Bloomberg Law
Feb. 13, 2020, 9:50 AM

Big Law’s Associate Pay Scale Stagnated as Partner Profit Soared

Roy Strom
Roy Strom
Reporter

Welcome back to the Big Law Business column on the changing legal marketplace written by me, Roy Strom. This week, we look at historical Big Law associate salary data and ask what makes a compensation system seem fair for young lawyers and partners.

Every time the Big Law associate pay scale gets bumped up, the question gets asked: Are these fresh-faced lawyers overpaid?

After raises in 2016 and 2018, first-year lawyers at most of the nation’s largest, most prestigious firms now make $190,000 a year. Then they get bonuses worth around $15,000.

Yes, it’s a lot of money. So ...

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