Paralegal: negotiating salary?

(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: 273158
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:22 pm

I'm under a lot of stress. Applying for jobs as a paralegal, and the average salary posted for paralegal jobs in my city are around ~$35K, which I am willing to accept.

I am getting a lot of pressure from family members who say that a college graduate should be getting paid $60K or more for a regular full time job. I tried explaining to them that most of the jobs posted are not in that range, however, they keep pressuring me to set "high standards for myself" and state my salary expectations as $65K.

Based on the limited knowledge i have, this sounds a little ridiculous. I do agree that I should set as high standards as possible for myself, but I feel that saying I want 65K a year is an automatic ding from offices where attorneys are getting paid not much more than that.

So what's a good way to negotiate? or to expect? Thanks...

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3139
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm under a lot of stress. Applying for jobs as a paralegal, and the average salary posted for paralegal jobs in my city are around ~$35K, which I am willing to accept.

I am getting a lot of pressure from family members who say that a college graduate should be getting paid $60K or more for a regular full time job. I tried explaining to them that most of the jobs posted are not in that range, however, they keep pressuring me to set "high standards for myself" and state my salary expectations as $65K.

Based on the limited knowledge i have, this sounds a little ridiculous. I do agree that I should set as high standards as possible for myself, but I feel that saying I want 65K a year is an automatic ding from offices where attorneys are getting paid not much more than that.

So what's a good way to negotiate? or to expect? Thanks...

Your family is wrong. Don't be stupid. Having a college degree is not that impressive and is a baseline requirement. It doesn't give you negotiating room. Take what they offer, you have no leverage.

ETA: My response assumes you're a recent graduate with no work experience.

User avatar
Dustin.
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:13 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Dustin. » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:31 pm

I was applying to similar positions and never saw one that paid upwards of $60k for entry-level.$35k or so seemed standard.

You might have a bit of room to negotiate, but not much. You don't want to lose an offer.

However, remember that nearly all of the big firms give their professional staff overtime, so that can add a nice amount to your yearly salary.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273158
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:32 pm

Thanks for the post. Yeah, I honestly feel like a college degree is equivalent to an old HS diploma. After so much pressure/constant berating from them, I started questioning myself and wondering if I was really setting the bar too low or something. And yes you'er right, I am a recent college grad, but with about 2.5 years of work experience

Anonymous User
Posts: 273158
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:33 pm

Dustin. wrote:I was applying to similar positions and never saw one that paid upwards of $60k for entry-level.$35k or so seemed standard.

You might have a bit of room to negotiate, but not much. You don't want to lose an offer.

However, remember that nearly all of the big firms give their professional staff overtime, so that can add a nice amount to your yearly salary.


Do you have any recommendations for good websites? I feel like I've hit up the major ones (including craigs list lol) but I;m running into a wall here

User avatar
paratactical
Posts: 5961
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:06 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby paratactical » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm under a lot of stress. Applying for jobs as a paralegal, and the average salary posted for paralegal jobs in my city are around ~$35K, which I am willing to accept.

I am getting a lot of pressure from family members who say that a college graduate should be getting paid $60K or more for a regular full time job. I tried explaining to them that most of the jobs posted are not in that range, however, they keep pressuring me to set "high standards for myself" and state my salary expectations as $65K.

Based on the limited knowledge i have, this sounds a little ridiculous. I do agree that I should set as high standards as possible for myself, but I feel that saying I want 65K a year is an automatic ding from offices where attorneys are getting paid not much more than that.

So what's a good way to negotiate? or to expect? Thanks...


It's not uncommon for biglaw paralegals in places like NYC to start somewhere around $35k-40k. Do you have any experience relevant to the work? If you're fresh out of college, it's really totally unreasonable to even think that you could get $65k. I've been a paralegal for 6 years at some decently ranked Vault firms and I don't have a $65k salary (now, or even when I was working in Boston and New York). Keep in mind that paralegals usually get OT, so it's more than just the salary.

nonprofit-prophet
Posts: 844
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:10 am

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:35 pm

paratactical wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm under a lot of stress. Applying for jobs as a paralegal, and the average salary posted for paralegal jobs in my city are around ~$35K, which I am willing to accept.

I am getting a lot of pressure from family members who say that a college graduate should be getting paid $60K or more for a regular full time job. I tried explaining to them that most of the jobs posted are not in that range, however, they keep pressuring me to set "high standards for myself" and state my salary expectations as $65K.

Based on the limited knowledge i have, this sounds a little ridiculous. I do agree that I should set as high standards as possible for myself, but I feel that saying I want 65K a year is an automatic ding from offices where attorneys are getting paid not much more than that.

So what's a good way to negotiate? or to expect? Thanks...


