Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

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PennBull

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Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby PennBull » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:17 pm


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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:36 pm

What city? Des Moines, Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Dubuque?

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:22 pm

I live here. No word. Des Moines is a terrible place to start as a lawyer.

I've talked to several rural lawyers whom are finally raising associate pay due to student loans and a shorter supply (Iowa Law's classes are like half the size they used to be). Some have been starting people in the $30's, low 40's forever. Several are now considering raising that to high 40's or low 50's, and one plans to offer $60k if he finds the right person.

We might change our partnership structure to offer a higher starting salary but longer partner track. We'd hate to do it, but we might have to.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby acr » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I live here. No word. Des Moines is a terrible place to start as a lawyer.

I've talked to several rural lawyers whom are finally raising associate pay due to student loans and a shorter supply (Iowa Law's classes are like half the size they used to be). Some have been starting people in the $30's, low 40's forever. Several are now considering raising that to high 40's or low 50's, and one plans to offer $60k if he finds the right person.

We might change our partnership structure to offer a higher starting salary but longer partner track. We'd hate to do it, but we might have to.


Would you mind if I PM'd you? Trying to land a firm in Des Moines from WUSTL for 2L SA.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I live here. No word. Des Moines is a terrible place to start as a lawyer.

I've talked to several rural lawyers whom are finally raising associate pay due to student loans and a shorter supply (Iowa Law's classes are like half the size they used to be). Some have been starting people in the $30's, low 40's forever. Several are now considering raising that to high 40's or low 50's, and one plans to offer $60k if he finds the right person.

We might change our partnership structure to offer a higher starting salary but longer partner track. We'd hate to do it, but we might have to.


Wow, I am surprised the numbers are that low. Are these small rural law firms that are offering $40s? I thought Des Moines firms would be closer to $65-75 and the other cities not far behind.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I live here. No word. Des Moines is a terrible place to start as a lawyer.

I've talked to several rural lawyers whom are finally raising associate pay due to student loans and a shorter supply (Iowa Law's classes are like half the size they used to be). Some have been starting people in the $30's, low 40's forever. Several are now considering raising that to high 40's or low 50's, and one plans to offer $60k if he finds the right person.

We might change our partnership structure to offer a higher starting salary but longer partner track. We'd hate to do it, but we might have to.


It seems like your first line doesn't really connect with the rest of the post. Why would DSM be a terrible place to start because rural attorneys are starting at 40k? I don't know much about the DSM market but I know that 90k starting is not unheard of in Cedar Rapids at least. This isn't biglaw money but for Iowa Law alumni with low debt it's solid with the low COL. What's the starting rate at Nyemaster now for example or Davis Brown?

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Serett » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:05 pm

Piglaw to $80k!!!

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby hdunlop » Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:33 pm

Can't stop laughing about that

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby cron1834 » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:42 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:34 am

Will you make $180k as an associate working in Iowa? No. Will you make anywhere close to that? No.
However, you will be able to find work as an attorney in Iowa. There is a demand for jobs in the Iowa legal market. So if you want a job and want to live in Iowa, take the lowered salary and start working as a lawyer. The job market in Iowa is doing a lot better than in other areas. The Des Moines area is experiencing rapid growth.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:Will you make $180k as an associate working in Iowa? No. Will you make anywhere close to that? No.
However, you will be able to find work as an attorney in Iowa. There is a demand for jobs in the Iowa legal market. So if you want a job and want to live in Iowa, take the lowered salary and start working as a lawyer. The job market in Iowa is doing a lot better than in other areas. The Des Moines area is experiencing rapid growth.


Berlin McCormick is paying $140k for first years which was pretty great all things considered under the old 160 scale but now is just pretty good for the Iowans who went T-14 and are weighing coming home against going to biglaw in NY or something and making 180 to pay loans.

But those opportunities are obviously very limited. What could a first year expect to make at Faegre or Brown Winick (or Nyemaster or Davis Brown that I mentioned earlier)? Their salaries aren't as easily accessible. I am guessing they pay at least 90k though I have nothing to back that up other than knowledge that one of their Iowa peer firms in Cedar Rapids starts there.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I live here. No word. Des Moines is a terrible place to start as a lawyer.

I've talked to several rural lawyers whom are finally raising associate pay due to student loans and a shorter supply (Iowa Law's classes are like half the size they used to be). Some have been starting people in the $30's, low 40's forever. Several are now considering raising that to high 40's or low 50's, and one plans to offer $60k if he finds the right person.

