Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

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Bronte
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby Bronte » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:41 pm

Tom Joad wrote:Antitrust bros, would it be illegal if all firms agreed to drop associate salaries to $80,000 max? It would seem to be a good move for the partners and really pretty fair to associates.


I'm not an antitrust bro, but I'm pretty sure that would be illegal. And how would that be fair? Salaries right now are not unreasonable given the profits that partners make, the hours that associates have to work, and the cost of legal education.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:48 pm

Bronte wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:Antitrust bros, would it be illegal if all firms agreed to drop associate salaries to $80,000 max? It would seem to be a good move for the partners and really pretty fair to associates.


I'm not an antitrust bro, but I'm pretty sure that would be illegal. And how would that be fair? Salaries right now are not unreasonable given the profits that partners make, the hours that associates have to work, and the cost of legal education.

$80,000 is a pretty great entry level salary. The cost of legal education isn't the partners' problem. And lots of jobs are hard and have long hours, but they don't necessarily pay great.

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Bronte
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby Bronte » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:58 pm

Tom Joad wrote:
Bronte wrote:I'm not an antitrust bro, but I'm pretty sure that would be illegal. And how would that be fair? Salaries right now are not unreasonable given the profits that partners make, the hours that associates have to work, and the cost of legal education.


$80,000 is a pretty great entry level salary. The cost of legal education isn't the partners' problem. And lots of jobs are hard and have long hours, but they don't necessarily pay great.


The fact that the market salary is not $80,000 tends to indicate that you're incorrect on those points. The cost of legal education very much is partners' problem because it determines how much their employees are willing to accept in salary. And there are lots of jobs with long hours but when they require a graduate degree they usually pay six figures.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:03 pm

Bronte wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:
Bronte wrote:I'm not an antitrust bro, but I'm pretty sure that would be illegal. And how would that be fair? Salaries right now are not unreasonable given the profits that partners make, the hours that associates have to work, and the cost of legal education.


$80,000 is a pretty great entry level salary. The cost of legal education isn't the partners' problem. And lots of jobs are hard and have long hours, but they don't necessarily pay great.


The fact that the market salary is not $80,000 tends to indicate that you're incorrect on those points. The cost of legal education very much is partners' problem because it determines how much their employees are willing to accept in salary. And there are lots of jobs with long hours but when they require a graduate degree they usually pay six figures.

I may be wrong, but we can at least all agree how fortunate we are to be in a profession that gives us so much.

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jtabustos
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby jtabustos » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:05 pm

Would that force law schools to drop tuition in response to market conditions?

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Bronte
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby Bronte » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:09 pm

Tom Joad wrote:I may be wrong, but we can at least all agree how fortunate we are to be in a profession that gives us so much.


Not sure if serious, but yeah I don't take it for granted.

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Bronte
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby Bronte » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:28 pm

jtabustos wrote:Would that force law schools to drop tuition in response to market conditions?


Law school tuition has demonstrated substantial inelasticity. I wouldn't bet on it. But I think law firms have shown at this point that they're not willing to cut base salary. They'll tinker with bonuses and do layoffs when necessary until a marque firm bumps its salary and then they'll all follow suit.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:18 pm

Tom Joad wrote:Antitrust bros, would it be illegal if all firms agreed to drop associate salaries to $80,000 max? It would seem to be a good move for the partners and really pretty fair to associates.


I'm deciding to procede as though this is not a troll post.

Are you high? I guess associates getting back 17-25% of the revenue they generate is just a crazily high percentage while partners take home millions, huh? Why, it's getting to the point where partners won't even be to afford a personal chef for their summer homes. I don't want to hear any talk of "fair to associates" when PPP is reaching record levels while law school costs $300,000 and associates watched as inflation ate up 10% of the real value of the dollar since associate salaries were last raised six and a half years ago.

Also, the type of person who's desperate enough to work long hours in a Biglaw environment for $80k probably isn't the type of person you'd want to hire. Biglaw is going to take the hit soon from all the potential 170+ kids who realized law was a profession headed in the wrong direction.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:30 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:Antitrust bros, would it be illegal if all firms agreed to drop associate salaries to $80,000 max? It would seem to be a good move for the partners and really pretty fair to associates.


I'm deciding to procede as though this is not a troll post.

Are you high? I guess associates getting back 17-25% of the revenue they generate is just a crazily high percentage while partners take home millions, huh? Why, it's getting to the point where partners won't even be to afford a personal chef for their summer homes. I don't want to hear any talk of "fair to associates" when PPP is reaching record levels while law school costs $300,000 and associates watched as inflation ate up 10% of the real value of the dollar since associate salaries were last raised six and a half years ago.

Also, the type of person who's desperate enough to work long hours in a Biglaw environment for $80k probably isn't the type of person you'd want to hire. Biglaw is going to take the hit soon from all the potential 170+ kids who realized law was a profession headed in the wrong direction.

No, I am not high. But if I was a partner my first loyalties would be to my fellow partners and my clients. So I would try my best to make as much money for partners to keep them happy and attract new talent. And I would try to make costs as low as possible for my clients.

Not sure why associates wouldn't be thrilled to be in the top 1 percent of the 20 something workforce. And there are plenty of 165 LSAT people out there. Why would I need 170+ people? And lots of people don't take out loans or pay the full way so I don't see how that is relevant.

