Law firm compensation & benefits

(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.
User avatar
a male human
Posts: 1678
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:42 pm

Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby a male human » Thu May 17, 2012 10:47 pm

Not a topic asking for tips but one out of curiosity.

What kind of benefits do firms typically provide? I can think of:

Salary + bonus
Insurance (medical, dental, vision, life, disability, anything else?)
Retirement plan
Paid time off + holidays
Bar reimbursements
Cafeteria/free food?

Do they give stock/equity options at all? Any really cool benefits you guys have come across?

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby dingbat » Fri May 18, 2012 8:40 am

NY Pay Scale (including 2007 bonus)

1st Year: $160,000 + $45,000
2nd Year: $170,000 + $55,000
3rd Year: $185,000 + $65,000
4th Year: $210,000 + $80,000
5th Year: $230,000 + $95,000
6th Year: $250,000 + $110,000
7th Year: $270,000 + $115,000
Outside of NY, salaries can be significantly lower
Outside of biglaw, salaries can be significantly lower

Insurance is provided as is 401k with matching contributions
I don't know about the number of days off you get, but you might have to cancel last minute

Don't expect stock/equity options: law firms are not stock companies, they are all partnerships.
If you make partner, you'll be rich. At a lot of firms, if you don't make partner, you'll be fired

Citizen Genet
Posts: 516
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:03 am

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby Citizen Genet » Fri May 18, 2012 8:44 am

Any reason you are using 2007 bonuses? They have been dramatically reduced post meltdown. First year bonuses were 10k IIRC.

duckmoney
Posts: 886
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:21 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby duckmoney » Fri May 18, 2012 8:47 am

I am kind of curious about what kind insurance is provided and how much premiums are.

Also, if you don't need health insurance (for instance, if spouse has great health insurance), can you negotiate that into higher salary?

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby dingbat » Fri May 18, 2012 10:26 am

Citizen Genet wrote:Any reason you are using 2007 bonuses? They have been dramatically reduced post meltdown. First year bonuses were 10k IIRC.

Because its a best case scenario, which is just as ridiculous as providing biglaw salaries without counterbalancing shitlaw or doc review salaries
Edit: it's also the first set of figures I found

delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby delusional » Fri May 18, 2012 10:42 am

Do many law firms that are not announced on ATL tend to match the regular bonus scale? There are usually three firms making headlines, ten or so that are announced along with them, etc. What about the other 15 Biglaw firms?

User avatar
Royal
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:52 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby Royal » Fri May 18, 2012 11:11 am

dingbat wrote:NY Pay Scale (including 2007 bonus)

1st Year: $160,000 + $45,000
2nd Year: $170,000 + $55,000
3rd Year: $185,000 + $65,000
4th Year: $210,000 + $80,000
5th Year: $230,000 + $95,000
6th Year: $250,000 + $110,000
7th Year: $270,000 + $115,000
Outside of NY, salaries can be significantly lower
Outside of biglaw, salaries can be significantly lower

Insurance is provided as is 401k with matching contributions
I don't know about the number of days off you get, but you might have to cancel last minute

Don't expect stock/equity options: law firms are not stock companies, they are all partnerships.
If you make partner, you'll be rich. At a lot of firms, if you don't make partner, you'll be fired


Several things to correct here. Bonuses at that level haven't been paid in five years. Hard to predict what bonuses will be in any given year, but to give you an idea, the last couple of years have seen somewhere between $7,500 and $8,500 for first year bonuses, something like $10k for second years, $15k for third years, etc. Not sure if bonuses will ever creep back to 2007 levels, but I highly doubt it. I also don't foresee a departure from the 160k base scale for a very, very long time.

As far as I know, most large firms do NOT make matching 401k contributions anymore. Mine does not. As for the equity thing, many firms now have both equity partners and non-equity "partners." Ability to make partner varies widely from firm to firm. They don't give out stock options as a benefit :lol: Also, this COULD be wrong, but I think firms typically require capital contributions from partners before offering partnership. They may also be on the hook for capital calls down the road.

duckmoney wrote:I am kind of curious about what kind insurance is provided and how much premiums are.