We might change our partnership structure to offer a higher starting salary but longer partner track. We'd hate to do it, but we might have to.


It seems like your first line doesn't really connect with the rest of the post. Why would DSM be a terrible place to start because rural attorneys are starting at 40k? I don't know much about the DSM market but I know that 90k starting is not unheard of in Cedar Rapids at least. This isn't biglaw money but for Iowa Law alumni with low debt it's solid with the low COL. What's the starting rate at Nyemaster now for example or Davis Brown?


Quoted anon here. There are very few starting associate jobs that pay more than $80k. Last I heard (a few years back), places like Whitfield and Eddy were paying $65k and expecting a lot of billables. I'm guessing it's a bit higher now. Sure, there are Nyemaster, Ahlers, Davis Brown, and maybe a couple more that might pay higher than the $65 - $80k range, but I don't know if they are much higher than that and there simply aren't many jobs at those places most years. In any event, the big issue is that the majority of people who are smart enough to get into law school could just take the B.A. and go to Wells Fargo or somewhere and make that much without the student loans. Associate raises are relatively poor and most don't make partner, so it's kind of a dead-end gig. Basically, as a lawyer in DSM you'll end up working more hours than all of your friends (unless you know any consultants / bankers) for less or equal pay and worse advancement. I know this because I have several friends practicing in DSM and after 3-5 years in they feel pretty shafted.

The info on rural practice was simply because OP didn't indicate if he was talking about Des Moines or rural practice.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Berlin McCormick is paying $140k for first years which was pretty great all things considered under the old 160 scale but now is just pretty good for the Iowans who went T-14 and are weighing coming home against going to biglaw in NY or something and making 180 to pay loans.


I've never heard of them hiring a first year. If they do, it must be like one a year. I know a partner there I suppose I could ask. The partner makes a pretty good living, I will say that.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby acr » Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:17 pm

FWIW, Davis Brown starts associates at $90,000. The other firms are right at $100,000, I believe. Belin McCormick is by far the highest paying firm at $140,000.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Ken Kesey » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:33 pm

acr wrote:FWIW, Davis Brown starts associates at $90,000. The other firms are right at $100,000, I believe. Belin McCormick is by far the highest paying firm at $140,000.

140k in fucking DES MOINES?!! Jesus.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby acr » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:35 pm

Ken Kesey wrote:
acr wrote:FWIW, Davis Brown starts associates at $90,000. The other firms are right at $100,000, I believe. Belin McCormick is by far the highest paying firm at $140,000.

140k in fucking DES MOINES?!! Jesus.


yeah, but they hire like one person per year from the top schools, if that, and the hours are INSANE compared to what everyone else works in Des Moines. Heard the firm culture is terrible too.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Belin McCormick is paying $140k for first years which was pretty great all things considered under the old 160 scale but now is just pretty good for the Iowans who went T-14 and are weighing coming home against going to biglaw in NY or something and making 180 to pay loans.


I've never heard of them hiring a first year. If they do, it must be like one a year. I know a partner there I suppose I could ask. The partner makes a pretty good living, I will say that.


A quick glance at their website shows four attorneys who got their JD in 2009 or later. UChi with a Master's, Texas with an NYU LLM, Harvard, and... UC-Hastings. One of these things is not like the others...

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby PennBull » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:30 am

This thread received 16 more replies than I was anticipating

God bless you all

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Magic Hat » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Belin McCormick is paying $140k for first years which was pretty great all things considered under the old 160 scale but now is just pretty good for the Iowans who went T-14 and are weighing coming home against going to biglaw in NY or something and making 180 to pay loans.


I've never heard of them hiring a first year. If they do, it must be like one a year. I know a partner there I suppose I could ask. The partner makes a pretty good living, I will say that.


A quick glance at their website shows four attorneys who got their JD in 2009 or later. UChi with a Master's, Texas with an NYU LLM, Harvard, and... UC-Hastings. One of these things is not like the others...


2009 has been out for 7 years. Doesn't mean they were hired as first years.

Also goes to show that outside of NYC/DC/Chi/SF, pedigree ceases to matter.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:09 pm

Magic Hat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Belin McCormick is paying $140k for first years which was pretty great all things considered under the old 160 scale but now is just pretty good for the Iowans who went T-14 and are weighing coming home against going to biglaw in NY or something and making 180 to pay loans.


