Anonymous User wrote:nouseforaname123 wrote:Anonymous User wrote:nouseforaname123 wrote:
+1. This would frustrate me if I were a taxpayer in LA.
I don't think the comparisons to big law above are valid. Big law billable rates are about the complexity of the work. Big law associate salaries are about the personal sacrifices required by the job. Taking a completely wild guess here, LA city attorneys are not putting in big law hours.
Yes, that's why these salaries are significantly less than what even a first year associate earns in biglaw even though many of these attorneys have years of experience. Like someone mentioned, LA is a giant corporation with incredibly complex legal work. These are its in-house counsel. Their expertise saves taxpayers money because it's a hell of a lot cheaper to pay 140k than hiring a biglaw firm every time the city has a complex legal case, or settling cases unnecessarily for large amounts. Unlike the NYC Corporation Counsel, they also hire almost all experienced attorneys (5 years+) and virtually no entry levels. This obviously drives the average salary up.
The trade off between private sector and government employment used to be lower pay for better hours, job security and benefits (do you realize how much a public pension in a state like CA is really worth?). At this average salary, LA seems to be paying like a non-firm private sector employer while also giving public sector benefits.
The citizens of LA can do whatever they want with their money, but as a disinterested party, I have a hard time believing LA has to pay what it's paying to get the quality of legal services it's getting.
Where is there a rule that government has to pay less than ANY private sector employer? If the citizens of LA are getting quality legal work that lowers the cost of settlements, litigation losses, and outside counsel for the city, then why does it matter that these attorneys are paid only a little less than many in-house attorneys? I don't think you get how complex a lot of these cases are that they work on. You need qualified lawyers.
Of course there isn't any rule that government has to pay less than the private sector. I just have this crazy notion that government should be a good steward of limited public resources.
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I don't get why people care? Is it that it challenges the only undisputed advantage of biglaw over other jobs, which is salary?
You really don't get why tax-paying citizens might care about how government spends its revenue?