Black box mayhem at Law Firm

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Compadre

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Black box mayhem at Law Firm

Postby Compadre » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:45 am

Thanks. We got a lot of good info. Short story: associate paid less than associates of same class year at black box compensation firm.
Last edited by Compadre on Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.

lavarman84

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby lavarman84 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:40 am

Are you a partner-track associate or a staff attorney? It's surprising to me that they'd pay a partner-track attorney so little in comparison to others at the firm.

timmyd

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby timmyd » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:34 am

It sounds like you're a staff attorney. If not, I'd feel justified in seeking fair compensation, i.e., what others your year are making.

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PeanutsNJam

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:58 am

Do staff attorneys have "class years"?

Compadre

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby Compadre » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:25 am

Firm said they don't have staff attorney positions, but that laterals are sometimes paid less. It's a partner track position. But like I said its black box so no clear lockstep.

silenttimer

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby silenttimer » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:03 am

This doesn't sound right to me. If you are being paid tens of thousands less and you are a "partnership track" associate (as opposed to staff attorney), then you are getting screwed big time!

Compadre

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby Compadre » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:07 am

timmyd wrote:It sounds like you're a staff attorney. If not, I'd feel justified in seeking fair compensation, i.e., what others your year are making.


I'm an associate, on partner track (supposedly). I agree that the request is more than justified, but there's obviously no guaranty of a salary increase and the firm may be content with paying an associate at a lower rate than her class year. So my take is that it'll basically be like negotiating out of a staff attorney position to an associate position, comp-wise, even though I otherwise have all the benefits and privileges of an associate.

It might be one of those conversations at review time where I say "I need $XXX,XXX to be in line with my year" and then not move from that position and see if they bring me up.

silenttimer wrote:This doesn't sound right to me. If you are being paid tens of thousands less and you are a "partnership track" associate (as opposed to staff attorney), then you are getting screwed big time!


Agree. It's fine right now because of the huge salary increase I received from my last job, but I want to be true partner track, whatever that means, and the only real indicator of that is compensation. I'm just concerned the firm isn't willing to go up $40-50k in a single year to get me where I need to be to be an equal in my class year.

favabeansoup

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby favabeansoup » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:15 am

Sounds like they are making you a staff attorney without actually calling you a staff attorney.

I also highly doubt you are on the real partnership track. Firm definitely just doesn't want to say they have staff attorneys while actually having them.

I've heard of laterals getting paid less, but never to the tune several $10k+ below entry level first year associates.

I mean if the firm is paying 1st years like $160k, and paying you (presumably a 2-3 year?) $115-120k, that's a rather glaring difference.

silenttimer

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby silenttimer » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:17 am

I recommend doing outstanding work this next year. Then find a partner who you trust and with whom you have a good working-relationship to bring up the disparity--perhaps during year end review.

Also, might not be possible, but you should out this firm to warm other folks!

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rpupkin

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby rpupkin » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:25 am

silenttimer wrote:Also, might not be possible, but you should out this firm to warm other folks!

Pro-tip to job applicants: you can "out" a firm all by yourself by asking about your salary before accepting an offer to work there.

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:28 am

At Jones Day (the original black box), its usually laterals who get paid MORE. I haven seen laterals come in at a 30% higher salary then the home grown folks.

Compadre

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby Compadre » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:36 am

Delete
Last edited by Compadre on Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

Compadre

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby Compadre » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:39 am

rpupkin wrote:
silenttimer wrote:Also, might not be possible, but you should out this firm to warm other folks!

Pro-tip to job applicants: you can "out" a firm all by yourself by asking about your salary before accepting an offer to work there.


This is true and I did ask, but at the time I negotiated there was limited information about entry level, second year, third year salaries, so I accepted an offer well above my current pay. Now more information has been released due in part to all the literature about the firms bumping to $180k and I've realize just how low my pay is compared to the current structure.

I fear getting into comp review and being told something like, "you accepted the salary and the highest raise we can give each year is $20k and you're getting the max."

runinthefront

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby runinthefront » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:44 am

Compadre wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
silenttimer wrote:Also, might not be possible, but you should out this firm to warm other folks!

Pro-tip to job applicants: you can "out" a firm all by yourself by asking about your salary before accepting an offer to work there.


This is true and I did ask, but at the time I negotiated there was limited information about entry level, second year, third year salaries, so I accepted an offer well above my current pay. Now more information has been released due in part to all the literature about the firms bumping to $180k and I've realize just how low my pay is compared to the current structure.

I fear getting into comp review and being told something like, "you accepted the salary and the highest raise we can give each year is $20k and you're getting the max."

I'm pretty sure rpupkin's post wasn't directed at you. There's just no reason for you to 'out' (i.e., "tell us the name of your firm and risk compromising your identity for the benefit of online, anonymous posters!!!") your firm to us if you don't want to.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Compadre

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby Compadre » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:46 am

runinthefront wrote:
Compadre wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
silenttimer wrote:Also, might not be possible, but you should out this firm to warm other folks!

Pro-tip to job applicants: you can "out" a firm all by yourself by asking about your salary before accepting an offer to work there.


This is true and I did ask, but at the time I negotiated there was limited information about entry level, second year, third year salaries, so I accepted an offer well above my current pay. Now more information has been released due in part to all the literature about the firms bumping to $180k and I've realize just how low my pay is compared to the current structure.

