What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

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lawgod
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What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby lawgod » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:41 am

So you start at 160, and maybe a bonus.
Where do you go from there? I know it is merit based, but say, for the third year- are we talking 200-220, 220-260, 200-300?

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Verity
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby Verity » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:50 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_firm

look under "Salaries," it will give you a rough guide

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rayiner
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby rayiner » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:19 am

NYC Market is:

Stub, 1st: 160
2nd: 170
3rd: 185
4th: 210
5th: 230
6th: 250
7th: 280

whatdoyouthink
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby whatdoyouthink » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:08 pm

holy moly...

kaiser
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby kaiser » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:10 pm

lawgod wrote:So you start at 160, and maybe a bonus.
Where do you go from there? I know it is merit based, but say, for the third year- are we talking 200-220, 220-260, 200-300?


The typical lockstep progression I have seen is something like 160, 170, 185, 210, 230, 250, 265.

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vanwinkle
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:10 pm

Moved.

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dailygrind
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby dailygrind » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:14 pm

rayiner wrote:NYC Market is:

Stub, 1st: 160
2nd: 170
3rd: 185
4th: 210
5th: 230
6th: 250
7th: 280


That third to fourth year jump is a thing of beauty.

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Helmholtz
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:15 pm

dailygrind wrote:
rayiner wrote:NYC Market is:

Stub, 1st: 160
2nd: 170
3rd: 185
4th: 210
5th: 230
6th: 250
7th: 280


That third to fourth year jump is a thing of beauty.


It makes sense when you consider the life span of the average biglaw associate.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:16 pm

The wiki article gives the salary for primary markets, but then says that the lockstep increases are "much smaller" in secondary markets. Anyone know what "much smaller" means? I am interested in practicing in Denver, Minneapolis, Portland or some other smaller market, but I hadn't thought about this.

edit to add: I know starting pay in these smaller markets is not $160K, but I'm still interested in the annual increases.

TooOld4This
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby TooOld4This » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:36 pm

BackToTheOldHouse wrote:The wiki article gives the salary for primary markets, but then says that the lockstep increases are "much smaller" in secondary markets. Anyone know what "much smaller" means? I am interested in practicing in Denver, Minneapolis, Portland or some other smaller market, but I hadn't thought about this.

edit to add: I know starting pay in these smaller markets is not $160K, but I'm still interested in the annual increases.


Small market salaries are often not lockstep, especially after a year or two.

It will also depend on where the starting salary is. Below $100k, figure less than $5,000 per year. Between $100-120, it might be around $5-7k. Between $125-145k is usually in the $10-12k range. Each firm is different though.

Anonymous User
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:44 pm

BackToTheOldHouse wrote:The wiki article gives the salary for primary markets, but then says that the lockstep increases are "much smaller" in secondary markets. Anyone know what "much smaller" means? I am interested in practicing in Denver, Minneapolis, Portland or some other smaller market, but I hadn't thought about this.

edit to add: I know starting pay in these smaller markets is not $160K, but I'm still interested in the annual increases.


Denver lockstep seems to be:
1. 125
2. 135
3. 150
4. 165
5. 185
6. 200
7. 220
8. 240

That's for indigenous and more midsized Denver firms (Brownstein, Sherman, etc.). Hogan starts at 145, Gibson and Bartlit Beck at 160.

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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:04 pm

I am interested in practicing in Denver, Minneapolis, Portland or some other smaller market


The thing about Denver is that it is all over the map. You really have five tiers:

1.) National firms that pay national salaries. (Gibson, Barlitt, etc.)
2.) National firms that discount their national salaries. (Hogan)
3.) Regional firms with Denver offices that pay their regional salaries. (Faegre, Perkins Coie, Snell)
NOTE: The salary ranges between Tiers 2 & 3 overlap substantially.
4.) Top-of-the-market Denver firms. The above $125-$240 range is more or less accurate. Thius includes all of the big players. Holland & Hart, Davis Graham, Brownstein, etc. etc. etc.
5.) "Lifestyle" and/or midlaw firms. This can vary dramatically, but in general it's a 1/3 haircut from the Denver market rates. Hours are great but (to overgeneralize) the work isn't very exciting. Too many of these to name.

[Edited to correct typo]

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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:28 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
dailygrind wrote:
rayiner wrote:NYC Market is:

Stub, 1st: 160
2nd: 170
3rd: 185
4th: 210
5th: 230
6th: 250
7th: 280


That third to fourth year jump is a thing of beauty.


It makes sense when you consider the life span of the average biglaw associate.


How exactly does attrition work in biglaw? Does anyone know where to get info on attrition rates by class year?
Also, what happens exactly? obviously some burn out and resign and move on to other things, but if youre consistently billing less (but not enough to be ridiculed) how do they toss you after a few years?

Maybe this is for a separate thread, but Id be reallyinterested in info on the details of biglaw attrition

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Doritos
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby Doritos » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
dailygrind wrote:
rayiner wrote:NYC Market is:

Stub, 1st: 160
2nd: 170
3rd: 185
4th: 210
5th: 230
6th: 250
7th: 280


That third to fourth year jump is a thing of beauty.


It makes sense when you consider the life span of the average biglaw associate.


How exactly does attrition work in biglaw? Does anyone know where to get info on attrition rates by class year?
Also, what happens exactly? obviously some burn out and resign and move on to other things, but if youre consistently billing less (but not enough to be ridiculed) how do they toss you after a few years?

