Law clerk pay??

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AMCD
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Law clerk pay??

Postby AMCD » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:32 am

Was offered two law clerk positions last week starting in the new year (I'm a 3L). Both asked me what I would expect salary wise. I have no clue! Any ideas as to what the range is? Strange they wouldn't state a number. One of the jobs offered an associate position post-graduation. Will be working 2 full days a week at either choice. Need to send them answers this weekend. Any input greatly appreciated!!

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Icculus
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby Icculus » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:58 am

I currently work part time as a law clerk in a legal department and they pay me $30/hour.

Edit: I am in the Chicago market and in the legal department of a transportation company.
Last edited by Icculus on Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:26 am

I'm a 3L law clerk at a mid-size firm making $22.25 an hour.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby somewhatwayward » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:28 am

I also work part time as a law clerk and get $35/hour.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby BarbellDreams » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:05 pm

No one will be able to answer your question without knowing what market you're in and where the job is (big firm, small firm, state, etc.)

hangtime813
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby hangtime813 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:48 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:No one will be able to answer your question without knowing what market you're in and where the job is (big firm, small firm, state, etc.)



yup depends on the market and size of the firm. people posting around 30 seems a bit high (props to them), but i think its closer to around 20

Anonymous User
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:01 pm

I made $42/hr during my 2L & 3L year as a law clerk. Minneapolis office. Patent firm sized at around 20-30 attorneys

AMCD
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby AMCD » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:03 pm

Sorry for the lack of particulars. Los Angeles market. Boutique firm, very specialized area for which I am 100% suited in terms of pre-law school background (older student) -- hence the associate offer upon graduation. I know money is not the issue now as they will be taking the time to train me and there will be a lot of responsibility very early on, but as they asked me to come back to them, I just want to be reasonable and informed.

Thank you everyone for your time in posting your replies so far and those that are forthcoming. Really, thanks!

CanadianWolf
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:13 pm

Try career services at your law school for some information and/or guidance. If none is available, then ask for a specific pay rate, but let them know that you're flexible. Do any of your classmates share your specialized work experience & qualifications ? If so, then don't be too aggressive.

hangtime813
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby hangtime813 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I made $42/hr during my 2L & 3L year as a law clerk. Minneapolis office. Patent firm sized at around 20-30 attorneys



holllllly $42, legit stuff.

AMCD u can PM me if u want--im starting as a law clerk at a mid-size in LA this jan.

AMCD
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby AMCD » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:38 pm

Thank you, Canadian Wolf. No, nobody has my background at the school, but I agree I still need to be low key about asking for $$ given the post-grad offer that's been made. I just don't want to make less than the file clerk!

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby BarbellDreams » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:52 pm

Need size of firm in terms of attorneys and not just "boutique", but with the LA market I'd say the bare bottom floor is $25/hour and likely in the low $30s if specialized successful Boutique.

Anonymous User
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:02 pm

My anecdotal experience and suggestion:

I'm a 3L at a mid-size (35-40 attorneys) ID firm--$22/hour. I also worked at a small/mid-sized (20-25) plaintiffs firm, which payed $25/hour. If the firm is 25+ attorneys (and at least one is looking for a full time associate), then I would say nothing below $20, and don't expect above $30.

Edit: this is in Los Angeles.

Anonymous User
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My anecdotal experience and suggestion:

I'm a 3L at a mid-size (35-40 attorneys) ID firm--$22/hour. I also worked at a small/mid-sized (20-25) plaintiffs firm, which payed $25/hour. If the firm is 25+ attorneys (and at least one is looking for a full time associate), then I would say nothing below $20, and don't expect above $30.

Edit: this is in Los Angeles.



agree with above. i would say around 20 is right.

kryptix
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby kryptix » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:42 pm

hangtime813 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I made $42/hr during my 2L & 3L year as a law clerk. Minneapolis office. Patent firm sized at around 20-30 attorneys



holllllly $42, legit stuff.

AMCD u can PM me if u want--im starting as a law clerk at a mid-size in LA this jan.


You should start charging your billable rate right now! $200 :)

In all seriousness though, at $42 an hour did you have any special qualifications? Patent Agent? Its not that high of a rate for a contractor in most specialty fields but from what I can see, law firms usually don't pay that much for positions that are essentially "overhead" and not revenue generating.

Anonymous User
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:57 pm

im a 3L working in biglaw (not nyc) and my firm pays 50/hour. I've heard other firms pay around this too for biglaw

AMCD
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby AMCD » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:53 pm

Thank you for all of your replies and input. Really very grateful. They wrote back and stated $20 to start, $25 in 60 days, negotiate the associate salary by May 1st so I figure I can walk if it's not what I feel I should be making given how much responsibility they want me to take on with my background. Got my own nice office, with a view, starting first of the year!