I've never heard of them hiring a first year. If they do, it must be like one a year. I know a partner there I suppose I could ask. The partner makes a pretty good living, I will say that.


A quick glance at their website shows four attorneys who got their JD in 2009 or later. UChi with a Master's, Texas with an NYU LLM, Harvard, and... UC-Hastings. One of these things is not like the others...


2009 has been out for 7 years. Doesn't mean they were hired as first years.

Also goes to show that outside of NYC/DC/Chi/SF, pedigree ceases to matter.


To your 2009/7 years point - true. I just looked around to see how many new attorneys they had, but then extended that back further when I was seeing almost no one. I think the NYU LLM from 2015 is their newest (by graduation) attorney, and it's 2013 before that.

To your second point - couldn't disagree more. Pedigree matters just as much in smaller markets. It's just like NY - if you crush it at Fordham, you can get biglaw; if you crush Iowa Law, maybe Belin McCormick takes a look at you. Otherwise it's all T-14 with very limited UC-Hastings type exceptions everywhere.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Magic Hat » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Magic Hat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Belin McCormick is paying $140k for first years which was pretty great all things considered under the old 160 scale but now is just pretty good for the Iowans who went T-14 and are weighing coming home against going to biglaw in NY or something and making 180 to pay loans.


I've never heard of them hiring a first year. If they do, it must be like one a year. I know a partner there I suppose I could ask. The partner makes a pretty good living, I will say that.


A quick glance at their website shows four attorneys who got their JD in 2009 or later. UChi with a Master's, Texas with an NYU LLM, Harvard, and... UC-Hastings. One of these things is not like the others...


2009 has been out for 7 years. Doesn't mean they were hired as first years.

Also goes to show that outside of NYC/DC/Chi/SF, pedigree ceases to matter.


To your 2009/7 years point - true. I just looked around to see how many new attorneys they had, but then extended that back further when I was seeing almost no one. I think the NYU LLM from 2015 is their newest (by graduation) attorney, and it's 2013 before that.

To your second point - couldn't disagree more. Pedigree matters just as much in smaller markets. It's just like NY - if you crush it at Fordham, you can get biglaw; if you crush Iowa Law, maybe Belin McCormick takes a look at you. Otherwise it's all T-14 with very limited UC-Hastings type exceptions everywhere.


The point being that outside of the major markets previously mentioned it's not uncommon at all to see mid level and above laterals coming in with TTT degrees as a result of experience. At my firm and its peers, in a secondary city, our laterals are both TTT grads with excellent experience (usually shit law to less shit law to even less shit law but with excellent trial skills or it equivalent) and big law refugees. Where somebody went to school is almost completely irrelevant. If you are in contentionfor the job it's because you gave a proven track record and work hard.

Outside of the V50 Major Market sphere that's how this shitty profession works.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:40 pm

Magic Hat wrote:The point being that outside of the major markets previously mentioned it's not uncommon at all to see mid level and above laterals coming in with TTT degrees as a result of experience. At my firm and its peers, in a secondary city, our laterals are both TTT grads with excellent experience (usually shit law to less shit law to even less shit law but with excellent trial skills or it equivalent) and big law refugees. Where somebody went to school is almost completely irrelevant. If you are in contentionfor the job it's because you gave a proven track record and work hard.

Outside of the V50 Major Market sphere that's how this shitty profession works.


I am not the anon you quoted, but I practice in Iowa and completely disagree. Look at the top shops in the state and you will find disproportionate shares of tier one law grads. Weinhardt & Logan had 6-7 attorneys at one point and I think 3-4 were from Harvard, one Michigan, maybe 1-2 from Iowa. You aren't going to find a lot of TTT degrees at Belin, Ahlers, Davis Brown, Simmons & Perrine, Shuttleworth, etc.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:04 pm

I wouldn't expect any increases in Des Moines. For what it's worth, someone said there isn't a lot of data on Des Moines starting salary. That is true but there is one NALP firm, Faegre, which reports a $100k starting salary.

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby RaceJudicata » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:39 pm

Out of curiosity, what are your rates in Iowa as say, a third year associate? Senior associate? Partner?

Always wonder why companies don't start to ship work off the places like Iowa at a fraction of the cost..

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Re: Any word on Iowa law firm salary increases?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:59 am

RaceJudicata wrote:Out of curiosity, what are your rates in Iowa as say, a third year associate? Senior associate? Partner?

Always wonder why companies don't start to ship work off the places like Iowa at a fraction of the cost..


Some do.



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