You sound like one of those people who just want to be a lawyer for the money.

NYstate
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby NYstate » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:43 pm

Tom Joad wrote:
Bronte wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:
Bronte wrote:I'm not an antitrust bro, but I'm pretty sure that would be illegal. And how would that be fair? Salaries right now are not unreasonable given the profits that partners make, the hours that associates have to work, and the cost of legal education.


$80,000 is a pretty great entry level salary. The cost of legal education isn't the partners' problem. And lots of jobs are hard and have long hours, but they don't necessarily pay great.


The fact that the market salary is not $80,000 tends to indicate that you're incorrect on those points. The cost of legal education very much is partners' problem because it determines how much their employees are willing to accept in salary. And there are lots of jobs with long hours but when they require a graduate degree they usually pay six figures.

I may be wrong, but we can at least all agree how fortunate we are to be in a profession that gives us so much.



My favorite way it was explained is that biglaw is essentially 2 80,000 jobs in one. Maybe more true in the days of higher billables. I know others disagree.

I've never heard anyone be thankful for biglaw jobs just because of the pay. The work grinds most people up. They make a lot but pay for it in lots of ways . It is a trade not a gift that the salary is so high.

Most biglaw associates would be better off making less and working less in my opinion.

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Lasers
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby Lasers » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:03 pm

NYstate wrote:Most biglaw associates would be better off making less and working less in my opinion.

v100s outside NY fit this bill. 125-145k for far less billable hours. It's pretty ideal.

TooOld4This
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby TooOld4This » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:30 pm

Tom Joad wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:Antitrust bros, would it be illegal if all firms agreed to drop associate salaries to $80,000 max? It would seem to be a good move for the partners and really pretty fair to associates.


I'm deciding to procede as though this is not a troll post.

Are you high? I guess associates getting back 17-25% of the revenue they generate is just a crazily high percentage while partners take home millions, huh? Why, it's getting to the point where partners won't even be to afford a personal chef for their summer homes. I don't want to hear any talk of "fair to associates" when PPP is reaching record levels while law school costs $300,000 and associates watched as inflation ate up 10% of the real value of the dollar since associate salaries were last raised six and a half years ago.

Also, the type of person who's desperate enough to work long hours in a Biglaw environment for $80k probably isn't the type of person you'd want to hire. Biglaw is going to take the hit soon from all the potential 170+ kids who realized law was a profession headed in the wrong direction.

No, I am not high. But if I was a partner my first loyalties would be to my fellow partners and my clients. So I would try my best to make as much money for partners to keep them happy and attract new talent. And I would try to make costs as low as possible for my clients.

Not sure why associates wouldn't be thrilled to be in the top 1 percent of the 20 something workforce. And there are plenty of 165 LSAT people out there. Why would I need 170+ people? And lots of people don't take out loans or pay the full way so I don't see how that is relevant.

You sound like one of those people who just want to be a lawyer for the money.


:D Awesome posts. Deadpan is dead on.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Why is 1st yr associate pay even across the board?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:14 am

Tom Joad wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:Antitrust bros, would it be illegal if all firms agreed to drop associate salaries to $80,000 max? It would seem to be a good move for the partners and really pretty fair to associates.


I'm deciding to procede as though this is not a troll post.

Are you high? I guess associates getting back 17-25% of the revenue they generate is just a crazily high percentage while partners take home millions, huh? Why, it's getting to the point where partners won't even be to afford a personal chef for their summer homes. I don't want to hear any talk of "fair to associates" when PPP is reaching record levels while law school costs $300,000 and associates watched as inflation ate up 10% of the real value of the dollar since associate salaries were last raised six and a half years ago.

Also, the type of person who's desperate enough to work long hours in a Biglaw environment for $80k probably isn't the type of person you'd want to hire. Biglaw is going to take the hit soon from all the potential 170+ kids who realized law was a profession headed in the wrong direction.

No, I am not high. But if I was a partner my first loyalties would be to my fellow partners and my clients. So I would try my best to make as much money for partners to keep them happy and attract new talent. And I would try to make costs as low as possible for my clients.

Not sure why associates wouldn't be thrilled to be in the top 1 percent of the 20 something workforce. And there are plenty of 165 LSAT people out there. Why would I need 170+ people? And lots of people don't take out loans or pay the full way so I don't see how that is relevant.

You sound like one of those people who just want to be a lawyer for the money.


And you sound like a callous boomer who has never heard of the term "opportunity cost."

Associates would be "thrilled to be in the top 1 percent of the 20-something workforce"? No, they'd immediately default left and right because law school would cost three and a half years salary. Anyone worth their salt would never go. And if you don't think having high-performing students is relevant to Biglaw, then I guess you should start telling them to hire from TTTs, because they seem to care. A lot.

It's not about "being it in for the money" when you go into $300k of debt, spend three years of your life in school, and you still have to work 60 hours a week. It's about being paid something that justifies the sacrifice of the time and money to go to law school, and having a salary that would actually allow you to pay back your loans. Maybe I'd only make $50k in my alternate job, but it would be 40 hours a week in a low-pressure environment. I wouldn't go to law school unless I could make at least $125k coming out. Just because I enjoy the law doesn't mean I'm going to make a financially retarded decision.




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