Strange -- sent three letters and CVs out -- all unsolicited but specifically targeted. Got two interviews in two weeks, two offers, and the third called today after I accepted the associate position to set up an interview so I told them I was already spoken for but grateful. Attorney then still asked me to come and see him give a presentation to the bar association in January! Have never set foot in the career office at school. Nobody has ever asked me for a grade -- ever. All that stressing out and work 1L and 2L. Being older isn't the kiss of death it seems!!

zomginternets
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby zomginternets » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:08 am

AMCD wrote:Thank you for all of your replies and input. Really very grateful. They wrote back and stated $20 to start, $25 in 60 days, negotiate the associate salary by May 1st so I figure I can walk if it's not what I feel I should be making given how much responsibility they want me to take on with my background. Got my own nice office, with a view, starting first of the year!

Strange -- sent three letters and CVs out -- all unsolicited but specifically targeted. Got two interviews in two weeks, two offers, and the third called today after I accepted the associate position to set up an interview so I told them I was already spoken for but grateful. Attorney then still asked me to come and see him give a presentation to the bar association in January! Have never set foot in the career office at school. Nobody has ever asked me for a grade -- ever. All that stressing out and work 1L and 2L. Being older isn't the kiss of death it seems!!


Congrats! You're having a much more successful 3L job hunt than most. FWIW, I actually think older students do better overall in terms of job hunt, particularly from lower ranking schools. I'm at a T3, and everyone I know who got biglaw are all 30+ or otherwise have substantial post-UG work experience.

005618502
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby 005618502 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:32 am

What are these positions you are talking about? Like positions you do while in LS with firms? I guess I am having difficulty following the start date.

Anonymous User
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:30 am

kryptix wrote:
hangtime813 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I made $42/hr during my 2L & 3L year as a law clerk. Minneapolis office. Patent firm sized at around 20-30 attorneys



holllllly $42, legit stuff.

AMCD u can PM me if u want--im starting as a law clerk at a mid-size in LA this jan.


You should start charging your billable rate right now! $200 :)

In all seriousness though, at $42 an hour did you have any special qualifications? Patent Agent? Its not that high of a rate for a contractor in most specialty fields but from what I can see, law firms usually don't pay that much for positions that are essentially "overhead" and not revenue generating.


yah patent agent. passed patent bar 3 days before first day of law school. I was very much relieved to have passed and got it out of way.

I think my billing rate to clients was 125/hr?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:28 pm

Just another anecdotal data point. I clerked last year as a 3L for a boutique firm in a major (not NY) market. I was paid $55/hour with the intent I come back after the bar. So there is an extremely wide range, it really depends on what your are doing and what the firm sees your role as. My firm basically treated it as a semester long summer associate position in which they trained me to hit the ground running when I cam back post bar.

You need to balance they type of firm (ie level of work/pay) with the skills you are bringing to the table, then you should adjust your request accordingly. Without such details it is hard to say if $20/hour is appropriate or $50.

Anonymous User
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:53 pm

I worked for $25 during 3L and was given a raise to $40 after graduation while I was studying for the bar.

84weeks
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby 84weeks » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:17 pm

3L here: I make $16/hour at a mid-sized plaintiffs firm in a small market (so, $16/hour is big potatoes). However, depending on the case, my billing rate can be ten times that amount.

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nightlight
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby nightlight » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:54 pm

You may want to ask about overtime. Even if you're only working two days per week now, there may be times (e.g., spring break) when you break the 40 hour mark. I made $20/hr at a boutique tax firm last summer; twenty hours of weekly overtime boosted my gross from $800 to $1400. :mrgreen:

Gorki
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Re: Law clerk pay??

Postby Gorki » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:34 am

AssumptionRequired wrote:What are these positions you are talking about? Like positions you do while in LS with firms? I guess I am having difficulty following the start date.


People w/o SAs (read the vast majority of LS students overall) get jobs whenever and this usually means school year, then work the 20 hours a week allowed during school year (if not more if PT, or willingly blowing off ABA rules) and then going FT during summers.

These positions are in government, firms, corporations, etc. Many of these non-biglaw firms hire when needed and cannot possibly forecast hiring needs so far into the future.




OP: I make $15/hr as a law clerk for a small business in a secondary market and I am a first semester 2L. Not huge bank but my market is super saturated and I am thankful everyday to have a job, period, let alone a job that pays double the retail gig I would otherwise have to pick up during Xmas.

But even if I was at a much larger company, or my position was much more intense (Very very understanding employer in regards to school) I am unsure as to whether I would be making much more than $15/hr in this market.

Like others said we need to know a bit more about the market, and whether you are doing run of the mill clerk work or have some subset of skills that make your work sophisticated and unusual.




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