Biglaw Exit salary

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starry eyed
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Biglaw Exit salary

Postby starry eyed » Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:27 pm

I've heard biglaw exit options discussed a lot but haven't heard any insight on compensation. I know it varies, but what is a typical salary for someone who does biglaw for a few years and then laterals to in-house? boutique? midlaw? etc? Would this person be fortunate just to make six figures?

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:34 pm

anywhere from 0 to a lot more. no one has this information. we can only offer you anecdotes

PwnLaw
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby PwnLaw » Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:08 am

Went from 3 years into BigLaw to startups. Pay dropped to about $120k. Make a fair bit more now. Also have equity.

TheoO
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby TheoO » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:42 pm

I know a few people who went from biglaw salary to actually 5 figures, at least initially. Struggle is real.

dabigchina
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby dabigchina » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:59 am

checking in. i see a lot of information about litigation exit ops (seems bleak) but what about transactional? a big part of my decision to go to law school will hinge on exit opportunities.

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kalvano
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby kalvano » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:51 am

dabigchina wrote:a big part of my decision to go to law school will hinge on exit opportunities.


This is dumb. There is no way to predict this because there is no way to predict what will happen in law school. That's like planning on where the house on your private island will go because you bought a lottery ticket.

dabigchina
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby dabigchina » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:17 am

kalvano wrote:
dabigchina wrote:a big part of my decision to go to law school will hinge on exit opportunities.


This is dumb. There is no way to predict this because there is no way to predict what will happen in law school. That's like planning on where the house on your private island will go because you bought a lottery ticket.


even dumber would be dropping 300k with no idea what that 300k may or may not get you in 5-10 years time.

eta:information like this might be useful for people who have careers before law school who are deciding whether going to law school would put them on top with regards to long term earnings.

or you know, go on a lark and wind up bitter and depressed when you realize you could have made more money in your prior field. that seems pretty popular around here.
Last edited by dabigchina on Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

Cogburn87
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby Cogburn87 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:19 am

double post
Last edited by Cogburn87 on Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Cogburn87
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby Cogburn87 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:20 am

dabigchina wrote:
kalvano wrote:
dabigchina wrote:a big part of my decision to go to law school will hinge on exit opportunities.


This is dumb. There is no way to predict this because there is no way to predict what will happen in law school. That's like planning on where the house on your private island will go because you bought a lottery ticket.


even dumber would be dropping 300k with no idea what that 300k may or may not get you in 5-10 years time.


Yeah. That's what law school pretty much is.

Cogburn87
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby Cogburn87 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:30 am

dabigchina wrote:eta:information like this might be useful for people who have careers before law school who are deciding whether going to law school would put them on top with regards to long term earnings.

or you know, go on a lark and wind up bitter and depressed when you realize you could have made more money in your prior field. that seems pretty popular around here.

Not sure why you're so irate. The first reply in the thread gave the only answer anyone can give. Sorry law school isn't the guaranteed path to wealth you thought it was.

kcdc1
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby kcdc1 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:45 am

Is 100k-200k is the typical IH range for an associate with 2-5 years of biglaw experience?

I'd imagine that the ceiling varies widely depending on your title and the size of the company.

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kalvano
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby kalvano » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:48 am

dabigchina wrote:
kalvano wrote:
dabigchina wrote:a big part of my decision to go to law school will hinge on exit opportunities.


This is dumb. There is no way to predict this because there is no way to predict what will happen in law school. That's like planning on where the house on your private island will go because you bought a lottery ticket.


even dumber would be dropping 300k with no idea what that 300k may or may not get you in 5-10 years time.

eta:information like this might be useful for people who have careers before law school who are deciding whether going to law school would put them on top with regards to long term earnings.

or you know, go on a lark and wind up bitter and depressed when you realize you could have made more money in your prior field. that seems pretty popular around here.


Planning on going to law school based on exit options from Biglaw is profoundly bad plan. There is so much that can't be predicted.

Go to law school if you want to be a lawyer.

lapolicia
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby lapolicia » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:21 pm

There's two reasons why it's so hard to predict before you even start law school. There's two unknowns:

1. Whether you do well enough in law school to go to a good firm

2. What practice group you end up in at the firm, what work you end up doing, what the market is like, what connections you make, whether you are in the right place at the right time, luck etc. Going in house is not that easy or straightforward of a process and really relies on connections you make and timing.

