shitlaw salaries?

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seriousstudenttt
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shitlaw salaries?

Postby seriousstudenttt » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:52 pm

how bad are we talking-50k per annum?

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Grizz
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby Grizz » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:00 pm

What is your definition of shitlaw.

seriousstudenttt
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby seriousstudenttt » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:03 pm

small law firm (1-10 attorneys), personal injury, etc

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D-ROCCA
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby D-ROCCA » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:06 pm

Nothing, $15-20/hour, $30k/year, $50k/year, $80k/year. All of these are possible.

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Grizz
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby Grizz » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:08 pm

seriousstudenttt wrote:small law firm (1-10 attorneys), personal injury, etc


Depends. I worked for a solo criminal defense atty. who was having million-dollar years at the time. Small firm doesn't necessarily mean shitlaw. PI can also be lucrative, though the field is crowded.

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romothesavior
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:20 pm

rad law wrote:
seriousstudenttt wrote:small law firm (1-10 attorneys), personal injury, etc


Depends. I worked for a solo criminal defense atty. who was having million-dollar years at the time. Small firm doesn't necessarily mean shitlaw. PI can also be lucrative, though the field is crowded.

+1. Small does not mean shit, and bigger does not always mean lucrative. Some small firms with just a handful of attorneys can absolutely kill it. You may not make a lot starting out as a young associate, but 3-5 years in, you could very well surpass your friends in biglaw (and surpass them by a lot). I've had a few plaintiff's attorneys tell me that this was their exact experience. They weren't making 6 figs to start, but within a couple of years, they had already developed clients and picked up some significant coin from their own cases.

This is a hard (maybe impossible) question to answer because there are so many variables, and you haven't really defined what it is you're looking for.

rose711
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby rose711 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:45 pm

I just happened upon a document review job listing on one of the scam law related blogs that offers $15-$20 an hour. Another listing offered $30 an hour but you have to work all night and start right away - it runs for a week or so.

I think that is about the bottom of the amount you could earn as a lawyer, but I have no experience in doc review.

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superhands
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby superhands » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:51 pm

personal injury > sucking dick for coke > doing doc review in a windowless dungeon

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crossarmant
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby crossarmant » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:59 am

rose711 wrote:I just happened upon a document review job listing on one of the scam law related blogs that offers $15-$20 an hour. Another listing offered $30 an hour but you have to work all night and start right away - it runs for a week or so.

I think that is about the bottom of the amount you could earn as a lawyer, but I have no experience in doc review.


Hell, I've worked doc review and I don't even have a J.D. I feel most of it can be done by anyone, the lawyer credentials are useless for the most part with Doc Review it seems.

And yes, it makes you want to kill yourself. Luckily I only did it for like 3 months before scooping up paralegal work in the legal dept of a big company.

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drylo
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby drylo » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:11 am

romothesavior wrote:
rad law wrote:
seriousstudenttt wrote:small law firm (1-10 attorneys), personal injury, etc


Depends. I worked for a solo criminal defense atty. who was having million-dollar years at the time. Small firm doesn't necessarily mean shitlaw. PI can also be lucrative, though the field is crowded.

+1. Small does not mean shit, and bigger does not always mean lucrative. Some small firms with just a handful of attorneys can absolutely kill it. You may not make a lot starting out as a young associate, but 3-5 years in, you could very well surpass your friends in biglaw (and surpass them by a lot). I've had a few plaintiff's attorneys tell me that this was their exact experience. They weren't making 6 figs to start, but within a couple of years, they had already developed clients and picked up some significant coin from their own cases.

This is a hard (maybe impossible) question to answer because there are so many variables, and you haven't really defined what it is you're looking for.


This is true. People talk like you can generalize things into big/small/good/bad/whatever, but the truth is that small law firms can run the gamut from basically operating (salary-wise) like a big firm, to personal injury where your income ceiling is virtually nonexistent, to small DUI-type shops that are probably not that great, etc. I'd say the bottom of the barrel for me is probably contracted doc review.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:26 am

A lot of people make fun of personal injury lawyers, but personal injury is far more profitable than most other areas of law. If you say to yourself, "I want to have as much money as possible saved in 5 years," then you would be foolhardy to go into any other area of law.

The only other area of law that is as profitable as this is class actions.

There are a few other areas, but they are mainly performed by big firms - which means, you will make your salary, but all of the additional money you make goes to the firm.

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romothesavior
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:57 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:A lot of people make fun of personal injury lawyers, but personal injury is far more profitable than most other areas of law.

Yep, I wholeheartedly agree. I have a lot of interest in doing PI plaintiff's work or some other sort of plaintiff's work. I think there is a lot of money in it.

