Small Firms

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

Re: Small Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:42 pm

I know for a fact that this firm, for instance, does not pay much to its participants in its co-op/summer programs.
Yet the benefits of full-time attorney positions are pretty nice/ by all means decent.
http://kcslegal.com/

Anonymous User
Posts: 273203
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Small Firms

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:45 pm

Jhuen_the_bird wrote:
2LsAPlenty wrote:
Jhuen_the_bird wrote:Wow, ok, $800-$1000 a week is NOT the norm for small to mid-size firms in the midwest (medium - small cities). $12-$16 an hour is far more normal. These are typically "law clerk" positions and not "summer associate" positions, though. The big name firms pay much more, of course, for SA's.



How do you differentiate summer clerk from a SA? A lot of people using them interchangeably.



I'm just going by what firms in this area call it. Smaller and mid-size firms typically call their law student employees "law clerks" or something similar. You're really just a glorified secretary, except they'll let you do research b/c then they can mooch off your "free" lexis/westlaw access.

Bigger / prestigious firms in the area are the only ones that call law student employees "summer associates" and it's more of a "program" that originally was supposed to groom them to eventually be lawyers for the firm ... except now most firms don't want to hire anyone as an associate unless they have 3+ yrs experience which translates to "a book of business they can steal."


I posted earlier saying I worked at small firms both summers, with one paying $600/wk and one paying $900/wk adjusted to Dallas CoL for OP. Both numbers were a bit smaller, with the low number being within the range you mentioned but the higher number being a few dollars above your high ceiling. Also, I did absolutely no secretarial work, and the law firm already had an all-you-can-eat Westlaw plan and never asked to use mine. I suppose your post is a cautionary tale, for sure, but I'm not sure if that's what "typically" happens. Maybe I've just been really lucky, but in my experience it's not quite as bad as you suggest.

Oh, and one of the firms did call me a legal intern (although I heard "summer associate" used a few times too), but it's an antiquated term. If they're paying you, giving you law-related work to do, and you're not getting academic credit, it's better described as an SA position than an internship. The other firm called me an SA.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jhuen_the_bird
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:20 pm

Re: Small Firms

Postby Jhuen_the_bird » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Jhuen_the_bird wrote:
2LsAPlenty wrote:
Jhuen_the_bird wrote:Wow, ok, $800-$1000 a week is NOT the norm for small to mid-size firms in the midwest (medium - small cities). $12-$16 an hour is far more normal. These are typically "law clerk" positions and not "summer associate" positions, though. The big name firms pay much more, of course, for SA's.



How do you differentiate summer clerk from a SA? A lot of people using them interchangeably.



I'm just going by what firms in this area call it. Smaller and mid-size firms typically call their law student employees "law clerks" or something similar. You're really just a glorified secretary, except they'll let you do research b/c then they can mooch off your "free" lexis/westlaw access.

Bigger / prestigious firms in the area are the only ones that call law student employees "summer associates" and it's more of a "program" that originally was supposed to groom them to eventually be lawyers for the firm ... except now most firms don't want to hire anyone as an associate unless they have 3+ yrs experience which translates to "a book of business they can steal."


I posted earlier saying I worked at small firms both summers, with one paying $600/wk and one paying $900/wk. The $600/wk number amounts to $15 an hour, which is in the range you mentioned. However, I did absolutely no secretarial work, and the law firm already had an all-you-can-eat Westlaw plan and never asked to use mine. I suppose your post is a cautionary tale, for sure, but I'm not sure if that's what "typically" happens. And my 2L firm paid a couple bucks per hour over your high-end estimate. So maybe I've just been really lucky, but in my experience it's not quite as bad as you suggest.

Oh, and one of the firms did call me a legal intern (although I heard "summer associate" used a few times too), but it's an antiquated term. If they're paying you, giving you law-related work to do, and you're not getting academic credit, it's better described as an SA position than an internship. The other firm called me an SA.


It defeinitly varies depending on your location and the specific firm. I didn't mean to come off so negative - that's just the distinction I make based on my experiences and the experiences of friends / colleagues. A law clerk position paying $12 an hour even as a glorified secretary can definitely still be worth it - you still learn a lot about how a law firm work and what type of things that firm and that type of law entails. $12 and hour also felt like plenty of money for a summer job / part time job during my 2L and 3L year for the area where I live.




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