Bickel & Brewer bumps base salary to 185k

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rayiner
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Re: Bickel & Brewer bumps base salary to 185k

Postby rayiner » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:56 pm

crit_racer wrote:If B&B can pay 185k and demand more hours, how come no firms are willing to pay a little bit less and demand less hours? I'd take 120k/year (in a market-paying city) if it meant working 25% less hours. And that would be more sustainable in the longer run (less laterals, attrition, etc)


Two reasons:

1) Your cost isn't $120k or $160k. It's X + $120k or X + $160k. Where $X is fixed costs per head and is in the neighborhood of $100k+ in a major market. So if you cut hours requirements by 25%, the necessary corresponding cut in salary is more like $65k.

2) Matters move at their own pace and teams don't scale linearly. That is to say, if you want to get a deal done in 2 weeks, and that normally require 5 associates working 60 hours a week to do it, you will not be able to get it done with 7 associates working 45 hours a week. As a partner, you'd rather have a team of 5 associates working long hours than a team of 7 associates working moderate hours.

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Re: Bickel & Brewer bumps base salary to 185k

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:05 pm

We just saw my law firms financials. Associate overhead is jack shit compared to what the firm is making off of you, even in year one. I almost quit on the spot when they told us how much of our revenue was pure profit.

The real answer is that if you work less hours, you make less money for the partners.

First years billed at $500/hour working 2000 hours for $160k = firm makes $420/hour, you make $80/hour. Assuming the $100k costs figure is right, your overhead is covered at around 240 hours. With 1760 more hours to go, the firm has $739,000 more to make off of you.

However, reduce hours and pay by 25%. $500/hour working 1500 hours for $120k = same hourly rates, but the firm only makes $529,000 more off of you.

Some firms do allow part time. 60% hours requirement for 60% pay, for example. What ends up happening though is you're part-time in name only, and usually end up working far more than the agreed upon 60%.

You want to make less money to work less hours? Tell the billable hour to piss off and go do contingency work. The billable hour is the worst, and leads to a lot of the terribad things about big law.

badaboom61
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Re: Bickel & Brewer bumps base salary to 185k

Postby badaboom61 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:We just saw my law firms financials. Associate overhead is jack shit compared to what the firm is making off of you, even in year one. I almost quit on the spot when they told us how much of our revenue was pure profit.

The real answer is that if you work less hours, you make less money for the partners.

First years billed at $500/hour working 2000 hours for $160k = firm makes $420/hour, you make $80/hour. Assuming the $100k costs figure is right, your overhead is covered at around 240 hours. With 1760 more hours to go, the firm has $739,000 more to make off of you.

However, reduce hours and pay by 25%. $500/hour working 1500 hours for $120k = same hourly rates, but the firm only makes $529,000 more off of you.

Some firms do allow part time. 60% hours requirement for 60% pay, for example. What ends up happening though is you're part-time in name only, and usually end up working far more than the agreed upon 60%.

You want to make less money to work less hours? Tell the billable hour to piss off and go do contingency work. The billable hour is the worst, and leads to a lot of the terribad things about big law.


Yes, the billable hour sucks, and the partners make an absolute killing off overworking associates.

The thing to keep in perspective is that even though they're making a nearly unconscionable profit off you, they're still paying A HUNDRED AND SIXTY FUCKING THOUSAND A YEAR. I don't know about you, but for a 25 year old with no skills and experience, that's pretty good, even if you are generating six times that.

The client is the one who's really getting screwed, paying $500 an hour for a first year's work.

09042014
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Re: Bickel & Brewer bumps base salary to 185k

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:19 pm

badaboom61 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:We just saw my law firms financials. Associate overhead is jack shit compared to what the firm is making off of you, even in year one. I almost quit on the spot when they told us how much of our revenue was pure profit.

The real answer is that if you work less hours, you make less money for the partners.

First years billed at $500/hour working 2000 hours for $160k = firm makes $420/hour, you make $80/hour. Assuming the $100k costs figure is right, your overhead is covered at around 240 hours. With 1760 more hours to go, the firm has $739,000 more to make off of you.

However, reduce hours and pay by 25%. $500/hour working 1500 hours for $120k = same hourly rates, but the firm only makes $529,000 more off of you.

Some firms do allow part time. 60% hours requirement for 60% pay, for example. What ends up happening though is you're part-time in name only, and usually end up working far more than the agreed upon 60%.

You want to make less money to work less hours? Tell the billable hour to piss off and go do contingency work. The billable hour is the worst, and leads to a lot of the terribad things about big law.


Yes, the billable hour sucks, and the partners make an absolute killing off overworking associates.

The thing to keep in perspective is that even though they're making a nearly unconscionable profit off you, they're still paying A HUNDRED AND SIXTY FUCKING THOUSAND A YEAR. I don't know about you, but for a 25 year old with no skills and experience, that's pretty good, even if you are generating six times that.

