Salary Expectation

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moralsentiments
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:11 pm

Salary Expectation

Postby moralsentiments » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:49 am

Hello all, I hope this is the correct place to post a question about salaries. If not let me know, I'll ask elsewhere. I've been following TLS for some time but just recently created a username and this is my first post.

ask current law students questions without disturbing the "Students and Graduates" forums. Post all your questions there, including about things like classes, grades, transferring, employment, etc.


This question is primarily directed toward currently practicing lawyers, but it would be great to hear from anyone with first hand experience.

As I mentioned, I have been perusing TLS for some time, but I haven't seen a whole lot about what kind of salaries CAN be obtained after 2, 3, 5, maybe 10 years of experience. Obviously this depends where one starts ($40k small law at U of Idaho v. $160k big law at Columbia), and how long one stays in whatever area of law post graduation (20+ year big law career v. 20+ year PI career). But if anyone could shed some light as to what kind of annual salary increases/bonuses one could expect assuming worthy performance working at a small firm/PI job, or a big law job it would be appreciated. We hear how PI/small law grads make $40-45k coming out of law school, but what does their salary look like after 5 years on the job?

I know there are a lot of variables at play here, this is a very general question to get different perspectives based on personal experience, nothing meant to be super specific.

Thanks in advance for the input.

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Tom Joad
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Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: Salary Expectation

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:51 am

Among small firm attorneys, it probably varies so much that there is no meaningful answer.

moralsentiments
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:11 pm

Re: Salary Expectation

Postby moralsentiments » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:53 am

That's kind of what I figured, and probably why there isn't too much on the subject around TLS (at least not what I have seen). Thanks for the input.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Salary Expectation

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:58 am

Tom Joad wrote:Among small firm attorneys, it probably varies so much that there is no meaningful answer.

I think this is correct, and probably true among various public interest organizations, too. Federal salaries increase according to published steps/grades, so once you know your starting rate (frequently around GS-11 or 12, I think, for new grads?) you can predict your salary increases pretty clearly (see here: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversigh ... -and-step/). State government salaries may work similarly, I don't know (you'd have to dig around for particular states/by different jobs).

Biglaw is probably more predictable because of the traditional lockstep model for associates (associates get paid by time in the job, not according to merit), but I don't know enough about firms to say what that looks like (and not all firms are lockstep anymore).

moralsentiments
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:11 pm

Re: Salary Expectation

Postby moralsentiments » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:02 am

see here: --LinkRemoved-- ... -and-step/

This is helpful, thanks.




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