“At his best, man is noblest of all animals, separate from law and justice, he is the worst” (Aristotle). The United States of America is one of the leading countries in Top Law Firms. You can find from small “boutique law firms” with few employees but highly specialized, to the “Big Law” with more than 1,000 lawyers and a lot of supporting personnel to guaranty their clients the best legal advice service available. These law firms are able to bill their clients up to 750 USD/hour or even more. And of course this high tariff has a reflect in their personnel salaries. Responsibility it´s also very high: trademarks, merges and acquisitions, litigation & dispute, etc. Highly professional, motivated, and well paid personnel are required at these firms. They look for the best graduates and offer them very interesting career plans.
Law firms are typically organized around partners, who are joint owners and business directors of the legal operation; associates, who are employees of the firm with the prospect of becoming partners; and a variety of staff employees, providing paralegal, clerical, and other support services. An associate may have to wait as long as 11 years before the decision is made as to whether the associate “makes partner.”
Talking about salaries, In 2016, New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore raised its first-year associate salary to $180,000. Many other high-end New York-based and large national law firms soon followed.
Some of the top ranked law firms in USA are: Debevoise & Plimpton, Kirkland & Ellis, Simpson Thacher & Barlett, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garris, etc.
In addition to Law Firms, law graduates or undergraduates are also required at consultancy firms like Deloitte or PWC, and legal departments of industrial, engineering, medical, financial or retail companies.
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