Having said that, you should not count on making more than a first year associate (but with much better benefits) when you start your in-house career, and you might make less. Salary progression also is not fast. Some will make more than that. It's impossible to predict.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:57 pm

From what I've heard/read, in house salaries depend on location even more than biglaw salaries. For example, someone who goes in house at a big tech company in Silicon Valley will make a lot more (say, $220k starting at Amazon, according to someone I know who went there after six years of biglaw) than someone who goes in house at a small company in flyover country (say, 90k, according to someone I know at such a company).

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nealric
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby nealric » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:31 pm

kalvano wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
kalvano wrote:
dabigchina wrote:a big part of my decision to go to law school will hinge on exit opportunities.


This is dumb. There is no way to predict this because there is no way to predict what will happen in law school. That's like planning on where the house on your private island will go because you bought a lottery ticket.


even dumber would be dropping 300k with no idea what that 300k may or may not get you in 5-10 years time.

eta:information like this might be useful for people who have careers before law school who are deciding whether going to law school would put them on top with regards to long term earnings.

or you know, go on a lark and wind up bitter and depressed when you realize you could have made more money in your prior field. that seems pretty popular around here.


Planning on going to law school based on exit options from Biglaw is profoundly bad plan. There is so much that can't be predicted.

Go to law school if you want to be a lawyer.


As someone who did biglaw and moved on, I strongly disagree with the idea that you shouldn't include exit options when considering law school. While there is a lot you can't predict, there is a lot you can. If you go to top school (t6, and to a lesser extent T14), you have a high probability of getting biglaw if you want it. If you are in a position to plan on biglaw, it would behoove you to consider what you will do after biglaw, because most people won't make partner. Sure, only go to law school if you want to be a lawyer, but it's a great idea to have a vision for where you want to go. Sure, if you go to a failing for-profit law school, considering biglaw exit options is putting the cart way before the horse. But even those people will do better if they have a (realistic) goal and a plan to achieve it. That doesn't mean not having contingency plans or alternatives ready if you don't end up where you thought.

There are certain specialties that can make it very difficult to get the exit options you want. If you want a job in-house, don't pick a niche specialty litigation group to start your career. If you want to eventually practice in a smaller city, don't pick capital markets. While there is going to be plenty of serendipity as to where you end up, don't cede control over your destiny to chance.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby Desert Fox » Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:39 pm

kalvano wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
kalvano wrote:
dabigchina wrote:a big part of my decision to go to law school will hinge on exit opportunities.


This is dumb. There is no way to predict this because there is no way to predict what will happen in law school. That's like planning on where the house on your private island will go because you bought a lottery ticket.


even dumber would be dropping 300k with no idea what that 300k may or may not get you in 5-10 years time.

eta:information like this might be useful for people who have careers before law school who are deciding whether going to law school would put them on top with regards to long term earnings.

or you know, go on a lark and wind up bitter and depressed when you realize you could have made more money in your prior field. that seems pretty popular around here.


Planning on going to law school based on exit options from Biglaw is profoundly bad plan. There is so much that can't be predicted.

Go to law school if you want to be a lawyer.


I don't understand what you are trying to prove here. You absolutely need to gauge salary ranges to determine if your wanting to be a lawyer is a realistic goal.

If post biglaw salaries were low 200s on average, then T12 with low scholarship might be a good plan "if you want to be a lawyer."

But nobody really wants to be a lawyer. SO don't go at all.

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nealric
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby nealric » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:29 pm

starry eyed wrote:I've heard biglaw exit options discussed a lot but haven't heard any insight on compensation. I know it varies, but what is a typical salary for someone who does biglaw for a few years and then laterals to in-house? boutique? midlaw? etc? Would this person be fortunate just to make six figures?


To answer original question, based on discussion with biglaw peers:

In-house: For a F500 company in a major market, $125k would be the floor for an associate with 3-5 years coming in. $250k or more might be doable at a bank for a 5th year with the right skill set willing to work a lot of hours.

Boutique: All over the map. $50k to $250k. Depends on whether you are talking elite boutique or a garden variety small firm with a specialty. The latter is more common, but probably low 6 figures would be fairly common for a biglaw lateral. I interviewed at a well regarded boutique that was offering low six figures and the potential for a bonus that would have put me in line with biglaw.

