Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

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Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:49 pm

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:28 pm

Mid-level associate in a top national firm office in a secondary market. My salary has been in the ~$125k range with great benefits and bonuses ranging between $0 and $25k. My firm was incredibly successful throughout this period and I have gotten consistently glowing reviews: my sense is that bonuses are pretty random and haphazard, and are tied to individual case success rather than to individual lawyer or overall firm performance. (So I could do incredibly good work on a case to which I was assigned and if the case didn't ultimately settle for what the head honcho wanted--which often happened irrespective of the quality of lawyering on that case--no bonuses would be awarded to anyone on that case.)

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:57 pm

Anyone know salary/bonus range at a firm like Robbins Geller?

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone know salary/bonus range at a firm like Robbins Geller?

For a midlevel, the salary is near 145K or somewhat above. Don't know the bonus situation, but I think bonuses are substantial.

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby kings84_wr » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:48 pm

I work at a smaller Plaintiff's firm, but my base is $125k with a bonus of around $100k to $150k (but certainly depends on the year). I think our non-equity partners make about $300k (basically some type of base salary with a "bonus" or some type of distribution). The Equity partners clear 7 figures pretty regularly.

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:59 am

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
kings84_wr wrote:I work at a smaller Plaintiff's firm, but my base is $125k with a bonus of around $100k to $150k (but certainly depends on the year). I think our non-equity partners make about $300k (basically some type of base salary with a "bonus" or some type of distribution). The Equity partners clear 7 figures pretty regularly.


OP here. This is helpful, thanks. From your post history, seems like you/your firm does PI and mass tort. Given that PI associates usually report sub-100k salary, I'm guessing your firm stands out in some way?

Also, to give my data more context, my large-ish firm primarily does class actions (think consumer/antitrust/employment/securities).

For the other poster at the regional office of a national firm, any chance you could provide practice area info?


I'm the second poster -- and I think I am the person to whom you are referring when you ask about a "poster at the regional office of a national firm." I think my post was maybe somewhat misleading. Without giving away too much, I'm not at a secondary office of the firm. My firm is nationally recognized--a repeat/regular player on the NLJ Plaintiffs' Hot List. But I thought it was probably relevant to note that my office is not located in NY/SF/LA/DC and therefore that my salary is potentially somewhat lower than it would be otherwise if I was practicing in a primary market with sky-high COL. Does that make sense?

Practice area at my firm doesn't impact salary. I don't want to say too much more for fear of outing myself, but I don't think my salary is lower than others because of my practice area or my firm's practice area (or my firm's profitability). Instead, I think my salary (a) reflects the relatively lower COL of the city in which I am located, and (b) reflects idiosyncrasies of my firm leadership. For what it's worth, my firm also does consumer/antitrust/employment/securities-type class actions--complex lit where opposing counsel are almost always V50 partners.

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby kings84_wr » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
kings84_wr wrote:I work at a smaller Plaintiff's firm, but my base is $125k with a bonus of around $100k to $150k (but certainly depends on the year). I think our non-equity partners make about $300k (basically some type of base salary with a "bonus" or some type of distribution). The Equity partners clear 7 figures pretty regularly.


OP here. This is helpful, thanks. From your post history, seems like you/your firm does PI and mass tort. Given that PI associates usually report sub-100k salary, I'm guessing your firm stands out in some way?

Also, to give my data more context, my large-ish firm primarily does class actions (think consumer/antitrust/employment/securities).

For the other poster at the regional office of a national firm, any chance you could provide practice area info?


I think there's a pretty wide variance for associate pay at PI firms. In my region, there are probably 4 or 5 comparable firms who all pay about the same as mine. The majority of PI firms probably pay closer to 50 to 75k. I also have a little bit more experience now (2012 grad), so I've taken about 100 depositions, second chaired big trial victories, and generally have a lot of responsibility on our dockets. If we hired a new law grad, we'd probably pay 125k to 150k (base and bonus combined).

As far as being different, we certainly handle cases that are more complex, particularly for jurisdiction and choice of law. This is probably more of a reflection of our location and the type of Defendants that are located here. It also seems like a lot of our cases tend to be against some of the more well-regarded litigation firms.

Our named partner's trial reputation probably is the big difference. But again, there are lots of big name trial guys in town, and plenty of firms that do the same type of work as us.

