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O’Melveny, Pillsbury Match New Big Law Associate Salary Scale

June 15, 2021, 8:28 PM

O’Melveny & Myers and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman are increasing salaries for associates, matching a new scale set by Davis Polk & Wardwell.

The firms said Tuesday that they will match the new associate salary scale announced by Davis Polk & Wardwell June 11. The scale ranges from $202,500 for the class of 2021 and up to $365,000 for the most senior associates.

Davis Polk’s salary bump came a day after Milbank kicked off the salary race in Big Law, announcing it would be bumping pay for its first-year associates to $200,000, up from $190,000, and $355,000 for its most senior associates, up from $340,000.

O’Melveny’s salary changes will apply to all associates and counsel in its U.S. offices, while Pillsbury’s changes will apply to its U.S. associate, counsel, and special counsel. Both will go into effect on July 1.

The announcements by Milbank and O’Melveny come amid a hyper-competitive market for associate talent among Big Law firms that has seen firms resort to special bonuses, as well as signing and retention bonuses, in order to attract and retain top associate talent.

Several Big Law firms have announced changes to their associate compensation in recent days. Vinson & Elkins, Boies Schiller & Flexner, Gunderson Dettmer, McDermott Will & Emery, Baker McKenzie, Dechert, Proskauer Rose, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, and Lowenstein Sandler have all announced that they would match the new scale set by Davis Polk.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, and Winston & Strawn, said they would match Milbank’s salary scale since it was announced last week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Chris Opfer at