Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

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Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:44 am

I’m a soon to be fourth year associate at a regional firm with offices throughout the South and Midwest. I Foolishly and immediately accepted the first offer at this firm as I started working here in Mid January 2017. I soon upon starting realized being paid about $15K less than entry level, obviously also much less than a regular fourth year. I have a few questions:

1. How should I approach situation at review time? I’m thinkig about sending an email stating my requested salary for 2018 and basing it off my estimate for a fourth year.

2. What is the average raise, in your experiences, for midlaw firms without published lockstep? Is $5-15 about right? Any thoughts welcome. Would like to ask for a $30-40k raise based on my estimates.

1styearlateral

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:13 pm

You'll be laughed out. Only way to try and get that large of an increase is to have a competing offer for that much (or more).

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jchiles

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby jchiles » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:18 pm

I wouldn’t go in asking for 30-40k that’s got to be like a 40%ish raise right? Better to base your requested raise on what you’ve billed/collected for last year rather than what you think a 4th year should be making.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:22 pm

Internal firm memo lists entry level associate salary. Will I be laughed at if I refer to that?

Would be more like a 20-30 percent raise.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Internal firm memo lists entry level associate salary. Will I be laughed at if I refer to that?

Would be more like a 20-30 percent raise.

You could try but what you should have done was better due diligence and/or negotiating before accepting the offer. Now you're kinda stuck. Only way to get more money outside of lock step is to have leverage, either by a) doing what I said or b) doing what the poster after me suggested. Good luck report back.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:54 pm

Thx for advice. You are right about leverage. The plan now is to make a hard stand and say that I truly don’t want to have to get separate offer to use as a counter only to then be brought up to pay level. If that doesn’t work then I’m out anyways if it works then good for me.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby ClubberLang » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:28 pm

Are you sure you aren't a staff attorney or something? This seems bizarre. That said, if you are a real associate, then I think it is totally reasonable to ask to be brought up to class level, even if that amounts to a huge raise. They'd need to pay that much, approximately, to replace you.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:34 pm

Wait the offer they made to you (and you accepted) was less than the first year salary? I'd be fucking insulted and pissed
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:05 pm

Yes it was I knew it was low but had no idea what vase was until I came across a public memo on our firm’s intranet and then confirmed with our summer and a few other juniors. Sucks. Listed as associate, same billing rate as other 4th years, etc. I’m actually billing more than all other juniors too.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:22 pm

Yea I think you are well within reason to bring this up during a review, in person. Approach it tactfully, but let it be known you feel you are not getting what you deserve, as evidenced by the firm's own policies. Even if you don't have an offer in hand, any halfway competent manager should know that, now that you are aware of this disparity, you will bolt ASAP if it's not corrected.

I personally think you should take this approach first. If you bring this up for the very first time after you've already secured an offer from somewhere else, you are going to be seen as a flight risk going forward. Bringing this up with them (again, in a tactful way) makes you look like the type of person who at least tries to remedy problematic situations head-on, as opposed to immediately going behind management's backs.

This approach assumes that the firm cares about you sticking around, but if they do, I think you have a reasonable probability of seeing some kind of raise.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby ClubberLang » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:37 pm

Screw the whole leverage thing. Just ask them to get you up to class year, and if they won't do it, start looking for a new job. It doesn't sound like that great of a place anyway. Leveraging a good offer to get something more out of a shitty job is dumb.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby Jchance » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:39 pm

Isnt this one of the classic contracts issues: offer and acceptance then now desiring modification?

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby jchiles » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Isnt this one of the classic contracts issues: offer and acceptance then now desiring modification?

No tbis isn’t a classic contract issue

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby sublime » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:59 pm

Jchance wrote:Isnt this one of the classic contracts issues: offer and acceptance then now desiring modification?


Outed for anon abuse and making a really dumb comment.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby Danger Zone » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:50 pm

ClubberLang wrote:Screw the whole leverage thing. Just ask them to get you up to class year, and if they won't do it, start looking for a new job. It doesn't sound like that great of a place anyway. Leveraging a good offer to get something more out of a shitty job is dumb.

Exactly. Any firm that'd make this offer to a fourth year is a shitty place
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:46 am

OP here. Will report back. Thx for advice. Obv accepted offer on my own perogative, and free market determines this is my present market value. I get and agree with that. Problem is that the industry were in is very lockstep based and recognizes pay by class year so when a firm has a formal or at least quasi formal system in place (like mine) then they are foolish to think people won’t jump ship if paid under market and they are foolish to think people wouldn’t be discontent once they figure out what’s going on. Seems easier to just pay the extra $30k or ahrever it be, which divided across all equity partners is very little, rather than bear cost of departing employee/rehire/sowing discontent among associates ranks.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby Danger Zone » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:55 am

They knowingly fucked you over dude
Last edited by Danger Zone on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby sublime » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:31 am

Danger Zone wrote:They knowingly fucked you over dude



Yea, whatever works for you, but I'd be way more oussed about this than you appear to be.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby Yugihoe » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:18 pm

Definitely bring it up during your review (that you pretty much want lockstep with whatever your class year is making) and point to your stellar above-and-beyond billables. In the mean time, I'd update my resume right now and start actively looking. If you bring it up tactfully, the worst they can say is no (they're not going to outright fire you or anything IMO), and you can jump ship when you get a market offer.

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Re: Underpaid in Midlaw - Big Raise Possible at Review Time?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:22 pm

At my midlaw firm I’ve been getting around 6-7k raises...



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