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First-Year Compensation Increases Announced
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Vinson & Elkins

Summary: The latest round of first-year associate salary increases is continuing with Vinson & Elkins releasing their new compensation rate.

First-year associate salaries are getting prepared for another round of increases. Cravath & Swaine once again was quick to the punch in setting their rates earlier this month, other Big Law firms are now following suit in order to remain competitive. The latest Big Law firm to announce their new first-year compensation is Vinson & Elkins.

  
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The Texas firm who got the ball rolling was Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. They set their first-year associate rate at $190,000 on June 4. That same week, Cravath announced they were matching the starting salary rate set by Milbank but agreeing to a higher pay rate for their mid-level and senior associates.

According to Law.com, Vinson & Elkins increased first-year associate pay to $195,000, including a $5,000 summer bonus, beating Cravath’s starting rate. The Houston-based law firm has 14 offices. Associates were notified of the pay increase Monday afternoon. The new salaries will go into effect July 1 with the summer bonus paid on July 13. Salaries for associates outside the United States has not been determined yet.

Chair Mark Kelly and Managing Partner Scott Wulfe said in the memo Monday that the firm is “committed to recruiting and retaining top legal talent in each of our markets.”

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The law firm was the first big Texas law firm to raise associate compensation back in 2016 when Cravath started the trend of increasing associate salaries after years of no increases. Two years ago, first-year associates received an increase in salary to $180,000.

Vinson & Elkins salary scale:



First year associates – $190,000 plus $5,000 summer bonus

Second year – $200,000 plus $7,500

Third year – $220,000 plus $10,000

Fourth year – $255,000 plus $15,000

Fifth year – $280,000 plus $20,000

Sixth year – $305,000 plus $25,000

Seventh year – $325,000 plus $25,000

Eighth year – $340,000 plus $25,000

Do you think the increase is appropriate based on inflation rates across the country? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about salary increases, read these articles:

Photo: gensler.com



 

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