firms with flexible salaries

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273386
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

firms with flexible salaries

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:46 pm

I interviewed with a specialized ~40 lawyer firm that has a different salary structure. For summer associates, they pay a fixed weekly salary. However, for associates, there is a minimum hour requirement of 1600 hours, an hourly rate, and the associate receives 40-45% of the billables depending upon some characteristics of the assignments. Working over 1600 hours is discretionary. They have an unlimited amount of work (typical in this field right now).

Is this a common compensation scheme? It seems a bit unorthodox, but very appealing because of the flexibility (it seems to be the main thing that the firm stresses). Anyone have experience with this type of scheme? Are there any disadvantages? How common is this?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273386
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: firms with flexible salaries

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with a specialized ~40 lawyer firm that has a different salary structure. For summer associates, they pay a fixed weekly salary. However, for associates, there is a minimum hour requirement of 1600 hours, an hourly rate, and the associate receives 40-45% of the billables depending upon some characteristics of the assignments. Working over 1600 hours is discretionary. They have an unlimited amount of work (typical in this field right now).

Is this a common compensation scheme? It seems a bit unorthodox, but very appealing because of the flexibility (it seems to be the main thing that the firm stresses). Anyone have experience with this type of scheme? Are there any disadvantages? How common is this?



What is the billing rate?

If it's high to enough to match market at 2K, that would be awesome.


Is the work cyclical? As in, when you graduate could you end up working far fewer hours than expected?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273386
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: firms with flexible salaries

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with a specialized ~40 lawyer firm that has a different salary structure. For summer associates, they pay a fixed weekly salary. However, for associates, there is a minimum hour requirement of 1600 hours, an hourly rate, and the associate receives 40-45% of the billables depending upon some characteristics of the assignments. Working over 1600 hours is discretionary. They have an unlimited amount of work (typical in this field right now).

Is this a common compensation scheme? It seems a bit unorthodox, but very appealing because of the flexibility (it seems to be the main thing that the firm stresses). Anyone have experience with this type of scheme? Are there any disadvantages? How common is this?



What is the billing rate?

If it's high to enough to match market at 2K, that would be awesome.


Is the work cyclical? As in, when you graduate could you end up working far fewer hours than expected?


OP here.

The billing rate is $190 for a first-year this year.

Most people in this field don't bill 2000 hours. I looked at NALP and one of the most well-known peer firms in the field is 1850 hours. I would say that most in this field range from 1700-1900. It's usually not cyclical. It's a stable field.

I'm mainly concerned with the lack of a fixed salary.

kahechsof
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:26 pm

Re: firms with flexible salaries

Postby kahechsof » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I interviewed with a specialized ~40 lawyer firm that has a different salary structure. For summer associates, they pay a fixed weekly salary. However, for associates, there is a minimum hour requirement of 1600 hours, an hourly rate, and the associate receives 40-45% of the billables depending upon some characteristics of the assignments. Working over 1600 hours is discretionary. They have an unlimited amount of work (typical in this field right now).

Is this a common compensation scheme? It seems a bit unorthodox, but very appealing because of the flexibility (it seems to be the main thing that the firm stresses). Anyone have experience with this type of scheme? Are there any disadvantages? How common is this?



What is the billing rate?

If it's high to enough to match market at 2K, that would be awesome.


Is the work cyclical? As in, when you graduate could you end up working far fewer hours than expected?


OP here.

The billing rate is $190 for a first-year this year.

Most people in this field don't bill 2000 hours. I looked at NALP and one of the most well-known peer firms in the field is 1850 hours. I would say that most in this field range from 1700-1900. It's usually not cyclical. It's a stable field.

I'm mainly concerned with the lack of a fixed salary.


Well, if you bill 1700 hours at $190, and keep 40%, that is a drop under 130k
Make that 1900 and its 144k
2000 is 152k

Anonymous User
Posts: 273386
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: firms with flexible salaries

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:04 am

It is not an unusual structure, though I see it more often in smaller firms. Smaller firms often have more creative pay structures.

I work in a firm where my salary is part guaranteee and part percentage. It works out that my guaranteed base ends up being about 50% of my revenue to a certain amount (obviously it changes each year as my salary goes up but this means it is not tied direct to hours) plus 1/3 of any revenue over that amount (this tends to come into effect for me around summer/early fall). I get the base salary no matter what and the rest is up to me. Though a bit different than your situation as you have a minimum billing and so on that is tied to your salary, it is fairly similar in effect.

I like the compensation structure. It is flexible and not that hard to get some extra money, yet without the pressure of meeting minimums of 2000+ hours (I have my own soft target but no actual minimum in my case).

Now, it definitely means that my " extra" depends on having the work but so far that has never been an issue.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.