And it is: Big firm starting salaries for law firms with 700+ attorneys dropped from $160,000 to $145,000.
In a NationalJurist.com article, James Leipold, NALP executive director says:
The legal industry is going through exactly what so many other industries have gone through. Globalization and advances in technology are eroding jobs. Some jobs have gone over seas; some are better done by software and computers. Even if the market picks up, that’s still not necessarily going to increase head count [at law firms].
Here are some more noteworthy stats from the article:
- In 2009, 65% of law firms with 700+ attorneys reported [starting] salaries of $160,000. This year, that number is down to 46%.
- In 2009, 90% of LA and Washington, D.C. law firms with 700+ attorneys reported $160,000 salaries. This year, only two-thirds of that same population reported as such.
- In 2007, 4,745 associates were hired at law firms with 500+ attorneys. In 2011, that number dropped by 40% to 2,856 associates.
But there’s also good news! The median entry-level salary jumped up $10,000 from $115,000 to $125,000 this year. The NALP attributes that increase to an increase in average starting salaries from $125,000 to $145,000 at law firms with 251-700 attorneys.
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