Also, if you don't need health insurance (for instance, if spouse has great health insurance), can you negotiate that into higher salary?


Health, dental, vision, etc. No, you can't forgo insurance and take a higher salary in lieu.

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13915
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri May 18, 2012 11:20 am

a male human wrote:Not a topic asking for tips but one out of curiosity.

What kind of benefits do firms typically provide? I can think of:

Salary + bonus
Insurance (medical, dental, vision, life, disability, anything else?)
Retirement plan
Paid time off + holidays
Bar reimbursements
Cafeteria/free food?

Do they give stock/equity options at all? Any really cool benefits you guys have come across?
The NALP survey form lists benefits.

I've seen gym membership/discount, fertility treatments, domestic partner benefits, FSA, child car (subsidy/on-site/offsite/emergency), transportation, mass transit subsidy, adoption assistance, pet insurance, travel insurance, sabbaticals, EAP (counseling/nutrition/weight loss/quit smoking), bar fees/stipend, parental leave, home/auto insurance discount and other stuff.

User avatar
Mce252
Posts: 940
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:43 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby Mce252 » Fri May 18, 2012 11:23 am

As far as I know, most large firms do NOT make matching 401k contributions anymore.


Anyone else have insight on this? Matching is huge.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri May 18, 2012 11:25 am

Getting a job is huge; matching retirement contributions is a benefit. :D

Anonymous User
Posts: 273202
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 18, 2012 11:30 am

Typical NYC firm offers:
1) Base salary on the scale listed above (starting at $160k);
2) These days, bonus of 1/3 of the scale listed above (ranging from $7,500 to maybe $35,000)
3) § 125(d) benefits (everything from subsidized cafeterias to subsidized transportation)
4) Health insurance, dental, vision
5) Life insurance, disability insurance

Firms do not offer 401(k) matching as a general rule. They generally do not cover your whole insurance premium (you pay maybe $200/month out of pocket), though that being said the provided insurance is extremely comprehensive. As partnerships they have no stock, so they do not offer stock-based incentives.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273202
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 18, 2012 11:37 am

Mce252 wrote:
As far as I know, most large firms do NOT make matching 401k contributions anymore.


Anyone else have insight on this? Matching is huge.


My V50 doesn't match.

grovevilleroad
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:14 am

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby grovevilleroad » Fri May 18, 2012 11:40 am

Use this link --> http://www.nalpdirectory.com/dledir_search_quick.asp#

It will provide up-to-date salaries, benefits, number of SAs, number of 1st year associates, etc.

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri May 18, 2012 11:48 am

dingbat wrote:NY Pay Scale (including 2007 bonus)

1st Year: $160,000 + $45,000
2nd Year: $170,000 + $55,000
3rd Year: $185,000 + $65,000
4th Year: $210,000 + $80,000
5th Year: $230,000 + $95,000
6th Year: $250,000 + $110,000
7th Year: $270,000 + $115,000


*reads this* *weeps softly* *punches wall for not being born a few years earlier*

In addition, back then, student loan rates were almost 1/2 of today's rates, making the prospect of going into biglaw that much better in the boom years than today. If you weren't Latham'd and could stick it out for 3-5 years, then you basically won the lottery. Today, those of us going into biglaw with a full/near-full debt load will be lucky to get the balance below 100K after a few years (I've run the numbers for NYC biglaw, and the numbers ain't pretty). FUARK.

User avatar
Law Sauce
Posts: 923
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:21 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby Law Sauce » Fri May 18, 2012 11:52 am

grovevilleroad wrote:Use this link --> http://www.nalpdirectory.com/dledir_search_quick.asp#

It will provide up-to-date salaries, benefits, number of SAs, number of 1st year associates, etc.