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:09 pm

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
kings84_wr wrote:I work at a smaller Plaintiff's firm, but my base is $125k with a bonus of around $100k to $150k (but certainly depends on the year). I think our non-equity partners make about $300k (basically some type of base salary with a "bonus" or some type of distribution). The Equity partners clear 7 figures pretty regularly.


OP here. This is helpful, thanks. From your post history, seems like you/your firm does PI and mass tort. Given that PI associates usually report sub-100k salary, I'm guessing your firm stands out in some way?

Also, to give my data more context, my large-ish firm primarily does class actions (think consumer/antitrust/employment/securities).

For the other poster at the regional office of a national firm, any chance you could provide practice area info?


I'm the second poster -- and I think I am the person to whom you are referring when you ask about a "poster at the regional office of a national firm." I think my post was maybe somewhat misleading. Without giving away too much, I'm not at a secondary office of the firm. My firm is nationally recognized--a repeat/regular player on the NLJ Plaintiffs' Hot List. But I thought it was probably relevant to note that my office is not located in NY/SF/LA/DC and therefore that my salary is potentially somewhat lower than it would be otherwise if I was practicing in a primary market with sky-high COL. Does that make sense?

Practice area at my firm doesn't impact salary. I don't want to say too much more for fear of outing myself, but I don't think my salary is lower than others because of my practice area or my firm's practice area (or my firm's profitability). Instead, I think my salary (a) reflects the relatively lower COL of the city in which I am located, and (b) reflects idiosyncrasies of my firm leadership. For what it's worth, my firm also does consumer/antitrust/employment/securities-type class actions--complex lit where opposing counsel are almost always V50 partners.


Asking not to be a creep and out you, but because I've interviewed at one of these places and I'm trying to get some insight: are you at Lieff in Nashville or Cohen in South Florida?

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby kings84_wr » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:45 pm

I know several PI lawyers in my region who easily made 8 figures last year. Even one major verdict can change a lot.

Sadly my firm had one of those type of verdicts get reversed on appeal on a jurisdictional issue.

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:54 pm

I don't know for sure, but I think that the non-equity partners at my firm make around $200k-300k each year after bonuses with rare bigger paydays. Becoming equity partner at my firm is very, very difficult (so much so that it's not a realistic option for even well-liked partners who generate $$$ for the firm). Relatedly, I'd estimate that the equity partners net in the single and double digit millions each year.

kings84_wr -- sorry, I can't help you with those specific offices of those specific firms.

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:16 pm

Curious about this question as well. From what I know first and secondhand, however, 200-300 all in sounds a little low. I nearly accepted an offer a couple of years ago ago as a midlevel at one of the better regarded hybrid firms in my market, and base salary was slightly under my then-biglaw base, but bonuses had a broader range and were generally higher (2-4x typical large firm bonuses). I also have a friend who suggested non-equity base at the large plaintiff-side securities firms was about 200 but didn't say anything about bonuses. And the equity partners there definitely had conspicuous wealth.

Anyone else have an idea what a typical non-equity partner makes at the top Hotlist repeat players? What about bonuses (i.e. range)? Also, does it differ considerably what type of firm it is--e.g., is the base/bonus range different at the big securities firms like Labaton or Robbins Geller from firms that pursue a broader range of work, like Lieff or Hagens Berman?

Asking about the large firms doing class work and/or repping institutional investors, not the single-office PI firm (not to denigrate that type of practice at all, just not my question).

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:Curious about this question as well. From what I know first and secondhand, however, 200-300 all in sounds a little low. I nearly accepted an offer a couple of years ago ago as a midlevel at one of the better regarded hybrid firms in my market, and base salary was slightly under my then-biglaw base, but bonuses had a broader range and were generally higher (2-4x typical large firm bonuses). I also have a friend who suggested non-equity base at the large plaintiff-side securities firms was about 200 but didn't say anything about bonuses. And the equity partners there definitely had conspicuous wealth.

Anyone else have an idea what a typical non-equity partner makes at the top Hotlist repeat players? What about bonuses (i.e. range)? Also, does it differ considerably what type of firm it is--e.g., is the base/bonus range different at the big securities firms like Labaton or Robbins Geller from firms that pursue a broader range of work, like Lieff or Hagens Berman?

Asking about the large firms doing class work and/or repping institutional investors, not the single-office PI firm (not to denigrate that type of practice at all, just not my question).


This seems like a pretty high salary for a hybrid firm. Any hints on what firm this is? I'd like to apply.

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:42 am

There are 5-10 in Texas alone between Houston, Dallas, and Austin that would qualify. I'd imagine the same can be said for NYC, DC, LA, and perhaps elsewhere--just research the top lit boutiques in your major market of interest.