I'll never succumb to the cheesy ads though. I have some dignity. :lol:

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Hannibal
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby Hannibal » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:00 pm

Does personal injury include things like the Vioxx case? If so, I'm not sure why everyone has a problem with it.

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Wholigan
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby Wholigan » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:08 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:personal injury is far more profitable than most other areas of law. If you say to yourself, "I want to have as much money as possible saved in 5 years," then you would be foolhardy to go into any other area of law.


Yeah... I don't think so. While the field in general might be profitable, it is damn hard to make a lot of money in your first few years out of law school. It's all about marketing, and the clients are going to go to firms they or their friends have used in the past and ones which advertise heavily.

Might you get a job for one of those firms? Perhaps. However, they are going to pay you a modest salary and only give you a small portion of the firm's cut of your settlements, if any at all, at least until you prove you are really good at it or bring business in the door. Also, the profitability varies greatly state by state. Tort reform runs the gamut in this country, and will have a huge impact on whether personal injury law is profitable or not in a given area.

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pjo
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby pjo » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:12 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:A lot of people make fun of personal injury lawyers, but personal injury is far more profitable than most other areas of law. If you say to yourself, "I want to have as much money as possible saved in 5 years," then you would be foolhardy to go into any other area of law.

The only other area of law that is as profitable as this is class actions.

There are a few other areas, but they are mainly performed by big firms - which means, you will make your salary, but all of the additional money you make goes to the firm.


Plus with Personal Injury there's no billable hour, it's straight caseload. It's true what your saying but for every Personal Injury firm that is well run and managed there's probably 5-10 that would fall into the shitlaw category. Also, as Romo noted, your salary is going to be relatively small at first (sometimes as low as 35-45k). They expect you to hit the ground running. You get TONS of client interaction and negotiating experience, but they also expect you to produce because they have much less resources than Biglaw and no formal training program. IMHO, Personal Injury is significantly better than Doc Review, so much that I would rather take a pay cut to do Personal Injury rather than have to work doc review. At least in PI you're still acting as a legitimate attorney, whereas with doc review you're basically a glorified assembly line worker.

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romothesavior
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:23 pm

pjo wrote:Plus with Personal Injury there's no billable hour, it's straight caseload. It's true what your saying but for every Personal Injury firm that is well run and managed there's probably 5-10 that would fall into the shitlaw category. Also, as Romo noted, your salary is going to be relatively small at first (sometimes as low as 35-45k). They expect you to hit the ground running. You get TONS of client interaction and negotiating experience, but they also expect you to produce because they have much less resources than Biglaw and no formal training program. IMHO, Personal Injury is significantly better than Doc Review, so much that I would rather take a pay cut to do Personal Injury rather than have to work doc review. At least in PI you're still acting as a legitimate attorney, whereas with doc review you're basically a glorified assembly line worker.

Also, the salary ceiling for someone in PI or any sort of plaintiff's work is typically a lot higher than it is for your average biglaw associate. Unless you make partner in biglaw, you will probably be outpaced by some of your friends at the small plaintiffs firms within a few years.

I think the reason a lot of PI folks get a bad rap is because a lot of those jobs do suck, and some of them are cheesy in their marketing. There are also a lot of personal injury attorneys who are struggling to keep the roof over their head, and separating the good from the bad can be difficult. But if you can get in with a reputable plaintiff's firm early in your career, you can quickly develop clients and build a reputation for yourself, and there is a ton of money to be made.

TNFSkier16
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby TNFSkier16 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:28 pm

I temped for a 1 person PI lawyer last year. He was pulling in ~$25M/year. His secretary was getting $200k/year. FT paralegal was making $150k at 23 years old. Small firms can be very lucrative if you do it right.

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Rooney
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby Rooney » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:31 pm

Wholigan wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:personal injury is far more profitable than most other areas of law. If you say to yourself, "I want to have as much money as possible saved in 5 years," then you would be foolhardy to go into any other area of law.


Yeah... I don't think so. While the field in general might be profitable, it is damn hard to make a lot of money in your first few years out of law school. It's all about marketing, and the clients are going to go to firms they or their friends have used in the past and ones which advertise heavily.

Might you get a job for one of those firms? Perhaps. However, they are going to pay you a modest salary and only give you a small portion of the firm's cut of your settlements, if any at all, at least until you prove you are really good at it or bring business in the door. Also, the profitability varies greatly state by state. Tort reform runs the gamut in this country, and will have a huge impact on whether personal injury law is profitable or not in a given area.


