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What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:29 pm
by BobsYourMan30
Hi everyone,

I recently accepted an entry-level associate possible at a "mid-sized " firm (90 attorneys) in a large secondary market. They appear to do a lot of insurance defense (professional liability, employment, auto, premises, etc.) but also do non-ID work as well.

Anyway, they have offered to pay me 85k per year. Is this a fair wage? Market in my area pays 140k. What are non-biglaw firms paying usually??

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:30 pm
by A. Nony Mouse
Whatever they want/can/the market will bear. That sounds pretty fair to me.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:37 pm
by BobsYourMan30
What doesn't make sense to me is that all associates bill the exact same rate. Why should an associate with more experience get paid more. At this firm i'm at, an 8th year associate bills the exact same as me but makes 140k. We have the same level of profitability, I dont understand the discrepancy in wage.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:43 pm
by UnicornHunter
BobsYourMan30 wrote:What doesn't make sense to me is that all associates bill the exact same rate. Why should an associate with more experience get paid more. At this firm i'm at, an 8th year associate bills the exact same as me but makes 140k. We have the same level of profitability, I dont understand the discrepancy in wage.



When you're an 8th year, you'll appreciate a) your increased wages and b) the difference between you and a 1st year. Would not recommend advancing the "we bill the same" argument in salary negotiations.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:49 pm
by BobsYourMan30
AfghanTourist wrote:
BobsYourMan30 wrote:What doesn't make sense to me is that all associates bill the exact same rate. Why should an associate with more experience get paid more. At this firm i'm at, an 8th year associate bills the exact same as me but makes 140k. We have the same level of profitability, I dont understand the discrepancy in wage.



When you're an 8th year, you'll appreciate a) your increased wages and b) the difference between you and a 1st year. Would not recommend advancing the "we bill the same" argument in salary negotiations.


Well I was talking to a 3rd year about this at the firm. He makes significantly less than 140k but does everything the 8th year does and with little or no supervision. Especially in our practice where cases almost never go to trial and most cases settle before depositions. Doesn't make sense to me.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:51 pm
by Bobnoxious
What Afghan said. They could always pay you less since you don't have a track record of company loyalty and haven't had the opportunity to show that you can work with the good and the bad that comes with this particular firm. You could suggest that instead of suggesting you have demonstrated that loyalty, or you could make the argument that length of service and the loyalty it shows has absolutely zero economic value.

I wish you luck.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:53 pm
by BobsYourMan30
Bobnoxious wrote:What Afghan said. They could always pay you less since you don't have a track record of company loyalty and haven't had the opportunity to show that you can work with the good and the bad that comes with this particular firm. You could suggest that instead of suggesting you have demonstrated that loyalty, or you could make the argument that length of service and the loyalty it shows has absolutely zero economic value.

I wish you luck.


Which is why I gave the example of the 3rd year whose actually been there longer than the 8th year associate lateral. Oh well, at least its a job but this aspect is very annoying.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:16 pm
by OutCold
You really need to learn how seniority works. Even if a third year is doing the same work as an eighth year, which is probably not the case, you are forgetting that the ones who are still at the firm in their eighth year are generally the ones that haven't been shown the door to free up room for the incoming cheaper labor. They have a demonstrated level of competence. They are paid more as the firm whittles their number down to determine if they have partnership potential. If their pay didn't increase for eight years, do you really think they would still be at the firm? Whether you realize it or not, a fourth year is a lot more marketable in lateral hiring than a first or second year.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:18 pm
by rad lulz
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Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:48 pm
by Veyron
BobsYourMan30 wrote:Hi everyone,

I recently accepted an entry-level associate possible at a "mid-sized " firm (90 attorneys) in a large secondary market. They appear to do a lot of insurance defense (professional liability, employment, auto, premises, etc.) but also do non-ID work as well.

Anyway, they have offered to pay me 85k per year. Is this a fair wage? Market in my area pays 140k. What are non-biglaw firms paying usually??


85 + bonus sounds just about spot-on for that firm size in that market for a 1st year lawyer.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:54 pm
by IAFG
From what I know this is a higher end salary for ID. And ID isn't "midlaw."

