There are some very good arguments for becoming a litigation associate, particularly if you're the type of person who loves a good argument. As a litigation associate, you'll get the chance to prepare and argue cases in court. You'll function as an integral part of the legal team. This means you'll support all aspects of litigation.

Some of the tasks you can expect to do in this job include conducting research, drafting and preparing pleadings, collecting evidence, managing discoveries, defending depositions, and managing the client database. You may also coordinate and supervise the work of outside experts.

To excel as a litigation associate, you'll need excellent people skills. You should also be good at analytical and research skills, know how to collect and interpret facts, and have strong writing skills. Working as a litigation associate can be demanding, as it requires long hours of intense research and preparation for court appearances.

Litigation associates are entry-level to mid-level attorneys. Therefore, to get a job as a litigation associate, you'll need to obtain a law degree and pass the state bar examination. Most states also require attorneys to have received their Juris Doctorate degree from a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association.

What Does a Litigation Associate Do

There are certain skills that many litigation associates 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 a Litigation Associate does

How To Become a Litigation Associate

If you're interested in becoming a litigation associate, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 39.9% of litigation associates have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 3.5% of litigation associates have master's degrees. Even though most litigation associates have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Litigation Associate

Litigation Associate Career Paths

Average Salary for a Litigation Associate

Litigation Associates in America make an average salary of $112,116 per year or $54 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $182,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $68,000 per year.
Average Litigation Associate Salary
$112,116 Yearly
$53.90 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Litigation Associate

There are several types of litigation associate, including:

Legal Extern


Let's rip the Band-Aid off, shall we? As a legal extern, you're probably not going to get paid. But what you take away from these opportunities may prove more useful in the longterm. What you'll take away from a legal externship will be experience and academic credit. Which really is priceless, if you ask us.

You'll have experience right off the bat within a legal setting. This definitely will give you an edge against your other colleagues. A legal extern is very similar to an internship, but is usually much shorter. So while you're getting the experience, you don't have to commit to it for as long.

Since being a legal extern won't last very long, it's a good way to see if you even want to work in the legal industry. It'll give you a glimpse into everything you will be doing, like conducting client interviews, making a court appearance, and even some legal research and writing. Just think of it as a very in-depth glimpse into "a day in the life" of a legal profession.

  • Average Salary: $47,238
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Law Clerk


Imagine this. You grab a cup of coffee and head to the court. With enough coffee flowing through your veins, you're now ready to chat with the judge about legal questions, granting orders and even the construction of documents. Who are you? You're a law clerk and this is just the beginning of your day.

The rest of your day may be spent going through complaints, looking at petitions or motions, and even reading through pleadings so you can help develop a case. Then, you need to type up some judicial opinions, decisions, or citations. There's lots of work to do as a law clerk, so you need to be organized so you don't waste a single minute.

As a law clerk, you'll probably spend a lot of time with judges. You're there to provide assistance on legal determinations while also writing up research-based opinions that are relevant to the court. The best part of becoming a law clerk is that you don't have to wait very long to become one. You could be a student by day and a law clerk by night. Unless you have night classes, in which case it might be switched.

  • Average Salary: $55,916
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree



An attorney's job is to be there for people who are down on their luck, legally, of course. They provide legal advice to individuals, businesses and even government agencies (yes, the government can get into trouble too).

While a degree in law may not sound too bad, this profession also requires that you pass the bar exam. Which, if you haven't heard of before, it's pretty difficult to pass. If you're willing to put in the study hours, though, the average attorney makes $122,960 a year. So that's definitely a plus.

  • Average Salary: $109,476
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree

States With The Most Litigation Associate Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active litigation associate jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where litigation associates earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Litigation Associate Jobs By State

Litigation Associate Education

Litigation Associate Majors

55.1 %
4.1 %

Litigation Associate Degrees


55.6 %


39.9 %


3.5 %

Top Colleges for Litigation Associates

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition




8. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




10. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Litigation Associate

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, 28.5% of litigation associates listed litigation on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Litigation Associate Resume templates

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

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Litigation Associate diversity

Litigation Associate Gender Distribution


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

  • Among litigation associates, 47.6% of them are women, while 52.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among litigation associates is White, which makes up 75.2% of all litigation associates.

  • The most common foreign language among litigation associates is Spanish at 41.6%.

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Best States For a Litigation Associate

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a litigation associate. The best states for people in this position are New York, Texas, Virginia, and California. Litigation associates make the most in New York with an average salary of $137,264. Whereas in Texas and Virginia, they would average $118,574 and $118,449, respectively. While litigation associates would only make an average of $116,102 in California, 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 Litigation Associate Jobs: 299
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. District of Columbia

Total Litigation Associate Jobs: 170
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Texas

Total Litigation Associate Jobs: 281
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Litigation Associates

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Top Litigation Associate Employers

Most Common Employers For Litigation Associate

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Sidley Austin$204,666$98.4018
2Perkins Coie$202,410$97.3133
3Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati$199,010$95.6818
4Morgan Lewis$196,768$94.6035
5Greenberg Traurig$194,148$93.3416
7Sullivan & Cromwell$190,755$91.7118
8Ropes & Gray$188,804$90.7722
10Kirkland & Ellis$187,530$90.1618

Litigation Associate Videos