Salary Expectations- First Year

(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.
User avatar
rgucsb
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:16 pm

Salary Expectations- First Year

Postby rgucsb » Wed May 27, 2015 7:12 pm

Hi TLS,

I recently passed the Feb 15 CA Bar exam and have a question about salary expectations for my first year.

I worked in legal compliance for a tech start-up for 8 months before passing. The same company wants to hire me on as in-house counsel (which would make me the 2nd attorney in the office). The company is very profitable. I have been significantly underpaid the last 8 months (there marketing employees getting paid more than I am as a compliance officer, but I didnt really have an leverage as a jd trying to get a job back then).

While working here, I have built out an entire compliance department and policies and procedures. I have also been filing trademark applications for the company and have gotten 4 successfully published after numerous responses to office actions.

My question is how much should I ask for? What should I expect? Any other attorneys on here that work in the start up industry? I don't think taking equity in the company is an option and the company does not offer any loan repayment assistance. Thoughts?

ruski
Posts: 350
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:45 am

Re: Salary Expectations- First Year

Postby ruski » Wed May 27, 2015 7:26 pm

how indespensible are you? it sounds like you are pretty irreplaceable to me. you built up an entire compliance department? how hard would it be to replace you? to train someone to do what you do and know what you know? sounds to me like you shouldn't settle for anything below 100k (unless this start up is like operating out of someones apt or something)

071816
Posts: 5511
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:06 pm

Re: Salary Expectations- First Year

Postby 071816 » Wed May 27, 2015 7:30 pm

ask career services (or a better resource if you can find one) for average salary info for in-house counsel in that industry and size of company. they should have something to at least let you know if you're in the ballpark or not.

whatsyourdeal
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Re: Salary Expectations- First Year

Postby whatsyourdeal » Wed May 27, 2015 7:37 pm

Any way you can ask the other attorney how much he/she makes?

If not, you can always default to Robert Half Legal's salary guide.

I also agree with the poster above, you shouldn't take less than 100k.

071816
Posts: 5511
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:06 pm

Re: Salary Expectations- First Year

Postby 071816 » Wed May 27, 2015 7:39 pm

whatsyourdeal wrote:Any way you can ask the other attorney how much he/she makes?

If not, you can always default to Robert Half Legal's salary guide.

I also agree with the poster above, you shouldn't take less than 100k.

what are you basing this on? there are a lot of factors at play here.

whatsyourdeal
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Re: Salary Expectations- First Year

Postby whatsyourdeal » Thu May 28, 2015 12:56 pm

chimp wrote:
whatsyourdeal wrote:Any way you can ask the other attorney how much he/she makes?

If not, you can always default to Robert Half Legal's salary guide.

I also agree with the poster above, you shouldn't take less than 100k.

what are you basing this on? there are a lot of factors at play here.



You're right, there are many factors that we don't know about that affect OP's salary negotiations. Without knowing what industry, what they pay the other attorney, what OP's title will be, what geographical area OP is located in, or any other factors, its hard to make an estimate on OP's value to the company.

However, OP did mention he/she is responsible for building out an entire compliance department. Unlike OP, most 1st years working in house don't provide much value to a company. And, OP seems to want to pay off a chunk of loans too, based on the comment re: student repayment assistance. So, not taking less than 100k is my guess based on OPs value and need.

OP, maybe you can provide us with a baseline figure: approximately how much do you currently make? what city are you located? what industry is this? what would your title be (will you be associate GC, and the other guy GC)?

Nat Sherman
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Salary Expectations- First Year

Postby Nat Sherman » Thu May 28, 2015 7:23 pm

If it's a successful start-up like you say, maybe salary should not be your only focus. If you think the company is actually going somewhere, you should negotiate for equity as well. It's early in your career and you're already intending to stay at the company. This is the perfect position to take a gamble in your life. Most start ups that have at least some venture capital/private equity funding will have an option pool specifically set up for employees. Try to get in on that.

However, if you have a wife and kids to feed, this may not be the best advice.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.