Tort reform should only worry firms that do medmal cases. Nothing in that affects punitive damages, bad faith or other parts of PI litigation dealing with MVAs, WC or premise liability cases.

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Rooney
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby Rooney » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:33 pm

TNFSkier16 wrote:I temped for a 1 person PI lawyer last year. He was pulling in ~$25M/year. His secretary was getting $200k/year. FT paralegal was making $150k at 23 years old. Small firms can be very lucrative if you do it right.


JAYSUS! $25m with a staff of 2!?

TNFSkier16
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby TNFSkier16 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:36 pm

Rooney wrote:
TNFSkier16 wrote:I temped for a 1 person PI lawyer last year. He was pulling in ~$25M/year. His secretary was getting $200k/year. FT paralegal was making $150k at 23 years old. Small firms can be very lucrative if you do it right.


JAYSUS! $25m with a staff of 2!?


Yup guy's a legend. He works with outside attorney's on big settlements, but still a small/robust shop.

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Rooney
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby Rooney » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:39 pm

TNFSkier16 wrote:
Rooney wrote:
TNFSkier16 wrote:I temped for a 1 person PI lawyer last year. He was pulling in ~$25M/year. His secretary was getting $200k/year. FT paralegal was making $150k at 23 years old. Small firms can be very lucrative if you do it right.


JAYSUS! $25m with a staff of 2!?


Yup guy's a legend. He works with outside attorney's on big settlements, but still a small/robust shop.


Nice. Yeah associating cases can be awesome. We pull in around $15-20m a year and take 40% but we have 3 attorneys and 3 legal assistants/paralegals

TNFSkier16
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby TNFSkier16 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:41 pm

Rooney wrote:
TNFSkier16 wrote:
Rooney wrote:
TNFSkier16 wrote:I temped for a 1 person PI lawyer last year. He was pulling in ~$25M/year. His secretary was getting $200k/year. FT paralegal was making $150k at 23 years old. Small firms can be very lucrative if you do it right.


JAYSUS! $25m with a staff of 2!?


Yup guy's a legend. He works with outside attorney's on big settlements, but still a small/robust shop.


Nice. Yeah associating cases can be awesome. We pull in around $15-20m a year and take 40% but we have 3 attorneys and 3 legal assistants/paralegals


Makin' it rain. No big deal.

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paratactical
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby paratactical » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:42 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:A lot of people make fun of personal injury lawyers, but personal injury is far more profitable than most other areas of law.

Yep, I wholeheartedly agree. I have a lot of interest in doing PI plaintiff's work or some other sort of plaintiff's work. I think there is a lot of money in it.

I'll never succumb to the cheesy ads though. I have some dignity. :lol:

I would think the cheesy ads would be half the fun!

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Wholigan
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby Wholigan » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:42 pm

Rooney wrote:
Wholigan wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:personal injury is far more profitable than most other areas of law. If you say to yourself, "I want to have as much money as possible saved in 5 years," then you would be foolhardy to go into any other area of law.


Yeah... I don't think so. While the field in general might be profitable, it is damn hard to make a lot of money in your first few years out of law school. It's all about marketing, and the clients are going to go to firms they or their friends have used in the past and ones which advertise heavily.

Might you get a job for one of those firms? Perhaps. However, they are going to pay you a modest salary and only give you a small portion of the firm's cut of your settlements, if any at all, at least until you prove you are really good at it or bring business in the door. Also, the profitability varies greatly state by state. Tort reform runs the gamut in this country, and will have a huge impact on whether personal injury law is profitable or not in a given area.


Tort reform should only worry firms that do medmal cases. Nothing in that affects punitive damages, bad faith or other parts of PI litigation dealing with MVAs, WC or premise liability cases.



Are you kidding?? No fault and limited tort statutes vary from state to state, as do the judicial interpretation of them. This is a HUGE factor in MVA cases, as in some areas it completely bars recovery for plaintiffs unless their injury falls into certain categories or is deemed sufficiently serious. Similarly, in some states, WC regulations heavily favor the insurers, making it very easy for the WC carriers to cut off treatment. Additionally, in some areas there is no recovery on WC claims for anything except for actual medical costs and wages, which makes it difficult for attorneys to take on the case. This is not to mention that very conservative juries in some areas will preclude lawyers from opening shop there. Premise liability is not the subject of much tort reform, but that is going to be a minority of most PI shops' work.

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billbrasky
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Re: shitlaw salaries?

Postby billbrasky » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:49 pm

It varies, but i've seen shitlaw firms pay associates as little as 35k a year. Doing small/shitlaw is really risky and you need to make sure you go to a reputable firm (not any old fly by night solo shop).




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