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Law Annual survey puts local 1st year associates at $125,000



Baker & McKenzie Honored By Corporate Board Magazine

San Diego is among the cities where the median income for first-year associates at large law firms is $125,000.

According to a survey released by Washington, D.C.-based the National Association for Law Placement, the median salary for first-year associates in all firms with more than 251 attorneys is the highest in the West, at $125,000. That median range was reported in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco and San Jose, in the West, and New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

That’s compared to a median salary ranging from $80,000 to $82,000 in places like Detroit, Hartford, Conn., and Tampa, Fla.

More than 650 law offices, large and small, from across the country participated in NALP’s seventh annual survey on employee compensation. About a quarter of the responses were from firms of 50 of fewer attorneys, and a similar percentage were from firms with more than 500 attorneys.

The median salary for first-year associates ranged from $60,000 in firms of two to 25 attorneys to $115,000 in firms with more than 500 attorneys. The first-year median overall was $95,000, according to the NALP.

Compared to last year, first-year salaries were said to have remained stable in firms of 251 attorneys or more.

According to the association, compensation continues to increase with more experience. For example, median salaries for eighth-year associates ranged from $90,000 in small firms to $175,000 in the largest firms.

Additional findings from the survey can be found at (www.nalp.org).

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Among The Best:

The national law firm of Baker & McKenzie, which has a local office in Downtown, was recently selected as one of the top 10 corporate law firms by the corporate directors and editors of Corporate Board Member magazine.

The magazine asked 32,500 members of corporate boards to whom they looked for corporate legal needs when major issues are involved. The top 20 firms receiving the most votes were published in the magazine’s August issue.

CIO magazine named the national firm of Foley & Lardner, which also has an office in San Diego, to its 2001 CIO-100, which honors organizations around the world that excel in positive business performances through their business practices and products.

The award names Foley & Lardner CIO Douglas Caddell; chairman and CEO Michael Grebe; and COO Darrell Ohlhauser as honorees.

“Foley & Lardner has a specific strategy aimed at investing in technology in order to make us better able to serve our clients worldwide,” Grebe said. “This award is confirmation that our investment is a sound one.”

The law firm was one of two law firms selected for the honor.


Now At National:

Patricia Kelley, a graduate of the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University, was recently named special assistant to the president for legal, legislative and strategic initiatives for National University.

Kelley previously worked as legal counsel to Scripps Health. She has also worked for the law firms of Kimball, Tirey & St. John in San Diego and Lambert & Rogers in El Cajon.

The deadline for the next Law Column is Thursday, Sept. 13. Send related items to dward@sdbj.com.

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