Not really up to date

User avatar
Royal
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:52 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby Royal » Fri May 18, 2012 4:17 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:
dingbat wrote:NY Pay Scale (including 2007 bonus)

1st Year: $160,000 + $45,000
2nd Year: $170,000 + $55,000
3rd Year: $185,000 + $65,000
4th Year: $210,000 + $80,000
5th Year: $230,000 + $95,000
6th Year: $250,000 + $110,000
7th Year: $270,000 + $115,000


*reads this* *weeps softly* *punches wall for not being born a few years earlier*

In addition, back then, student loan rates were almost 1/2 of today's rates, making the prospect of going into biglaw that much better in the boom years than today. If you weren't Latham'd and could stick it out for 3-5 years, then you basically won the lottery. Today, those of us going into biglaw with a full/near-full debt load will be lucky to get the balance below 100K after a few years (I've run the numbers for NYC biglaw, and the numbers ain't pretty). FUARK.



Don't forget that tuition was cheaper even five years ago, too. Now we have more debt, at a higher rate, with less compensation. And that's for those lucky enough to even land BIGLAW -- an industry many feel is transforming and giving way to more boutique practice.

The student debt bubble is the next big disaster waiting to happen. The future doesn't look good. An entire generation with 6 figures of debt (private undergrads, private grad schools, etc.) unable to pay it back, unable to discharge it in bankruptcy, and unable to buy a home or contribute to the economy in a real way. Indentured servitude to the government via federal loan indebtedness. At least we'll have vapid reality TV and shitty music. Sup, future?

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby Big Shrimpin » Fri May 18, 2012 4:21 pm

Royal wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:
dingbat wrote:NY Pay Scale (including 2007 bonus)

1st Year: $160,000 + $45,000
2nd Year: $170,000 + $55,000
3rd Year: $185,000 + $65,000
4th Year: $210,000 + $80,000
5th Year: $230,000 + $95,000
6th Year: $250,000 + $110,000
7th Year: $270,000 + $115,000


*reads this* *weeps softly* *punches wall for not being born a few years earlier*

In addition, back then, student loan rates were almost 1/2 of today's rates, making the prospect of going into biglaw that much better in the boom years than today. If you weren't Latham'd and could stick it out for 3-5 years, then you basically won the lottery. Today, those of us going into biglaw with a full/near-full debt load will be lucky to get the balance below 100K after a few years (I've run the numbers for NYC biglaw, and the numbers ain't pretty). FUARK.



Don't forget that tuition was cheaper even five years ago, too. Now we have more debt, at a higher rate, with less compensation. And that's for those lucky enough to even land BIGLAW -- an industry many feel is transforming and giving way to more boutique practice.

The student debt bubble is the next big disaster waiting to happen. The future doesn't look good. An entire generation with 6 figures of debt (private undergrads, private grad schools, etc.) unable to pay it back and unable to buy a home or contribute to the economy in a real way. Indentured servitude to the government via federal loan indebtedness. At least we'll have vapid reality TV and shitty music. Sup, future?


Preaching to the choir, brother. The boomers screwed us. Screwed us, hard.

User avatar
fingerscrossedxx
Posts: 733
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:56 am

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby fingerscrossedxx » Fri May 18, 2012 4:45 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:
Royal wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:
dingbat wrote:NY Pay Scale (including 2007 bonus)

1st Year: $160,000 + $45,000
2nd Year: $170,000 + $55,000
3rd Year: $185,000 + $65,000
4th Year: $210,000 + $80,000
5th Year: $230,000 + $95,000
6th Year: $250,000 + $110,000
7th Year: $270,000 + $115,000


*reads this* *weeps softly* *punches wall for not being born a few years earlier*

In addition, back then, student loan rates were almost 1/2 of today's rates, making the prospect of going into biglaw that much better in the boom years than today. If you weren't Latham'd and could stick it out for 3-5 years, then you basically won the lottery. Today, those of us going into biglaw with a full/near-full debt load will be lucky to get the balance below 100K after a few years (I've run the numbers for NYC biglaw, and the numbers ain't pretty). FUARK.



