Oregon State Bar Bulletin — OCTOBER 2003


Entry-Level Salaries Remain Stable
The median salary for first-year associates ranged from $59,500 in firms of 2-25 attorneys to $113,000 in firms of 500 attorneys or more, with a first-year median for all participating firms of $93,190, according to a new survey.

The finding is part of the ninth annual comprehensive survey of associate compensation by NALP, the National Association of Legal Professionals. A total of 578 offices provided salary information, 25 percent representing firms of 50 or fewer attorneys and 25 percent representing firms of more than 500 attorneys.

A comparison with figures from 2002, 2001 and 2000 reveals that first-year salaries have remained stable in firms of 251 or more attorneys during this period, with a median of about $110,000. This is in sharp contrast to a 30 percent increase in the median, from 1999 to 2000.

As expected, each year of associate experience brings several thousand dollars in increased compensation: median salaries for eighth-year associates ranged from $106,000 in small firms to $165,000 in the largest firms, with a median for all participating firms of $124,900.

The survey data also suggests that intellectual property attorneys command a $20,000-$30,000 higher salary at the junior level, with the difference increasing to $65,000 to $70,000 among senior (seventh- and eighth-year) associates.

Additional findings show that salaries for staff attorneys are typically $93,000 per year, while law clerks average $30 per hour.

For more information, see the NALP website, http://www.nalp.org/press/asr03.htm

Online Quiz may aid communications
Lawyers seeking to persuade more effectively now have a new free resource available online. It comes from Animators at Law, a national attorney-owned and operated litigation consulting firm offering trial exhibits, jury research and trial technology services.

The 10-minute quiz is designed to accurately assess a person’s communication style. The quiz applies the principles of a field of psychology known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), which teaches that everyone has a dominant learning style that is either visual (learning by seeing), auditory (learning by hearing) or kinesthetic (learning by experiencing). Generally, people tend to learn very well through one style of communication, satisfactorily in a second and poorly in a third.

Experts believe that people tend to communicate the same way that they prefer to learn. That is, if a person prefers to learn by looking at charts and graphs, that same person will tend to try to communicate or teach with these types of visual tools.

Experts say there is a disconnect between the styles lawyers speak and others listen. For example, only a small percentage (roughly 20 percent) of the general public prefers to learn through listening, while most lawyers prefer speech-only (auditory) communications. In a jury trial, this paradox results in a situation in which a jury would prefer to learn visually or experientially, but most lawyers will communicate through their dominant style: they say it.

The quiz can help determine which style you have, and how it compares to the general population. Check it out at www.animators.com/aal

West releases ORS Annotated
Legal practitioners in Oregon have a new source for explanations of state codes: West’s Oregon Revised Statutes Annotated, a comprehensive research tool for Oregon statutes, fortified with annotations and editorial enhancements.

The resource offers up-to-date text of Oregon’s statutes, session laws, court orders and rules, as well as finding aids that help the user navigate through the code and interpretive case law more efficiently.

For more information, contact West at (800) 344-5009.

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Perkins Coie’s Portland office has moved to one of the city’s trendiest addresses: The Brewery Blocks in the Pearl District. The new office space has state-of-the-art technology and design features to help the firm serve its clients more effectively and efficiently. Steve Hedberg, Portland office managing partner says the move 'will give the firm space to grow in a dynamic part of the city.'