What is the going salary for a 6 yr associate in a moderate suburban community??

 
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Answer
Jeannette Darrow
Santa Ana, California
Commercial Litigation
877.838.5521

About
Ms. Darrow represents businesses of all sizes in contract, construction, toxic tort, real estate, and product liability litigation, and in premises liability matters.

The answer really depends on the practice area, what state you are in, and the size of the law firm.  Salaries right now are all over the board.  I've seen job ads offering $15 an hour for attorneys with 1-2 years of experience (!!), and anywhere from $35,000 and up regardless of experience.

In Southern California, where there are tons of attorneys, and in this economy, where jobs are scarce and pay has been on the decline, I'd say $75,000 is probably about right... but that's just a wild guess.  I base that on a starting salary of about $50,000 (which could be wrong), and $5,000 pay increases with each year of practice. 

Payscale.com says $51,753 - $145,846 for 5-9 years of experience without regard to state.  You can check out that site, which allows you to do different comparisons based on state, city, company size, etc.

05/17/2012