By Gina Passarella
Of the Legal Staff
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has edged up the starting salaries for its Pennsylvania first-year associates.
The firm had paid $100,000 in Pittsburgh and $110,000 in Philadelphia last year. It will increase those figures to $105,000 and $112,500, respectively, for 2011. The firm has seven first-year associates this year, with three in the firm's Pennsylvania offices. Salaries are handled on a case-by-case basis in other markets, the firm said.
The increases don't bring Buchanan Ingersoll back to its historic high levels of between $120,000 and $135,000 across its Pennsylvania locations in 2008.
Buchanan Ingersoll isn't the only firm to increase starting salaries this year. Four other Pennsylvania firms have done the same.
Blank Rome, Reed Smith, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young and Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis all increased starting salaries.
Blank Rome paid first-years in Pennsylvania $130,000 in 2010 and will pay them $140,000 in 2011. The firm has the same number of associates starting in the state this year as it did last year - six.
Reed Smith paid first-year associates $110,000 in Pittsburgh in 2010 and $117,500 in Philadelphia. This year, the firm will pay Pittsburgh first-years $125,000 and Philadelphia first-years $130,000. The associates will not start until January 2012. The firm will have 25 first-year associates across all of its offices, with 11 based in Pennsylvania. That is up from the eight first-years Reed Smith had in the state in 2010.
Schnader Harrison also pays different salaries for its Pittsburgh and Philadelphia locations, and both offices will increase starting pay in 2011. The firm paid $110,000 in Philadelphia and $95,000 in Pittsburgh last year. It will pay first-year associates $120,000 in Philadelphia and $105,000 in Pittsburgh in 2011. The firm's three first-year associates for 2011 are all based in Pennsylvania.
Stradley Ronon more than doubled its first-year class in Pennsylvania this year from three in 2010 to seven in 2011. That group is also going to see a salary bump from $115,000 to $125,000.
The increases at the four firms still have them below the Pennsylvania market leaders of Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Dechert and Duane Morris, which all pay first-year associates $145,000. Cozen O'Connor pays its first-year associates $135,000.
Of the four firms that are increasing associate salaries this year, only Blank Rome is bumping up its Pennsylvania pay higher than it has ever paid associates in the state. At $140,000, the firm is paying more than its peak of $135,000 in Philadelphia between 2006 and 2008.
Stradley Ronon's 2012 pay of $125,000 matches its 2006 first-year salary, but is lower than the $135,000 the firm paid in 2007 and 2008.
Reed Smith's range of $125,000 to $130,000 across the state for 2012 comes in lower than the $135,000 to $145,000 the firm paid at its peak in Pennsylvania in 2008.
Schnader Harrison's $120,000 in Philadelphia for 2011 is lower than the $135,000 the firm paid in 2007 and 2008.