It's not uncommon for biglaw paralegals in places like NYC to start somewhere around $35k-40k. Do you have any experience relevant to the work? If you're fresh out of college, it's really totally unreasonable to even think that you could get $65k. I've been a paralegal for 6 years at some decently ranked Vault firms and I don't have a $65k salary (now, or even when I was working in Boston and New York). Keep in mind that paralegals usually get OT, so it's more than just the salary.


My girlfriend worked at a V10 as a paralegal. Starting salary was around 40, but she made over 60 after all the OT.

User avatar
tooswolle
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:48 am

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby tooswolle » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:36 pm

paratactical wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm under a lot of stress. Applying for jobs as a paralegal, and the average salary posted for paralegal jobs in my city are around ~$35K, which I am willing to accept.

I am getting a lot of pressure from family members who say that a college graduate should be getting paid $60K or more for a regular full time job. I tried explaining to them that most of the jobs posted are not in that range, however, they keep pressuring me to set "high standards for myself" and state my salary expectations as $65K.

Based on the limited knowledge i have, this sounds a little ridiculous. I do agree that I should set as high standards as possible for myself, but I feel that saying I want 65K a year is an automatic ding from offices where attorneys are getting paid not much more than that.

So what's a good way to negotiate? or to expect? Thanks...


It's not uncommon for biglaw paralegals in places like NYC to start somewhere around $35k-40k. Do you have any experience relevant to the work? If you're fresh out of college, it's really totally unreasonable to even think that you could get $65k. I've been a paralegal for 6 years at some decently ranked Vault firms and I don't have a $65k salary (now, or even when I was working in Boston and New York). Keep in mind that paralegals usually get OT, so it's more than just the salary.



Setting high goals is often a good thing; however there is a fine line between high expectations and entitlement. If you're a recent college grad you have less to work with unless you have enough experience in the field your are going in to and can demonstrate from day one you can help them make money. Adults seem to be out of touch to the current hiring realities of the post recession economy so tread lightly and good luck.
Last edited by tooswolle on Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
paratactical
Posts: 5961
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:06 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby paratactical » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:37 pm

nonprofit-prophet wrote:My girlfriend worked at a V10 as a paralegal. Starting salary was around 40, but she made over 60 after all the OT.

I was at a V10 and the year I billed 2300 hours was redonkulous. NYC taxes fucking suck, though.

User avatar
Dustin.
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:13 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Dustin. » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Dustin. wrote:I was applying to similar positions and never saw one that paid upwards of $60k for entry-level.$35k or so seemed standard.

You might have a bit of room to negotiate, but not much. You don't want to lose an offer.

However, remember that nearly all of the big firms give their professional staff overtime, so that can add a nice amount to your yearly salary.


Do you have any recommendations for good websites? I feel like I've hit up the major ones (including craigs list lol) but I;m running into a wall here


The position that I found was through the firm's website.

I got a list of all the Vault/NLJ 250 firms, and went down the list from top to bottom and applied to every position I thought I was qualified for at each firm.

So check the firm sites often as they are always adding new listings.

hooma
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:33 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby hooma » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:09 pm

Look for a job as a legal secretary. You'll work a lot less and get paid a lot more.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273158
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:58 pm

What planet do your parents live on?

Do they not realize that nearly a quarter of college graduates are unemployed? The degree clearly does not hold the same weight as it has in the past.

I'm a paralegal at V10 and I can say that the base at my firm in the Midwest is 38k. With the ridiculous amount of hours that I work, I'd say that I've easily cleared 50k approaching 60K. Those salaries are pretty much benchmarked with a 1-2k wiggle room dependent on experience.

User avatar
Tom Joad
Posts: 4542
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Tom Joad » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:41 am

Sounds like mom and pop are stereotypical shitBOOMERS.

jurisx
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 9:01 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby jurisx » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:02 am

Was is a paralegal posting on a law school forum? Did you fail law school? :|

User avatar
minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby minnbills » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:03 am

Tom Joad wrote:Sounds like mom and pop are stereotypical shitBOOMERS.

jurisx
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 9:01 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby jurisx » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:What planet do your parents live on?

Do they not realize that nearly a quarter of college graduates are unemployed? The degree clearly does not hold the same weight as it has in the past.

I'm a paralegal at V10 and I can say that the base at my firm in the Midwest is 38k. With the ridiculous amount of hours that I work, I'd say that I've easily cleared 50k approaching 60K. Those salaries are pretty much benchmarked with a 1-2k wiggle room dependent on experience.

What's up with all the paralegals on the big kid forum?

Anyways, you are wrong on that stat. You mean "in their field". More college grads have jobs than non grads. People just pick retard fields like MBA. (might as well be Doctor of Fetching my Coffee)

Anonymous User
Posts: 273158
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:45 am

I am a BigLaw paralegal and started at ~40K. Especially in this economic climate, setting 65K as your minimum salary requirement is setting yourself up for disappointment. 65K is something you have to work towards, not just expect right after graduating undergrad. In my view, being fresh out of college, you should look for opportunities for professional growth, jobs that will give you good experience and good network exposure so that can launch yourself to better (and better paying) jobs. Good luck.

