflation). He says his heart bleeds for the hardships of associates “anonymously whining that it isn’t enough” and goes on to say, “I don’t care how much money big law firms throw at bright kids with no experience straight out of law school. Neither do I care how much the Atlanta Falcons pay Michael Vick. The real scandal is

“Generally, salaries were hiked in response to lateral movement among attorneys and low morale because of higher hours worked. The true reasons for associate dissatisfaction (lack of job security, unpredictability of schedule, tremendous hours, intense pressure from partners and clients) were never addressed because they were seemingly unaddressable given the law firm business model. But some money was thrown at the problem, which in most cases increased the amount each month that was swept into a mutual fund because no one had time to take a vacation or spend more money anyway.”


Shigley does have a point, but as “Will” says in a comment below the post, “Great post. Sad thing was the whining in the link. The only thing of importance was how much each firm was paying, what other markets paid, and whether the scale of raises was sufficient. Not a single mention of ‘great place to work,’ ‘good clients,’ or anything remotely related to actual practice of law.” See you next week, folks. Take care.

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