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:26 pm
by guano
rad lulz wrote:Take that offer and quit your bitching you ungrateful loon

this


There are genuine midlaw firms in NYC that pay $90-$110. $85k in a secondary market is a good outcome

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:27 pm
by BobsYourMan30
What kind if increases should I expect annually? I suppose I could lateral to biglaw or better paying firm after a few years. The firm isn't exclusively ID. Just annoying to see these "senior" associates make so much more and they're not that competent anyway.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:35 pm
by 09042014
BobsYourMan30 wrote:What kind if increases should I expect annually? I suppose I could lateral to biglaw or better paying firm after a few years. The firm isn't exclusively ID. Just annoying to see these "senior" associates make so much more and they're not that competent anyway.


Wait 4 years is you can lateral in as a partner to big law.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:37 pm
by BobsYourMan30
Desert Fox wrote:
BobsYourMan30 wrote:What kind if increases should I expect annually? I suppose I could lateral to biglaw or better paying firm after a few years. The firm isn't exclusively ID. Just annoying to see these "senior" associates make so much more and they're not that competent anyway.


Wait 4 years is you can lateral in as a partner to big law.


Make fun. If economy wasn't so crap, I'd prob get big law.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:45 pm
by A. Nony Mouse
BobsYourMan30 wrote:What kind if increases should I expect annually? I suppose I could lateral to biglaw or better paying firm after a few years. The firm isn't exclusively ID. Just annoying to see these "senior" associates make so much more and they're not that competent anyway.

And so when you're a senior associate I presume you'll lobby for new associates to make the same amount as you?

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:47 pm
by BobsYourMan30
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
BobsYourMan30 wrote:What kind if increases should I expect annually? I suppose I could lateral to biglaw or better paying firm after a few years. The firm isn't exclusively ID. Just annoying to see these "senior" associates make so much more and they're not that competent anyway.

And so when you're a senior associate I presume you'll lobby for new associates to make the same amount as you?


No because it's not in my interest but as it stands with same billing rates, I'm more profitable for the firm. It just doesn't make business sense. Firms should realize that 8th year associates have no leverage. Their value declines in the market. There's no need to pay them so much.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:51 pm
by kalvano
You aren't more profitable. An 8th year associate collects on every hour he or she bills. The firm will probably have to cut your bills by a ton for the first couple years.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:55 pm
by BobsYourMan30
kalvano wrote:You aren't more profitable. An 8th year associate collects on every hour he or she bills. The firm will probably have to cut your bills by a ton for the first couple years.


I was talking to the 3rd year and they collected more $$$ in total on his work than the senior associate.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:56 pm
by A. Nony Mouse
BobsYourMan30 wrote:
kalvano wrote:You aren't more profitable. An 8th year associate collects on every hour he or she bills. The firm will probably have to cut your bills by a ton for the first couple years.


I was talking to the 3rd year and they collected more $$$ in total on his work than the senior associate.

Anecdata much? And what does this have to do you with your profitability?

In any case, if you've taken this job, you need to just suck it up and get over the perceived inequity. They're not going to change people's salaries just for you, law firms traditionally give raises based on seniority, you're not going to be able to do anything about it.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:00 pm
by BobsYourMan30
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
BobsYourMan30 wrote:
kalvano wrote:You aren't more profitable. An 8th year associate collects on every hour he or she bills. The firm will probably have to cut your bills by a ton for the first couple years.


I was talking to the 3rd year and they collected more $$$ in total on his work than the senior associate.

Anecdata much? And what does this have to do you with your profitability?

In any case, if you've taken this job, you need to just suck it up and get over the perceived inequity. They're not going to change people's salaries just for you, law firms traditionally give raises based on seniority, you're not going to be able to do anything about it.


At what point am I a viable candidate for a lateral move? One year?

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:00 pm
by kalvano
LOL at special snowflake syndrome.

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:03 pm
by sublime
..

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:12 pm
by twenty 8
BobsYourMan30 wrote:Hi everyone,

... they have offered to pay me 85k per year. Is this a fair wage? Market in my area pays 140k.

Were you not aware of the disparity in market pay when you were an SA or is there more to your story?

Re: What is fair pay for midlaw entry-level

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:14 pm
by 20141023
.