Midlaw: Depends on how you define, but if you are talking about a non-Vault firm still in the NLJ250, probably varies between $100k and $175k or so.

Government: See GS payscale for your area. Lateral would probably come in at GS 13 or 14. USAO/FPD has it's own (slightly worse) pay scale.

Of my biglaw class, I don't know anybody who lateraled to positions paying less than $100k, although there were people pushed out during the recession that lost their jobs and ended up making less than that.

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kalvano
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby kalvano » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:04 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
I don't understand what you are trying to prove here. You absolutely need to gauge salary ranges to determine if your wanting to be a lawyer is a realistic goal.

If post biglaw salaries were low 200s on average, then T12 with low scholarship might be a good plan "if you want to be a lawyer."

But nobody really wants to be a lawyer. SO don't go at all.


Strongly disagree with the idea that your theoretical exit salary from your theoretical Biglaw job that you'll get from your theoretical law school should be a deciding factor in whether or not to go to law school. That's about 15 carts before the horse.

And I like lawyering.

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lacrossebrother
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby lacrossebrother » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:20 pm

So many jerks in this thread I can't help, so I realize that I'm also wasting space, but provide data points if you have them, or don't. "It" isnt impossible to know what FedEx in-house might pay, for instance, and who they typically hire.

nouseforaname123
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby nouseforaname123 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:02 am

Know a handful of people I trust to be honest on the topic: $150k - $225k. Most surprising was the associate who did not complete one full year and ended up in house in that salary band.

dabigchina
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby dabigchina » Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:46 pm

kalvano wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
I don't understand what you are trying to prove here. You absolutely need to gauge salary ranges to determine if your wanting to be a lawyer is a realistic goal.

If post biglaw salaries were low 200s on average, then T12 with low scholarship might be a good plan "if you want to be a lawyer."

But nobody really wants to be a lawyer. SO don't go at all.


Strongly disagree with the idea that your theoretical exit salary from your theoretical Biglaw job that you'll get from your theoretical law school should be a deciding factor in whether or not to go to law school. That's about 15 carts before the horse.

And I like lawyering.

Yeah cause major life decisions should be made with little or no prior research into what long term ramifications those decisions have.

It's not a stretch of the imagination to assume that someone with an acceptance to t10 and good work experience could snag biglaw. It's also not a huge stretch to assume those people will be out of biglaw after 5 years and will need to look for another job. Of course this thread is not relevant to people who are going to your local ttt or people who have not even taken the lsat.

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Clearly
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby Clearly » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:08 pm

kalvano wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
I don't understand what you are trying to prove here. You absolutely need to gauge salary ranges to determine if your wanting to be a lawyer is a realistic goal.

If post biglaw salaries were low 200s on average, then T12 with low scholarship might be a good plan "if you want to be a lawyer."

But nobody really wants to be a lawyer. SO don't go at all.


Strongly disagree with the idea that your theoretical exit salary from your theoretical Biglaw job that you'll get from your theoretical law school should be a deciding factor in whether or not to go to law school. That's about 15 carts before the horse.

And I like lawyering.

It's a totally reasonable question for a t14 student to worry about. More then half will go to biglaw, then nearly of those won't be there indefinitely.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby Desert Fox » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:10 pm

It shouldn't be your only focus, but you gotta have a good idea of what the salaries look like at different outcome trajectories.

For example, if biglaw refugees were making 45k doing DUI's in Bumfuck, Eygpt, then t14's don't make sense at any cost.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:02 pm

Desert Fox wrote:It shouldn't be your only focus, but you gotta have a good idea of what the salaries look like at different outcome trajectories.

For example, if biglaw refugees were making 45k doing DUI's in Bumfuck, Eygpt, then t14's don't make sense at any cost.

But they'd be lawyers!

dabigchina
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Re: Biglaw Exit salary

Postby dabigchina » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:02 pm

Desert Fox wrote:For example, if biglaw refugees were making 45k doing DUI's in Bumfuck, Eygpt, then t14's don't make sense at any cost.


i dunno man, $45k in egypt probably affords you a better lifestyle than 160k in NYC/bay area.

just gotta watch out for that arab spring.




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