I fear getting into comp review and being told something like, "you accepted the salary and the highest raise we can give each year is $20k and you're getting the max."

I'm pretty sure rpupkin's post wasn't directed at you.


I know I'm just commenting on how sometimes even when you ask it's not so clear where you're at.

runinthefront

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby runinthefront » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:51 am

Compadre wrote:I know I'm just commenting on how sometimes even when you ask it's not so clear where you're at.

I mean, in fairness, your original post didn't make it sound like you had a concrete picture of your salary from the get-go.

Compadre wrote:Upon hiring I was told I was brought in at my proper class level. I wasn't able to get a clear picture of the salary at negotiating time and they were aware my former firm paid significantly less. I accepted an offer I knew was low but with the understanding that I'd receive an increase in due time.
Last edited by runinthefront on Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Compadre

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby Compadre » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:57 am

runinthefront wrote:
Compadre wrote:I know I'm just commenting on how sometimes even when you ask it's not so clear where you're at.

I mean, in fairness, your original post didn't make it sound like you had a concrete picture of your salary from the get-go.

Compadre wrote:Upon hiring I was told I was brought in at my proper class level. I wasn't able to get a clear picture of the salary at negotiating time and they were aware my former firm paid significantly less. I accepted an offer I knew was low but with the understanding that I'd receive an increase in due time.


True.

lolwat

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby lolwat » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:59 am

I'd try to have a conversation about it with somebody that can help try to get you a raise to your "proper" class level comp. Somebody above suggested talking to a partner with whom you have a good working relationship at the end of the year -- that sounds like a good idea.

In the near term, I would probably try to be happy with what you have. It's difficult when you know how much others are making, but remember, you lateraled from a firm paying $70k/year to a firm where you're being paid "well above" that. You're better off than you were before.

Of course, you could start looking at lateraling again to up your money, but I probably wouldn't recommend that since you've already moved once recently.

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smokeylarue

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby smokeylarue » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:40 pm

I would think almost every AmLaw 100 firm still starts you off at 160k or 180k in LA, DC, or NY, right? Regardless of blackbox or not. Maybe I'm wrong.

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby MrT » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:15 pm

smokeylarue wrote:I would think almost every AmLaw 100 firm still starts you off at 160k or 180k in LA, DC, or NY, right? Regardless of blackbox or not. Maybe I'm wrong.

OP states that he or she is not located in LA, DC, or NY.

LurkerTurnedMember

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:18 pm

Why not casually being it up to the HR person who did your onboarding process? Say something like, "Thank you very much for helping me with the onboarding process. I do have one more question I'm hoping you could clarify. At the time I began working and accepted the position at [firm name], I thought based on the information available to me that my current pay, X, was the standard for attorneys at my class year. I recently realized that this pay is below the summer and first-year associate pay. Is it possible to increase my salary to match the salaries of other attorneys at my class level?
If not, is there a reason for the salary difference? Thank you for any clarification you can give."

And if the person tells you it's cause you accepted the offer that way well.. They're right and you can't be mad at them really. You should've asked more questions during the interview/negotiation process. "Do you have a standard salary scale for this office? What is that scale? Will my salary be [number that corresponds to your class year]?"

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smokeylarue

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby smokeylarue » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:29 pm

MrT wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:I would think almost every AmLaw 100 firm still starts you off at 160k or 180k in LA, DC, or NY, right? Regardless of blackbox or not. Maybe I'm wrong.

OP states that he or she is not located in LA, DC, or NY.


Sorry, totally misread the sentence.

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jchiles

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby jchiles » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:41 pm

LurkerTurnedMember wrote:Why not casually being it up to the HR person who did your onboarding process? Say something like, "Thank you very much for helping me with the onboarding process. I do have one more question I'm hoping you could clarify. At the time I began working and accepted the position at [firm name], I thought based on the information available to me that my current pay, X, was the standard for attorneys at my class year. I recently realized that this pay is below the summer and first-year associate pay. Is it possible to increase my salary to match the salaries of other attorneys at my class level?
If not, is there a reason for the salary difference? Thank you for any clarification you can give."

And if the person tells you it's cause you accepted the offer that way well.. They're right and you can't be mad at them really. You should've asked more questions during the interview/negotiation process. "Do you have a standard salary scale for this office? What is that scale? Will my salary be [number that corresponds to your class year]?"


How do you casually ask HR to raise your salary by tens of thousands of dollars? It's not like there is any way they would just be like "oh sorry our mistake we will pay you many more dollars next month"

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nealric

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby nealric » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:51 pm

It may very well be that this firm uses the corporate-like practice of basing salary on past salary. Since you were only making $70k before, they may have brought you in towards the bottom of their internal salary scale. But the time to find this stuff out would have been before you accepted the offer. Summer associate salaries are posted on NALP for the world to see- it's not like they were hiding that your salary was below market.

If you like the firm and think you have a future there, your best bet is to do stellar work and hope it gets recognized with substantial bumps at review time. If the firm won't play ball, you may have to lateral again to get up to market.

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Re: Black box mayhem at Am Law 100 Firm

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:51 pm

Do exceptional work and then at review time tell them that you want an increase to the salary level for your class year. They might realize they'll need to increase your pay to retain you and/or keep you happy. If they don't bump you up consider lateralling. Pretty simple equation.

It sucks that you're paid less and hopefully the managers will realize that and increase your pay accordingly.



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