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:There are 5-10 in Texas alone between Houston, Dallas, and Austin that would qualify. I'd imagine the same can be said for NYC, DC, LA, and perhaps elsewhere--just research the top lit boutiques in your major market of interest.

What would those 5-10 be? I’m assuming you’re talking places like Barron and Budd, Lanier, and Nix Patterson, rather than Susman and McKool?

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby proleteriate » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:19 pm

don't want to derail, but how did y'all get into these firms? I'm currently interviewing for post-clerkship firms, and am extremely interested in larger Plaintiff firms. Do most of y'all start as juniors or lateral in from biglaw?
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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:58 pm

What would those 5-10 be? I’m assuming you’re talking places like Barron and Budd, Lanier, and Nix Patterson, rather than Susman and McKool?


No--sorry if I wasn't clear. By "hybrid" I meant shops that work BOTH SIDES of the v. and mostly commercial, rather than PI. So, as you've mentioned already, Susman and McKool, plus Gibbs, Beck Redden, Reynolds Frizzell, AZA, Lynn Tillotson (or whatever it's called now), Reid Collins, probably others. IME, they'll offer at/above market starting with potentially lower mid-level bases than NYC scale (compression) but considerably better bonuses (at least if business is good). I only have first or secondhand knowledge of a few of these, but I think it's probably fair to generalize across that class of Texas boutique (McKool and Susman being on the larger-firm end of the spectrum). Definitely going to be some variation between them of course. Hope that helps.

Edit: no idea why "BOTH SIDES" is capitalized--it's not in the preview pane. Not trying to yell or anything.

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:41 pm

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
proleteriate wrote:don't want to derail, but how did y'all get into these firms? I'm currently interviewing for post-clerkship firms, and am extremely interested in larger Plaintiff firms. Do most of y'all start as juniors or lateral in from biglaw?


I lateraled to a large pure plaintiffs' firm. We hire clerks. My advice is have a good reason for wanting to be a plaintiffs' lawyer. At my firm anyway, it helps if you say something that'll make us think you buy into the "mission." Now, we obviously know we're not human rights lawyers, or legal aid lawyers, or anything that noble. But we still think of ourselves as a firm that stands up for the little guy in the face of corporate misconduct. And we work hard to dispel the "ambulance-chaser" image of plaintiffs' lawyers. And we make pretty good money doing it.

Anonymous User wrote:Curious about this question as well. From what I know first and secondhand, however, 200-300 all in sounds a little low.


That sounds low in my experience as well, although given the nature of contingency work, and the stark possibility of an unprofitable year, it's certainly possible to only make base in any given year. But at a good firm, an unprofitable year should be rare, and all-in comp for a non-equity partner should be 400 or more, I would think. I mean, I'm just an associate and my all-comp was well above 300 last year (which admittedly was a very good year).


Curious to last anon, are you at a primarily securities/antitrust firm, or one that does a range of work?

-current clerk, former plaintiff-side associate

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby hugerez » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:19 am

kings84_wr wrote:I work at a smaller Plaintiff's firm, but my base is $125k with a bonus of around $100k to $150k (but certainly depends on the year). I think our non-equity partners make about $300k (basically some type of base salary with a "bonus" or some type of distribution). The Equity partners clear 7 figures pretty regularly.


I dont understand how a small plaintiff's firm can pay $125K + bonus. Never heard of a small firm in So Cal that pays that much.

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:58 am

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:There are 5-10 in Texas alone between Houston, Dallas, and Austin that would qualify. I'd imagine the same can be said for NYC, DC, LA, and perhaps elsewhere--just research the top lit boutiques in your major market of interest.

What would those 5-10 be? I’m assuming you’re talking places like Barron and Budd, Lanier, and Nix Patterson, rather than Susman and McKool?

Speaking of Nix Patterson, does anyone know anything about this firm? They seem to pay well, but I don't see much about them online.

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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby o0o0o0o » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Curious to last anon, are you at a primarily securities/antitrust firm, or one that does a range of work?

-current clerk, former plaintiff-side associate

We do a wide range of work, including securities and antitrust, and I think I'll leave it at that. If you're interested in applying, reply to this using a non-anon account, and I'll PM you.


[snip]
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Re: Top plaintiffs' firms salary and bonuses?

Postby 21Taft » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:46 pm

Would you mind PM'ing me as well? Many thanks!



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