We have close to perfect information about Biglaw firm salaries, at least at the junior levels. There are probably very few ATL readers unfamiliar with the graph depicting the bimodal distribution of lawyer starting salaries, with its spread of salaries on the left centered at $50,000 and declining close to zero at around $100,000. And then there’s that sharply pointed other peak on the right, representing the “weird cultural collusion” among the top law firms that fixes first-year associates at $160,000.
Both law students looking to join a small firm as well as practicing attorneys looking to benchmark their own compensation deserve more transparency in order to make smart career decisions.
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