In our tour of the nation’s secondary (and we don’t mean that in a bad way) legal markets, we’ve previously hit Denver, Hartford, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Now we return to the East Coast, with a shout-out to our home state: New Jersey!
From the New Jersey Law Journal:
New Jersey’s large firms are hiring larger classes of new associates and boosting first-year salaries by more than 10 percent, a Law Journal survey finds.
Salaries this fall at a sampling of 21 firms will range from $95,000 to $130,000 and hires are up 19 percent, to 157 from 131 last year. The largest New Jersey-based firms will pay $120,000 to $125,000.
Firms interviewed say their hands were forced by a wave of increases by New York firms that began Jan. 22 when Simpson Thacher & Bartlett pushed its starting salary to $160,000. Since then, other firms in New York and Philadelphia have elbowed up to $145,000 or higher.
There are many advantages to practicing law in New Jersey. Salaries are still relatively high, but billable hours (and taxes) are lower than in New York. At the same time, you’re very close to New York and Philadelphia, and all the great things — art and culture, restaurants, entertainment — that those cities have to offer.
But still, there is a sizable difference between $125,000, the standard at the biggest Garden State firms, and the $160,000 you can get on the other side of the river. And some say that the advantages that NJ firms enjoy over NYC firms, in terms of lifestyle and hours, aren’t as big as they used to be.
Please discuss these and other NJ-related associate compensation matters, in the comments. Thanks.
N.J. Firms Hike First-Year Pay, Bulk Up on New Hires [New Jersey Law Journal]
Related: Open threads focused on Denver, Hartford, Philadelphia, Seattle, Phoenix, Atlanta.