ruleser wrote:I find it amazing that firms ever considered people with no WE worth 160K - it was just part of a bubbled-era I guess. I could see the value of a top law student starting somewhere 70-90ish max, at a very big firm that thinks they'll stay a while. Someone with signficant WE, maybe 100Kish. But for the most part I'd imagine expect what you would from any career, starting not so high, but having significant ops as you move up - IF you are any good. In my career, I started with what I thought was great money in an entry position at about 30K (little less.) That didn't mean I'd earn 30K for the next ten years, or even five. The bumps come, slowly at first, then less slowly, then you get in a position where you can push/bargain a bit. It took all of about 2 years to increase my salary about 80%. Another 2 1/2 years to increase it another 50-60%ish. Then 4 years to bump another 3040% ish. All of the bumps came as a result of me being successful and having ops come up to bargain from. Long and short, about 1 decade to more than triple my starting salary.
This is interesting that you brought up the importance of WE. I had a lunch a couple days ago with a big law partner who helps a lot with the hiring at his firm (he's a partner at one of the 7 Canadian national firms) and he said that he has been seeing a trend in applicants who are applying with no w/e, no experience in a big firm, nothing. and expect to get hired because their grades are good. He likes to see strong grades, but in his eyes a A+ applicant with no previous work experience will not be as successful as a B+ applicant with solid work experience at a big firm. Hiring is a little different in Canada, in that the school you attend is not as important, it barely registers with him. The two things he looks for most is work experience and grades. People without work experience have to work MUCH harder to get past the screening interview than their peers who have serious W/E, and some of their resumes go straight to the recycling even though they are in the top 20%. He told me not to go to law school until I had done something useful. I am going to work at Deloitte, and he said that if I get my CPA with a few years at Deloitte, go to law school, get a B+ average, the big law firms will be drooling over me. Of course, this is Canada and our legal market isn't in tatters so take it for what it's worth.
I sometimes wonder about the advice that is doled out on here that good grades = good job and that firms don't care about a lack of previous work experience. I would think it would raise some eyebrows.