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The value of entertainment is that it can make education interesting to learn. One, in particular, is the famous legal TV series called Suits where we peek into the glamorous life and hustle livelihood of top notch legal attorneys. If you have watched it, the associate attorney is Mike Ross, a brilliant individual hired to practice law by hardcore macho legal attorney Harvey Spector, known for his/her photographic memory.

An associate attorney's role is in assisting attorneys with case arguments in court, writing briefs, as well as conducting legal research. They are involved in drafting agreements, providing legal counsel services, and handling litigation cases. Besides that, they also manage discovery requests and represent individuals in legal proceedings.

Employers require associate attorneys to have a bachelor's degree in law called Juris Doctor Degree. This role offers a rewarding career helping represent individuals and communities for the greater good. An associate attorney earns, on average, $87 per hour.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an associate attorney. For example, did you know that they make an average of $47.64 an hour? That's $99,101 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 50,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Associate Attorney Do

There are certain skills that many associate attorneys have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills.

Learn more about what an Associate Attorney does

How To Become an Associate Attorney

If you're interested in becoming an associate attorney, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 37.8% of associate attorneys have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.1% of associate attorneys have master's degrees. Even though most associate attorneys have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an associate attorney. When we researched the most common majors for an associate attorney, we found that they most commonly earn doctoral degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on associate attorney resumes include master's degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an associate attorney. In fact, many associate attorney jobs require experience in a role such as law clerk. Meanwhile, many associate attorneys also have previous career experience in roles such as legal extern or internship.

Associate Attorney Career Paths

Average Salary for an Associate Attorney

Associate Attorneys in America make an average salary of $99,101 per year or $48 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $166,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $58,000 per year.
Average Associate Attorney Salary
$99,101 Yearly
$47.64 hourly
$58,000
10 %
$99,000
Median
$166,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Associate Attorney Education

Associate Attorney Majors

58.1 %

Associate Attorney Degrees

Doctorate

57.0 %

Bachelors

37.8 %

Masters

4.1 %

Top Colleges for Associate Attorneys

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

6. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

7. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

8. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,391
Enrollment
8,568

Top Skills For an Associate Attorney

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.5% of associate attorneys listed discovery responses on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Associate Attorney Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Associate Attorney templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Associate Attorney resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Associate Attorney Demographics

Associate Attorney Gender Distribution

Male
Male
57%
Female
Female
43%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among associate attorneys, 42.9% of them are women, while 57.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among associate attorneys is White, which makes up 79.6% of all associate attorneys.

  • The most common foreign language among associate attorneys is Spanish at 47.3%.

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Best States For an Associate Attorney

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an associate attorney. The best states for people in this position are New York, California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Associate attorneys make the most in New York with an average salary of $113,100. Whereas in California and Massachusetts, they would average $107,645 and $100,588, respectively. While associate attorneys would only make an average of $97,789 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Associate Attorney Jobs:
286
Highest 10% Earn:
$184,000
Location Quotient:
2.05 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. District of Columbia

Total Associate Attorney Jobs:
193
Highest 10% Earn:
$180,000
Location Quotient:
10.55 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Associate Attorney Jobs:
99
Highest 10% Earn:
$177,000
Location Quotient:
0.99 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Associate Attorneys

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Top Associate Attorney Employers

Most Common Employers For Associate Attorney

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Cravath$222,146$106.8073
2Simpson Thacher & Bartlett$220,008$105.77257
3Shearman & Sterling$218,211$104.91303
4White & Case$210,333$101.1275
5Paul Hastings$207,986$99.9964
6O'Melveny$206,462$99.2693
7Vinson & Elkins$199,937$96.1273
8Mayer Brown$199,628$95.9779
9Gibson Dunn$198,526$95.45115
10K&L Gates$196,875$94.6568

Associate Attorney Videos

Becoming an Associate Attorney FAQs

How long does it take to become an Associate Attorney?

It takes 4 years of professional experience to become an associate attorney. That is the time it takes to learn specific associate attorney skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a doctorate degree, then it takes 13 to 15 years years to become an associate attorney.

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