I summered at a law firm of about 30 lawyers specializing in defense litigation in '08. Each summer they hire 3 2Ls, but offer no assurances that an offer will be extended for full-time positions. As luck would have it, I was the only summer offered a position. To my surprise, the starting salary was $110k plus bonus. This is a rare case -- the firm is boutique style, specializes is particular areas, and rarely hires kids straight out of school. Most of the associates are lateral hires from biglaw, former AUSAs, or former ADAs. I guess my point is one several others have made -- unless you want biglaw or a smaller firm gig paying around $60k a year, it's very difficult to find decent paying small firm jobs. So... study up so you'll have as many options as possible.