Some interesting statistics:
"The prognosis also is bleak for new attorneys in smaller firms, who typically earn much less than those at large firms. The median salary for first-year associates in firms with 26 to 50 attorneys was $65,000 in 2004, just 44 percent more than the median salary at those firms in 1990, which was $45,000. Beginning lawyers at law firms with two to 10 lawyers earned $48,000 in 2004, compared with $30,000 in 1990."
http://www.law.com/jsp/law/careercenter ... 8701909390
This is interesting because firms in the 26-50 attorney range are struggling these days. Midsized law is dying.
"Most Law Graduates Disappointed: Few Jobs, Low Salaries, High Stress"
http://www.lawstudent.tv/2007/11/23/mos ... gh-stress/
"The numbers are interesting. In 2006, the average starting salary for an attorney at a small firm (2-10 attorneys) was $50,000. "
http://www.uslaw.com/library/Law_Studen ... item=34192
"As the graph indicates, salaries in the $40,000 - $60,000 range collectively accounted for 42% of salaries."
"Clearly, then the average salary of a First Year Associate is closer to $60,000. Although law students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their classes may be lucky enough to land jobs in top-tier firms making upwards of $120k, those in mid-size firms usually earn $55-80k, while small-firm and government jobs usually pay between $40-60k."
It provides a link to a graph that says the media starting salary for attorneys with 1 year of experience is $57K.