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      June 13, 2018

      Update June 18, 2018 - Cravath, who has traditionally been the first mover who sets the market, has now raised the bar for 2018 associate raises. They have announced a new pay scale that matches Milbank for junior associates and exceeds it by $5,000 for midlevel associates and by $10,000 for senio...

  • 2018 Associate Raises

    List of firms that have raised associate salaries in 2018

    Update June 18, 2018Cravath, who has traditionally been the first mover who sets the market, has now raised the bar for 2018 associate raises. They have announced a new pay scale that matches Milbank for junior associates and exceeds it by $5,000 for midlevel associates and by $10,000 for senior associates.

    Their new salary scale is:

    1st year =  $190,000
    2nd year = $200,000
    3rd year = $220,000
    4th year = $255,000
    5th year = $280,000
    6th year = $305,000
    7th year = $325,000
    8th year = $340,000

    They will also pay associates a special mid year bonus on June 29th:

    1st year =  $5,000
    2nd year = $7,500
    3rd year = $10,000
    4th year = $15,000
    5th year = $20,000
    6th year = $25,000
    7th year = $25,000
    8th year = $25,000

    This now sets the bar for 2018 associate raises for other big firms to match. Some firm like Greenberg Traurig have already announced that they will not match the 2018 associate raises.

    Previously on June 4th 2018 –

    On the heels of the associate salary raise announced in 2016 that took 1st years from $160K to $180K, BigLaw is again raising associate salaries for all US Associates, this time from $180K to $190K. The new salary scale after the 2018 associate salary raises is:

    1st year = $190,000
    2nd year = $200,000
    3rd year = $220,000
    4th year = $250,000
    5th year = $275,000
    6th year = $295,000
    7th year = $315,000
    8th year = $330,000

    Cravath who has historically been the first mover did not lead the charge this time. In a memo to associates yesterday, Milbank was the first to announce raises. They were followed today by Winston Strawn, Proskauer and Hueston Hennigan. More firms will announce raises today and I expect most of the leading firms in the AmLaw 100 will raise associate salaries before July 1.

    For a quick refresher, most firms (aside for some regional differences) in the US were paying first year associates $70,000 in 1993. In 1997 first years were paid $83,000 and in 2000 salaries went up to $125,000. In 2006 there was a raise to $145,000 and in 2007, buoyed by a robust economy, first year associate salaries went up to $160,000. In 2016 with the economy having recovered, first year associate salaries were raised to $180,000.

    Adjusted for inflation, a $190K salary in 2018 is equivalent to $130K in 2000. So $190K is probably correct based on historical data. Here is a list of firms that have announced with a hyperlink to the Above The Law post with details. We’ll keep adding to the list as more firms announce. (2017 AmLaw 100 Ranking)

    Milbank (#12)

    Winston Strawn (#33)

    Proskauer (#26)

    Jones Day (#73)

    Hueston Hennigen (Litigation Boutique)

    Simpson Thacher (#9)

    Cravath (#6)

    Selendy Gay (Litigation Boutique)

    Debevoise (#20)

    Paul Weiss (#4)

    Sullivan & Cromwell (#5)

    Quinn Emanuel  (#2)

    Willkie Farr (#16)

    Davis Polk (#7)

    Weil Gotshal (#10)

    Cleary (#16)

    Skadden (#11)

    Kirkland (#3)

    Clifford Chance

    Ropes & Gray (#29)

    Goodwin Proctor (#35)

    Cahill Gordon & Reindel (#8)

    Freshfields

    Sidley (#30)

    Morgan Lewis (#55)

    Wilson Sonsini (#32)

    Keker (Boutique)

    Greenberg Gross (Litigation Boutique)

    Gunderson Dettmer

    White & Case (#30)

    Fried Frank (#18)

    Vinson & Elkins (#27)

    Kramer Levin (#97)