The fallout from the recent hike in associate pay announced by law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges LLP has begun to be felt, but mainly in New York.


The firm, which specializes in intellectual property cases, recently bumped the pay rate for first-year associates to $160,000 a year in an effort to keep up with New York-based Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP. Quinn made the raise effective nationwide, giving it a $15,000 lead on L.A.'s top-paying firms.


Afterwards, L.A.-based Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP and Fish & Richardson LLP have said they also will offer first-year Los Angeles associates $160,000.


However, several large firms based in L.A. have set the higher rates for first-year associates in New York, but not here. Latham & Watkins LLP and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP both matched $160,000 in the Big Apple, but clung to the $145,000 starting pay in Los Angeles and in other cities. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Heller Ehrman LLP and Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP also announced the same increase for New York and Orrick extended it to their Washington, D.C., offices.


Two large L.A. firms, O'Melveny & Myers LLP and Morrison & Foerster LLP, have only recently caught up with Quinn's pay raise last year, to the $145,000 level for first-year associates.

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