The client is the one who's really getting screwed, paying $500 an hour for a first year's work.


They are paying 500 for a first years work under the supervision of a partner. It's like paying 10 dollars a month for text messaging that costs virtually nothing for ATT to provide you. It's really just paying for the service as a whole.

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Re: Bickel & Brewer bumps base salary to 185k

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:19 pm

badaboom61 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:We just saw my law firms financials. Associate overhead is jack shit compared to what the firm is making off of you, even in year one. I almost quit on the spot when they told us how much of our revenue was pure profit.

The real answer is that if you work less hours, you make less money for the partners.

First years billed at $500/hour working 2000 hours for $160k = firm makes $420/hour, you make $80/hour. Assuming the $100k costs figure is right, your overhead is covered at around 240 hours. With 1760 more hours to go, the firm has $739,000 more to make off of you.

However, reduce hours and pay by 25%. $500/hour working 1500 hours for $120k = same hourly rates, but the firm only makes $529,000 more off of you.

Some firms do allow part time. 60% hours requirement for 60% pay, for example. What ends up happening though is you're part-time in name only, and usually end up working far more than the agreed upon 60%.

You want to make less money to work less hours? Tell the billable hour to piss off and go do contingency work. The billable hour is the worst, and leads to a lot of the terribad things about big law.


Yes, the billable hour sucks, and the partners make an absolute killing off overworking associates.

The thing to keep in perspective is that even though they're making a nearly unconscionable profit off you, they're still paying A HUNDRED AND SIXTY FUCKING THOUSAND A YEAR. I don't know about you, but for a 25 year old with no skills and experience, that's pretty good, even if you are generating six times that.

The client is the one who's really getting screwed, paying $500 an hour for a first year's work.


If you figure a 2/3 hours worked:hours billed rate (pretty generous, from what I've seen), you're working 3000 hours to bill 2000. $53/hour is good, but it hardly worth selling your soul or putting up with the shit big law makes you put up with.

What we're being paid relative to everyone else is pretty irrelevant. What matters, from a morale and satisfaction standpoint, is how much you're paying paid relative to how much value you're bringing to the firm (which is, in terms of $, your billing rate and your hours).

I agree clients are getting screwed. I'm not worth $500/hour. But I'm also getting screwed because two busy months cover my cost and my salary. The remaining 10 months are pure profit for the firm. The more hours I work, the less money I see relative to the value I've contributed (and the less my hourly rate). Yet we're incentivized to be inefficient and slow.

The incentives are perverted because of the billable hour.

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patrickd139
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Re: Bickel & Brewer bumps base salary to 185k

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:21 pm

Lots of assumptions ITT. Like the assumption that 100% of an associate's hours are actually billed. Or that 100% of the hours actually billed are actually paid. Or that every firm bills at $500 per hour for first years (not saying your firm doesn't, but I think it's an outlier). Or that the clients don't negotiate for discounted rates for associates.

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Re: Bickel & Brewer bumps base salary to 185k

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:28 pm

patrickd139 wrote:Lots of assumptions ITT. Like the assumption that 100% of an associate's hours are actually billed. Or that 100% of the hours actually billed are actually paid. Or that every firm bills at $500 per hour for first years (not saying your firm doesn't, but I think it's an outlier). Or that the clients don't negotiate for discounted rates for associates.


I don't think $500/hour is that far off for V..20? Give or take a few.

We see on our system when our hours are written off.

At $500/hour, it would take writing off 1420 of our hours for the firm to merely break even on us (assuming the $100k overheard figure).

If you're going to have the billable hours target and this absurdly high billing rate, tie associate bonuses to a % of their hourly rate * hours beyond the target. That would solve a lot of associate-side issues with the billable hour. I believe Boies Schiller does something like this. Lockstep + the billable hour is just bad for everyone except equity partners.

09042014
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Re: Bickel & Brewer bumps base salary to 185k

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:34 pm

Yea I really don't understand the flat bonus system in big law. Both sides would benefit from giving lawyers a cut of hours above 2K, even if they only just did hours actually paid.

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Re: Bickel & Brewer bumps base salary to 185k

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:45 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Yea I really don't understand the flat bonus system in big law. Both sides would benefit from giving lawyers a cut of hours above 2K, even if they only just did hours actually paid.


The equity partners would make less. That's the only reason.

09042014
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Re: Bickel & Brewer bumps base salary to 185k

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Yea I really don't understand the flat bonus system in big law. Both sides would benefit from giving lawyers a cut of hours above 2K, even if they only just did hours actually paid.


The equity partners would make less. That's the only reason.


Only if extra hours worked didn't cover the cost of the bonus.

I guess the real answer is they scare associates into working those hours even without it. And that a bonus wouldn't create more hours.

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Re: Bickel & Brewer bumps base salary to 185k

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Has anyone had interviews with them recently? They did spring OCI here at my school for 2Ls and I just wondered if anyone knew what was up with their summer hiring.

You and me both.




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