SchopenhauerFTW
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:22 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:51 am

paratactical wrote:
nonprofit-prophet wrote:My girlfriend worked at a V10 as a paralegal. Starting salary was around 40, but she made over 60 after all the OT.

I was at a V10 and the year I billed 2300 hours was redonkulous. NYC taxes fucking suck, though.

Impressive.

User avatar
paratactical
Posts: 5961
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:06 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby paratactical » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:37 am

jurisx wrote:Was is a paralegal posting on a law school forum? Did you fail law school? :|

Me fail English? That's unpossible!

jurisx wrote:What's up with all the paralegals on the big kid forum?


Lots of paralegals consider law school at points in their careers. Also, "big kid"? LOL.

Sup Kid
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Sup Kid » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am getting a lot of pressure from family members who say that a college graduate should be getting paid $60K or more for a regular full time job. I tried explaining to them that most of the jobs posted are not in that range, however, they keep pressuring me to set "high standards for myself" and state my salary expectations as $65K.

Accounting majors starting at one of the big-4 accounting firms don't even start at $65,000. Start at whatever the firm offers, work lots of OT, and work hard. You'll get a yearly raise and more OT than you'll end up wanting if you do a good job.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273158
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:11 am

jurisx wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What planet do your parents live on?

Do they not realize that nearly a quarter of college graduates are unemployed? The degree clearly does not hold the same weight as it has in the past.

I'm a paralegal at V10 and I can say that the base at my firm in the Midwest is 38k. With the ridiculous amount of hours that I work, I'd say that I've easily cleared 50k approaching 60K. Those salaries are pretty much benchmarked with a 1-2k wiggle room dependent on experience.

What's up with all the paralegals on the big kid forum?

Anyways, you are wrong on that stat. You mean "in their field". More college grads have jobs than non grads. People just pick retard fields like MBA. (might as well be Doctor of Fetching my Coffee)


I don't know why you degrade paralegal 0Ls especially those considering law school. First, if you didn't recognize the subject line this was a posting about Paralegal salaries on a "Legal Employment" forum. Secondly, some people don't just jump on the bandwagon for a life time of debt without considering their options first. Being a paralegal at V10 has been an outstanding networking opportunity for me and I'd highly recommend it to anyone considering law school let alone big law before attending. It gives you an inside look at the lives of associates at bigger firms and the opportunity to decide whether or not that life is for you. I find this more productive then being some starry eyed lemming salivating over US News rankings and starting salaries without having any idea what the life of a lawyer is actually like.

SchopenhauerFTW
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:22 pm

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:
jurisx wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What planet do your parents live on?

Do they not realize that nearly a quarter of college graduates are unemployed? The degree clearly does not hold the same weight as it has in the past.

I'm a paralegal at V10 and I can say that the base at my firm in the Midwest is 38k. With the ridiculous amount of hours that I work, I'd say that I've easily cleared 50k approaching 60K. Those salaries are pretty much benchmarked with a 1-2k wiggle room dependent on experience.

What's up with all the paralegals on the big kid forum?

Anyways, you are wrong on that stat. You mean "in their field". More college grads have jobs than non grads. People just pick retard fields like MBA. (might as well be Doctor of Fetching my Coffee)


I don't know why you degrade paralegal 0Ls especially those considering law school. First, if you didn't recognize the subject line this was a posting about Paralegal salaries on a "Legal Employment" forum. Secondly, some people don't just jump on the bandwagon for a life time of debt without considering their options first. Being a paralegal at V10 has been an outstanding networking opportunity for me and I'd highly recommend it to anyone considering law school let alone big law before attending. It gives you an inside look at the lives of associates at bigger firms and the opportunity to decide whether or not that life is for you. I find this more productive then being some starry eyed lemming salivating over US News rankings and starting salaries without having any idea what the life of a lawyer is actually like.


Quoted for 80,000th post by Anonymous User. Thank you for your insight. :D

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:19 am

Anyone in this thread who is berating paralegals obviously has never been a summer associate. Paralegals saved my life on so many occasions. Honestly if I had a question I'd usually go to them before I went to a lawyer.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273158
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:21 am

Nothing new to add other than that you parents are delusional. You can't just pull a number out of your ass and demand it as a starting salary. You can love your parents all you want, but taking uninformed advice is never a good idea, no matter who the source. Shoot for 40k, make more than that in OT, work hard for a raise. Or ask for 65k and live in a sewer, eat out of a dumpster, and wait by the phone. Either way.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273158
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Paralegal: negotiating salary?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:25 am

Look for a legal assistant/paralegal position at a hedge fund. I work at a hedge fund where the starting salary is 65k for a legal assistant straight out of college. And that doesn't include the nice bonus at the end of the year.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.