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Law School Graduates & Associates

Salary & Benefits

When an associate joins Honigman, we anticipate a long-term relationship. Our generous compensation packages start on day one. Honigman starting associate salary is $150,000. Following the first full calendar year of employment, each associate will be eligible for a performance-based bonus. Our attorneys generally receive compensation that exceeds compensation of most of their colleagues at comparable firms. Compensation is based primarily on individual performance in a merit system, rather than on seniority.

Last year, actual compensation (including salary, regular bonuses and credit for generation of new legal business) was:

2016 Starting salary: $125,000*  
First full calendar year:   Median $150,000 High $160,000
Second full calendar year: Median $165,000  High $180,000
Third full calendar year:  Median $175,000    High $205,000   
Fourth full calendar year:   Median $200,000    High $250,000


*2017 starting salary increased to $150,000.

Honigman provides compensation figures only for associates in their first through fourth full years because most of our associates are elected to partnership at the end of their fourth full year with the firm.

We offer many benefits, including comprehensive medical coverage and dental care programs, life and disability insurance, open vacation, a 401(k) plan and paid parking.

Honigman offers 18 weeks paid maternity leave or six weeks of paid paternity leave after 12 months with the firm. (Nine weeks paid maternity leave and three weeks paid paternity leave is offered during the first 12 months.) We also pay reasonable moving expenses for attorneys joining the firm from out-of-state. The firm pays the fees for the bar examination and bar review courses for each new associate joining us directly from law school.

In 2017, Honigman introduced its WorkStyle Support Program, which provides up to $2,000 annually for associates and non-percentage partners to outfit a home office and purchase smart phones, iPads or other portable devices. The firm appreciates that the pace of business is more demanding than ever and it isn’t always easy to meet those demands. Sometimes it requires long hours, working from home and working on-the-go. The goal of this program is to make delivering excellent client service as easy as possible for our attorneys. As such, this support is designed to give attorneys the tools and amenities they need to make working those hours as effective and efficient as possible.

Honigman provides a unique home loan program for new associates and non-percentage partners interested in buying or renovating a home. This interest-free home loan program underscores the unique professional and personal relationships that exist within the firm as well as the firm's commitment to long-term relationships with its attorneys. An eligible associate or non-percentage partner may borrow from the firm, on an interest-free basis, the necessary down payment (up to $50,000) for the purchase or improvement of a home. Repayment of the loan begins in installments over a period of years only after the associate has become a non-percentage partner in the firm. The program is well received by our attorneys and new interest-free loans are made each year.

We do not have a billable hours requirement for associates and find that our new associates uniformly work hard and are presented with many opportunities to do so.  We do not penalize associates for failing to meet a set (and by definition somewhat arbitrary) billable hour target.  Instead, our compensation committee evaluates each attorney individually taking into account the total number of hours, performance evaluations, and practice group.  We also provide feedback to associates so that they understand on an ongoing basis if they are meeting or exceeding expectations, or if there are areas that need improvement.  This approach seems to work better for our associates and therefore the firm.  It also emphasizes our commitment to providing the significant training (both formal and informal) that is so important to develop fully as a complete professional.

Finally, Honigman offers student loan refinancing and consolidation services.