Don't forget that tuition was cheaper even five years ago, too. Now we have more debt, at a higher rate, with less compensation. And that's for those lucky enough to even land BIGLAW -- an industry many feel is transforming and giving way to more boutique practice.

The student debt bubble is the next big disaster waiting to happen. The future doesn't look good. An entire generation with 6 figures of debt (private undergrads, private grad schools, etc.) unable to pay it back and unable to buy a home or contribute to the economy in a real way. Indentured servitude to the government via federal loan indebtedness. At least we'll have vapid reality TV and shitty music. Sup, future?


Preaching to the choir, brother. The boomers screwed us. Screwed us, hard.


yea, I am not looking forward to what that bubble caves in and people realise that those millions students borrowed back wont be coming back in. yay future.

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby dingbat » Fri May 18, 2012 5:33 pm

fingerscrossedxx wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:
Royal wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:*reads this* *weeps softly* *punches wall for not being born a few years earlier*
In addition, back then, student loan rates were almost 1/2 of today's rates, making the prospect of going into biglaw that much better in the boom years than today. If you weren't Latham'd and could stick it out for 3-5 years, then you basically won the lottery. Today, those of us going into biglaw with a full/near-full debt load will be lucky to get the balance below 100K after a few years (I've run the numbers for NYC biglaw, and the numbers ain't pretty). FUARK.



Don't forget that tuition was cheaper even five years ago, too. Now we have more debt, at a higher rate, with less compensation. And that's for those lucky enough to even land BIGLAW -- an industry many feel is transforming and giving way to more boutique practice.

The student debt bubble is the next big disaster waiting to happen. The future doesn't look good. An entire generation with 6 figures of debt (private undergrads, private grad schools, etc.) unable to pay it back and unable to buy a home or contribute to the economy in a real way. Indentured servitude to the government via federal loan indebtedness. At least we'll have vapid reality TV and shitty music. Sup, future?


Preaching to the choir, brother. The boomers screwed us. Screwed us, hard.


yea, I am not looking forward to what that bubble caves in and people realise that those millions students borrowed back wont be coming back in. yay future.

it'll be more fun when it's the government and various pension funds sitting on that debt

User avatar
a male human
Posts: 1678
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:42 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby a male human » Fri May 18, 2012 10:34 pm

Does death exonerate a student (or his/her family) from school debts?

User avatar
dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby dingbat » Fri May 18, 2012 10:37 pm

a male human wrote:Does death exonerate a student (or his/her family) from school debts?

Depends on whether there was a co-signer or not

User avatar
roaringeagle
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:11 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby roaringeagle » Fri May 18, 2012 10:42 pm

a male human wrote:Does death exonerate a student (or his/her family) from school debts?


this post sent chills down my spine.

blsingindisguise
Posts: 1296
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby blsingindisguise » Fri May 18, 2012 11:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Typical NYC firm offers:
1) Base salary on the scale listed above (starting at $160k);


You do realize that biglaw firm in no way equals "typical NYC firm" right? The majority of NYC firms are NOT on this scale.

User avatar
BarcaCrossesTheAlps
Posts: 408
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 11:43 am

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby BarcaCrossesTheAlps » Sat May 19, 2012 1:00 am

roaringeagle wrote:
a male human wrote:Does death exonerate a student (or his/her family) from school debts?


this post sent chills down my spine.



No shit!


I would say, hell yes, unless there was a co-signer. Then the co-signer would still need to pay-up probably. So, don't commit suicide thinking you'll be getting your parents off the chopping block!

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18414
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Law firm compensation & benefits

Postby bk1 » Sat May 19, 2012 4:17 am

blsingindisguise wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Typical NYC firm offers:
1) Base salary on the scale listed above (starting at $160k);


You do realize that biglaw firm in no way equals "typical NYC firm" right? The majority of NYC firms are NOT on this scale.


I think it was obvious that anon meant "typical NYC biglaw firm."




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.