what is the lowest salary you've heard a firm pay

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Dr. Van Nostrand
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:42 pm

Re: what is the lowest salary you've heard a firm pay

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I worked as a paralegal at small-town shitlaw before law school. Regional firm, about 15 attorneys in a few small offices.

New associates were not on salary. Pay for new associates (and all non-partner attorneys) was a complex formulation of hours billed/your negotiated percentage cut of your hourly rate/whether the client's account had been paid. Basically, associates were paid for hours they billed IF AND ONLY IF the client paid, at which point they would receive their cut of their billables for that client (typically 35 to 40 percent of an average new associate hourly rate of $275).

So paychecks tended to vary a lot. I heard of people not getting a paycheck in some months, or piddly ones like $800. Most months you were pulling in a (relatively) more reasonable 4,5,6k. It was all over the place though. I would estimate if you took a year, the lowest someone could make would be $35k to $40k (since any attorney would have to be total dumbass to agree to work for less than I was making as a paralegal/receptionist).

Senior attorneys were, however, notorious for drilling free work out of the newbies. Sticking them with three hours a day of phone calls from potential clients (unbillable, particularly if they don't sign up), etc. Or the partners would take a client, work the case until the retainer ran out and then punt it to someone else, and let a junior take the risk that they wouldn't get paid.

(Anon because it'd be totally obvious who I am based on previous posts on TLS, and I don't plan on spoiling my reference.)


275 for a small 15 person firm? That seems pretty high considering some of the mega firms only charge 220-260 for first year associates.

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reasonable_man
Posts: 2200
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: what is the lowest salary you've heard a firm pay

Postby reasonable_man » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:53 am

tryster0 wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:
phillylawgrad wrote:I'm a 2010 grad and I make ~$45k at a very small firm. However I only work 9-5. My salary is not especially low for a recent grad in a small firm. The lowest I have heard of is $20k but $35k is not uncommon. These are the type of jobs that most grads will be looking at to start.


This is not uncommon at all.. Earning 65k to start and moving up to 80k in my second year has put me some 25 ro 35k ahead of most of the people I graduated with in 2008 from my school or equall TTTs like SJU, BLS, etc. I'm a douche.


Fixed



Its a thread discussing salary.. Pretty sure that this would be the appropriate place to discuss salary. I'd assume that most people would be happy to hear ACTUAL salary information instead of the lies that are distributed by law schools. But yes, that makes me a douche..

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JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: what is the lowest salary you've heard a firm pay

Postby JazzOne » Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:25 am

tryster0 wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:
phillylawgrad wrote:I'm a 2010 grad and I make ~$45k at a very small firm. However I only work 9-5. My salary is not especially low for a recent grad in a small firm. The lowest I have heard of is $20k but $35k is not uncommon. These are the type of jobs that most grads will be looking at to start.


This is not uncommon at all.. Earning 65k to start and moving up to 80k in my second year has put me some 25 ro 35k ahead of most of the people I graduated with in 2008 from my school or equall TTTs like SJU, BLS, etc. I'm a douche.


Fixed

Jesus Christ, it's not like he came in here posting about his biglaw partner salary or something. Chill the fuck out.

motiontodismiss
Posts: 870
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:36 pm

Re: what is the lowest salary you've heard a firm pay

Postby motiontodismiss » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:08 am

Dr. Van Nostrand wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I worked as a paralegal at small-town shitlaw before law school. Regional firm, about 15 attorneys in a few small offices.

New associates were not on salary. Pay for new associates (and all non-partner attorneys) was a complex formulation of hours billed/your negotiated percentage cut of your hourly rate/whether the client's account had been paid. Basically, associates were paid for hours they billed IF AND ONLY IF the client paid, at which point they would receive their cut of their billables for that client (typically 35 to 40 percent of an average new associate hourly rate of $275).

So paychecks tended to vary a lot. I heard of people not getting a paycheck in some months, or piddly ones like $800. Most months you were pulling in a (relatively) more reasonable 4,5,6k. It was all over the place though. I would estimate if you took a year, the lowest someone could make would be $35k to $40k (since any attorney would have to be total dumbass to agree to work for less than I was making as a paralegal/receptionist).

Senior attorneys were, however, notorious for drilling free work out of the newbies. Sticking them with three hours a day of phone calls from potential clients (unbillable, particularly if they don't sign up), etc. Or the partners would take a client, work the case until the retainer ran out and then punt it to someone else, and let a junior take the risk that they wouldn't get paid.

(Anon because it'd be totally obvious who I am based on previous posts on TLS, and I don't plan on spoiling my reference.)


275 for a small 15 person firm? That seems pretty high considering some of the mega firms only charge 220-260 for first year associates.


Doesn't biglaw typically charge $350-$400? That rate could be not so high if they were like the Wachtell of the shit/smalllaw world.




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