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Meet The Law Firm Paying First-Years $200K

Miniature graduation cap with Law School text, on assorted cash

January 8, 2017

Legal industry watchers usually look to New York to monitor average starting wages for first-year lawyers. For the last decade, entry-level associates could look forward to earning between $145,000 and $160,000 per year, a wage range that stayed mostly stagnant. But, Above the Law notes, this past summer Cravath Swaine & Moore boosted their associates’ base starting salaries to between $160,000 and $180,000 and many other firms followed suit. But, far from New York, a litigation boutique in California is leaving that pay range in the dust. Dovel & Luner – a firm of nine lawyers, including three associates – is paying its first year lawyers $200,000. The boutique litigation firm specializes in plaintiff-side patent litigation on a contingency fee basis, and ATL reports that its employee bio page pops with top law schools, elite clerkships, and past work for leading BigLaw firms.

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