Jump to content

Non-Big Law Salary Across Time


ClarkGriswold
 Share

Recommended Posts

ClarkGriswold
  • Applicant

From what I’ve read so far on here, it seems as though big law associates have a pretty good handle on what their salary will be with each successive year after call.

For associates not working in big law, do you have a similar understanding of what your pay will look like let’s say 1, 3, 5, or 10 years from now if you maintain your position and just build up experience and a more expansive client base? Is salary scaling across time something that is negotiated after receiving an offer, or is it something that is a bit less clear relative to those working in big law?

Perhaps the answers to this will differ depending on firm size or work type, but I’m nonetheless curious. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer

The answer is largely no. In private practice outside of big law your income is going to be linked to the value you provide the firm through either salary or, more likely, a percentage cut of your billables.

Even in big law, by year ten you’re going to start seeing divergent “salaries”, since by then you are hopefully in the partnership. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cool_name

Yes, it generally still follows the same structure. 
 

Each year the firm raises your rate and you can generally expect your income to increase by a similar amount. 
 

At a certain point this relationship breakdowns, but my understanding is that it breaks upwards in most cases (ie you start to keep a larger portion of your billables). 
 

This is at least the case in non-contingency or flat rate civil lit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vizslaw
  • Lawyer

I don't think there is necessarily a linear progression - it's all about how much you generate for the firm and whether they view you as part of the big picture moving forward. The more you bill, the more you can earn.

We have a base salary based on year of call and then a bonus calculator that we use internally to determine bonuses based on billables, non-billables like writing articles and speaking on panels, which is sometimes relevant to whether they bring in new clients, referrals, etc. Annual raises range from 5-10k depending on how many hours you billed and how valuable you are. Then there are also things like car/phone allowances, extended healthcare benefits and other perks that are usually available but not always offered depending on the position and whether it's a short-term trial contract for 6 months or whether we're hiring you full time.

We're a small firm, and as such, we can be unpredictable. There have been years that we've offered a higher starting salaries or more sizable raises. There have also been years that we upped the bonuses for no reason other than we spent a lot less money on office lunches and partying during COVID, so we passed that on to the staff lol. There are also going to be times where we don't give someone a raise because they didn't meet our targets/expectations, so that's where the rubber meets the road. 

For reference, we are a small firm (6 lawyers, 1 articling student, 2 admin) practicing administrative, regulatory and criminal law in Toronto, so our way of doing things may vary significantly from other firms.   

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By accessing this website, you agree to abide by our Terms of Use. YOU EXPRESSLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOU WILL NOT CONSTRUE ANY POST ON THIS WEBSITE AS PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE EVEN IF SUCH POST IS MADE BY A PERSON CLAIMING TO BE A LAWYER. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.