Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

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Anonymous User
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Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:30 am

A few days ago, a SmallLaw lawyer emailed me and offered me a summer position at her firm. We played phone tag for a couple days, and then she sent me an email asking what dates I am available, and my pay requirements. I've got no idea what any SmallLaw lawyer makes, much less this one, nor do I have any idea what SmallLaw "summer associates" get, much less ones at this shop. Any suggestions?

rando
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby rando » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:38 am

What market. How small a firm?

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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:45 am

rando wrote:What market. How small a firm?


Boston market (yum), but not in Boston, about 20 minutes outside Boston in a nice area.

2-person firm.

I've heard from non-legal people that it is a really successful practice, fwiw.

Firm says it does health care, business planning, mergers, real estate, and election law. However, The only clients I know of relate to election law. Also, one of the principals formerly practiced health care law at a major Boston firm.

rando
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby rando » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:51 am

It is really hard to say because you basically have zero leverage ITE but i wouldnt ask for more than 1k/wk. I know a few people in atl that got jobs with smaller outfits and got 800-1200 but none as small as two lawyers.
Just try not to offend or look pompous by asking for biglaw rates. Ask them what they have done in the past.

Anonymous User
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:09 am

rando wrote:It is really hard to say because you basically have zero leverage ITE but i wouldnt ask for more than 1k/wk. I know a few people in atl that got jobs with smaller outfits and got 800-1200 but none as small as two lawyers.
Just try not to offend or look pompous by asking for biglaw rates. Ask them what they have done in the past.


Oh yeah, I definitely wasn't thinking BigLaw market pay. I just have no idea if $500/wk (which is approximately equal to the $12/hr that research assistants for professors get at my school) or $1500/wk (which is about half of BigLaw market here) is closer to what these kinds of firms would pay.

rohde88
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby rohde88 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:48 pm

Definitely err toward $500 per week. I work for a solo in Miami, $700 week, but I've worked for a while. You gotta think that if you ask for an amount too high, it could end the opportunity. What are you absolutely not willing to work below? $10/hour?

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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:38 pm

Oh yeah, I definitely wasn't thinking BigLaw market pay. I just have no idea if $500/wk (which is approximately equal to the $12/hr that research assistants for professors get at my school) or $1500/wk (which is about half of BigLaw market here) is closer to what these kinds of firms would pay.


I firmly believe 1k is much too high; I am doing a summer for a much bigger small law firm (one that actually hires associates) in a high cost of living state and I am making around 1k per week.

That being said I'm no expert on salary negotiation, I just thought it was that if you high ball and someone else low balls, the firm would go for the low ball, especially today where there are top 10% kids-on-journals types from good schools who would jump at working for pay for a solo.

ITE, you should feel like a winner for getting paid in a non-RA position so you can get some practical experience (as to purely research from an RA).
Biglaw is out of the picture so you should be taking this job not so much for money but with your eye on learning some actual lit skills so you can be a decent lawyer when you graduate.

rando
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby rando » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:50 pm

It sounds like you already have the offer. So if you say 1k and it is too high, they will tell you so. This isnt a game show. They wont say "sorry but you guessed too high. Next 1l please." The only thing you need to do is avoid offending them and i dont see any waf they will be offwnded by 1k

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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:00 pm

Small law in Ohio here. 2, 3 if you count the boss's wife who has a JD, attorneys. I am getting 15/hour and expected to work ~50 hours a week, so I am looking at ~750/wk. HTH.

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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:06 pm

i have a small law job with a friend of a friend in a market smaller than Boston and I was told the "going rate" is $15-18/hr.

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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:12 pm

I'm pretty familiar with small firms around Boston and $500/wk is kind of the minimum. You may want to see if you can go closer to $700-800, but I wouldn't ask for more than that. It depends on how much you think they want you. Although they probably won't rescind the offer, you want to maintain a good impression.

If you are a killer candidate that they love and you think they make bank, shoot for 700-800 (especially if you come from a high ranked school, did exceptionally well, and aren't a 1L). If not, 500-600 is more reasonable. You could also ask him what he normally pays interns.

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sanpiero
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby sanpiero » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:17 pm

As a PP alluded to, why not start on the high end of a reasonable range ($700-$1200/wk) and work from there. I don't think you are going to offend anyone by doing that, unless you come across as rude, greedy, etc. I'm sure she has a pretty tight range of what she can afford to pay you for the summer. You'll have a much better idea of what that range is once you come with a rate you find reasonable

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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:19 pm

This is the OP here . . .

Thanks for the tips guys, all very helpful. I decided to ask him what he had paid other summer interns in the past, he said he had never had one before but could probably swing $600-750 a week, I said how about $800, he said deal. So I feel pretty lucky, especially since I was jobless a week ago. It's definitely nowhere near BigLaw, but I doubt many of my classmates are making more than $20/hr.

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Boba Fett
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby Boba Fett » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This is the OP here . . .

Thanks for the tips guys, all very helpful. I decided to ask him what he had paid other summer interns in the past, he said he had never had one before but could probably swing $600-750 a week, I said how about $800, he said deal. So I feel pretty lucky, especially since I was jobless a week ago. It's definitely nowhere near BigLaw, but I doubt many of my classmates are making more than $20/hr.


Congratulations! You just landed a job! A paying job! Way to go! Enjoy it!

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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This is the OP here . . .

Thanks for the tips guys, all very helpful. I decided to ask him what he had paid other summer interns in the past, he said he had never had one before but could probably swing $600-750 a week, I said how about $800, he said deal. So I feel pretty lucky, especially since I was jobless a week ago. It's definitely nowhere near BigLaw, but I doubt many of my classmates are making more than $20/hr.

Well played. Congrats

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FunkyJD
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby FunkyJD » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:10 am

Bookmarked for future negotiation reference. Good thread.

green_esqs_n_ham
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby green_esqs_n_ham » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:32 am

I've worked in a small law firm in a similar situation for years and think you got a fair, probably better than average, result.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:This is the OP here . . .

Thanks for the tips guys, all very helpful. I decided to ask him what he had paid other summer interns in the past, he said he had never had one before but could probably swing $600-750 a week, I said how about $800, he said deal. So I feel pretty lucky, especially since I was jobless a week ago. It's definitely nowhere near BigLaw, but I doubt many of my classmates are making more than $20/hr.


nice work!

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SteelReserve
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby SteelReserve » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:43 pm

Nice work. Again, that money is fine and you will enjoy it, but the main purpose here is to get some real life lawyering experience eg with motion practice, jurisdiction, procedure, etc, all the stuff you won't get in law school or in a bigfirm SA.

The goal now is to learn as much as you can from this practitioner so that you will be in good shape for a clerkship or joining a smallfirm post-grad; good luck and make the most of it!

Anonymous User
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:42 pm

If it's any help, I'm at a fairly large somewhat midwestern city and the going rate for small law 2L's is $12 - $16/hr.

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A'nold
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Re: Pay Negotiation for SmallLaw Summer?

Postby A'nold » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:46 pm

Man, I would never have had the balls to say 800! Nice.




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