Salary Raise

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Salary Raise

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:29 pm

Hi all! Looking for some input on a salary. I graduated in 2015, passed the bar on my first attempt, and I'm currently working as Associate Corporate Counsel for a real estate developer in the California East Bay. I was hired last year with a $110K salary and received a $10K bonus around Christmas. I had my 1 year review yesterday and asked for a raise to bring me to market rate. During my initial salary negotiations a year ago, they had promised to bring me to market at my 1 year anniversary. As a side note, my review went great with nothing but good things to say.

A note about the company-- it has about 25 employees and is considered midsize accordingly to Robert Half ($25-$250M). I report directly to the CEO/President/Owner and General Counsel. The legal department consists of me, General Counsel, and a legal secretary. Hours are 9AM-6PM, although I'm usually there for an hour or 2 before/after. I am being heavily mentored/taught by the General Counsel, which has been working out great.

During my review, I asked for a raise to $140K and I received a fair amount of push back from G.C. Note that according to Robert Half this is on the low end of market (range is $135-$179K for in-house attorneys with 0-3 years of experience). The reason for his push back was because he wants the owner to know I am "serious about becoming an equity partner" and so he doesn't view me as just another member of his staff, although he said he can make $140K happen if that's what I want. Is it reasonable to settle for below-market salary when becoming an equity partner may come 3-4 years down the road (or not at all, since I'm the first female person at the company that is not a secretary)? According to G.C., this raise I'm asking for is nothing compared to the equity distributions that would come later on. I would love to hear thoughts/opinions.

Thank you!


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Re: Salary Raise

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:55 pm

lol you're not going to find any sympathy here. That's a pretty great gig and an amazing one at that right out of LS.

That being said, I think you need to curb your expectations. Robert Half can report whatever they feel like, your company doesn't have to abide by those evaluations. By RH's estimation, I should be making about $30k more than I do now based on my city, experience, and firm size. But my firm doesn't pay me that because they don't have to. Same goes with your company.

You have no experience, and thus you're only worth what you know. Get more experience, work more deals, and you'll have more leverage to seek more compensation. Until then, they'll pay you what they think is appropriate.

FYI becoming equity partner means you'll need to buy into the company. But depending on how well the co. does your compensation could skyrocket.


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Re: Salary Raise

Postby clerk1251 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:55 pm

All depends on your end game. If you actually want to make partner, I see a lot of value in being a team player, so to speak, and taking the lower pay for the time being. 3-4 years is not that long to wait, and the long run value sounds a lot greater than the 20 grand at the moment. Also, a 10 grand raise is a pretty decent raise for a small shop and good reviews. Add to that, that your hours are fantastic, and I think you are pretty well compensated.

If you are looking for someone to tell you to push for the raise, I'm sure someone else will. If you are looking for someone to tell you to wait it out because the long term payouts are probably going to more than make up for your couple years of shortfall, that I can get behind. Especially considering the hours and the great mentorship and training you are getting, I wouldn't fight too hard.


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Re: Salary Raise

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:01 pm

I don't know anything about whether that salary is reasonable but lol at the idea that you shouldn't get paid as much because you're eventually going to be a partner. That is transparent bullshit. In fact, nobody respects or wants as a partner someone who can't advocate for themself, let alone the company. I'd stay firm, if you think this is what you're worth then ask for it. Being paid fairly has no bearing on your commitment to the business.

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Re: Salary Raise

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:05 pm

If they promised you a raise to market, then I think that should be the way to approach it. GC is trying to turn it around into some bullshit, but if you frame the promises the right way and subtly dig at their integrity I think that's far more effective than just saying you deserve a raise. But you have to tread delicately.


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Re: Salary Raise

Postby redsox550 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:42 pm

I too think its bullshit to say, you may one day become partner so you should be happy with lower pay. Don't accept that. 1. They may just be stringing you along 2. I do not think it is realistic that you will have a lower shot at making partner because you are making more. 3. Regardless of how good the gig is you have every right to respectfully try and get the best deal you can 4. if they lie about the salary raise do you really trust the 'you will soon be a partner' bullshit???

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Re: Salary Raise

Postby jkpolk » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:58 pm

If they're seriously considering making you an equity partner they shouldn't give a shit about 10-30k to keep you happy. Agree w/ the above re. leaning on their promise. I highly doubt taking less money would earn you points.

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