Maybe this is for a separate thread, but Id be reallyinterested in info on the details of biglaw attrition



Most leave voluntarily after a few years. Most firms won't push you out until a bit later, 5th/6th year at the earliest from the folks I've spoken with. After 3 years or so you are deemed to have the skills to move on to different (some would say better) opportunities such as in-house. Plus, after 3 years or so a lot of your debt can be paid down even if you paid sticker for law school so associates are OK taking a pay cut to have a life. Plus after 3 years or so the average associate is nearing 30 or over it, and thats when people like to do stuff like have babies and have spouses. So there is a lot going on at that 3rd -> 4th year mark that contributes to a lot of associates jumping ship.

desertlaw
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby desertlaw » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:35 am

Paying off my debt in 3 years will be difficult if I'm popping bottles and models all the time, especially in a big city. But I've heard that 3-4 years is also when things "click" for associates and they are starting to do more valuable work. That probably adds to the reason why there's a bigger boost in salary. But Doritos should be trusted and all of his answers seem to make perfect sense. Except for those idiots that get married really young.

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PDaddy
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby PDaddy » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:03 am

rayiner wrote:NYC Market is:

Stub, 1st: 160
2nd: 170
3rd: 185
4th: 210
5th: 230
6th: 250
7th: 280


So by the eighth year, a good BigLaw lawyer will make somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-450K. Not bad. It's a decent living, but the eighth year of investment banking $1-10M a year (or more), if done properly.

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rayiner
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby rayiner » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:37 am

PDaddy wrote:
rayiner wrote:NYC Market is:

Stub, 1st: 160
2nd: 170
3rd: 185
4th: 210
5th: 230
6th: 250
7th: 280


So by the eighth year, a good BigLaw lawyer will make somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-450K. Not bad. It's a decent living, but the eighth year of investment banking $1-10M a year (or more), if done properly.


By the 8th year at an NYC lockstep firm you're partner, making $1m.

admisionquestion
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby admisionquestion » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:04 am

Can you inform me as to these things:
1. How bonuses usually work in Biglaw.
2. What other expensive benefits are provided
3. Are there any huge personal expenses that are unique to law? If I drive a beater to a LJ250 firm will I get hassled? etc.

I know 3 is really ignorant but I would love an answer.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:27 am

admisionquestion wrote:Can you inform me as to these things:
1. How bonuses usually work in Biglaw.
2. What other expensive benefits are provided
3. Are there any huge personal expenses that are unique to law? If I drive a beater to a LJ250 firm will I get hassled? etc.

I know 3 is really ignorant but I would love an answer.


Re 3: In New York, people usually take the subway. I can't speak for other places.

merc280
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby merc280 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:45 am

PDaddy wrote:
rayiner wrote:NYC Market is:

Stub, 1st: 160
2nd: 170
3rd: 185
4th: 210
5th: 230
6th: 250
7th: 280


So by the eighth year, a good BigLaw lawyer will make somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-450K. Not bad. It's a decent living, but the eighth year of investment banking $1-10M a year (or more), if done properly.



If done properly, most of the income made from being a lawyer can be put to investing and making over $1M as a 3rd year lawyer isn't that hard.

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chinny123
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby chinny123 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:52 am

merc280 wrote:
PDaddy wrote:
rayiner wrote:NYC Market is:

Stub, 1st: 160
2nd: 170
3rd: 185
4th: 210
5th: 230
6th: 250
7th: 280


So by the eighth year, a good BigLaw lawyer will make somewhere in the neighborhood of $350-450K. Not bad. It's a decent living, but the eighth year of investment banking $1-10M a year (or more), if done properly.



If done properly, most of the income made from being a lawyer can be put to investing and making over $1M as a 3rd year lawyer isn't that hard.


lolwut.

after taxes, that 3rd year salary is probably around 120k. Even assuming that you have NO expenses AT ALL (rent, food, debt repayment), you are going to get a ROI of 700+% to get 1 million dollars off of 120k? Open up a PE firm man, why are you still a lawyer?

merc280
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby merc280 » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:10 am

combining the salary made from the first two years its not 700%

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:15 am

merc280 wrote:combining the salary made from the first two years its not 700%

It's still a crazy, multiple-times return on your money, especially as you take out cost of living and debt services in addition to tax.

Just admit it was a stupid comment and move on.

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Wholigan
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby Wholigan » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:41 am

merc280 wrote:combining the salary made from the first two years its not 700%


Lulz. Now I get it - so all you have to do is save up all of your money from the first three years without spending a dime on food or anything, and then you need only achieve a 300% rate of return.

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rayiner
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Re: What is the trajectory of Biglaw salaries?

Postby rayiner » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:07 pm

admisionquestion wrote:Can you inform me as to these things:
1. How bonuses usually work in Biglaw.
2. What other expensive benefits are provided
3. Are there any huge personal expenses that are unique to law? If I drive a beater to a LJ250 firm will I get hassled? etc.

I know 3 is really ignorant but I would love an answer.


1) In NYC, they're whatever Cravath, SullCrom, or STB decide to give out. At Quinn, Kirkland, Bois, they're higher. In DC they're $5 and free ice cream.
2) Free substance-abuse counseling.
3) Suits.




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