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Salaries & 1st Year Associate Jobs


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Chief Keef
  • Articling Student

Anyone got any information on first year associate salaries at boutiques in Toronto like Hull & Hull, Goddard Gamage, Tupman & Bloom etc?

Also, more generally, does anyone have advice for getting into one of these firms after articling at a full-service regional firm?

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Mountebank
  • Lawyer

I don't have direct knowledge, but no one else has answered and I know a bit about the market.

First, in W&E, if you're hiring a new call then you tend to prefer to hire from within if you can (I.e. your own students whom you've trained). There's a mild need for mid-level calls in Wills & Estates (and an even greater need for senior associates) in various parts of the province so there are from time to time a few boutiques outside of Toronto who are actively looking and even more who, though not actively looking, would entertain resumes. If you're offered hire back at your current firm, you may try to get a couple years experience under your belt first before trying to do a lateral move provided that they can offer you a W&E position. 

Some of these firms also like to see the TEP designation. Perhaps your current firm would support you in studying for this?

The foregoing applies more to the solicitor side of things. If you're thing is estate litigation, then there are greater opportunities for that.

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pinball
  • Lawyer

I feel for W&E solicitors. There's plenty of work, but they're getting squeezed hard at the lower end of the market, with DIY wills kits and smaller firms/Axess offering to do wills for a very low flat fee. This can lead to W&E mid/senior associates not being able to charge their usual hourly rate (or having to deeply discount fees), as fewer clients want to pay $300-$500/hour to have their wills done. But as noted above, I've heard estate litigation is still booming.

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Chief Keef
  • Articling Student
2 hours ago, Mountebank said:

I don't have direct knowledge, but no one else has answered and I know a bit about the market.

First, in W&E, if you're hiring a new call then you tend to prefer to hire from within if you can (I.e. your own students whom you've trained). There's a mild need for mid-level calls in Wills & Estates (and an even greater need for senior associates) in various parts of the province so there are from time to time a few boutiques outside of Toronto who are actively looking and even more who, though not actively looking, would entertain resumes. If you're offered hire back at your current firm, you may try to get a couple years experience under your belt first before trying to do a lateral move provided that they can offer you a W&E position. 

Some of these firms also like to see the TEP designation. Perhaps your current firm would support you in studying for this?

The foregoing applies more to the solicitor side of things. If you're thing is estate litigation, then there are greater opportunities for that.

Thanks for this. Fortunately I’m interested in both so it seems like getting some litigation experience is a good idea. Will definitely look into the TEP designation.

1 hour ago, pinball said:

I feel for W&E solicitors. There's plenty of work, but they're getting squeezed hard at the lower end of the market, with DIY wills kits and smaller firms/Axess offering to do wills for a very low flat fee. This can lead to W&E mid/senior associates not being able to charge their usual hourly rate (or having to deeply discount fees), as fewer clients want to pay $300-$500/hour to have their wills done. But as noted above, I've heard estate litigation is still booming.

Thanks for the input! I’m sure the will kits are definitely helping bring business to the litigation side at least

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Mountebank
  • Lawyer
13 minutes ago, Chief Keef said:

Thanks for this. Fortunately I’m interested in both so it seems like getting some litigation experience is a good idea. Will definitely look into the TEP designation.

Thanks for the input! I’m sure the will kits are definitely helping bring business to the litigation side at least

Will kits have been around for years. The factors leading to the current demand for estate litigation are multiple, but have a lot more to do with the current transfer of wealth and, in particular, the value of land, more than anything else.

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plainview
  • Articling Student

Hey guys, looking to bump this topic in re: salary expectations for 1st year associates.

In August I’ll be beginning articling at a smaller estate litigation firm in Toronto, at a 50K plus benefits salary. Wondering what’s reasonable to expect if they ask me to continue on as an associate next year? The firm does estate planning, administration, and litigation. I would, presumably, be hired back for estate litigation. I’ve looked around for a market salary range but can’t really pin anything down. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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