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Big Law Salary Increase


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Jupiter
  • Law Student

Any hope that we see an articling salary increase next year into the six figures? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's been a few years since it's been increased, no? 

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C_Terror
  • Lawyer
7 minutes ago, Jupiter said:

Any hope that we see an articling salary increase next year into the six figures? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's been a few years since it's been increased, no? 

Doubt it, it was only increased in 2021 in Toronto. Big law firms aren't exactly hurting for doe eyed law students applying as articling students, especially since US recruit has petered off drastically. They're having more problems retaining mid levels, but that has always been the case.

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  • Renerik changed the title to Big Law Salary Increase
easttowest
  • Lawyer
19 hours ago, Jupiter said:

Any hope that we see an articling salary increase next year into the six figures? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's been a few years since it's been increased, no? 

No. It was 1450/wk for a long time. In 2019 it was pushed to 1900. The associate raise last year was partially in response to that but also likely market conditions. 

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Bob Jones
  • Lawyer
On 8/26/2022 at 1:08 AM, Jupiter said:

Any hope that we see an articling salary increase next year into the six figures? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's been a few years since it's been increased, no? 

I imagine not. There a surplus of articling students relative to positions. They had to create the LPP program for that reason. So there’s no pressure on firms to push up articling salaries. 

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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer
15 minutes ago, Bob Jones said:

I imagine not. There a surplus of articling students relative to positions. They had to create the LPP program for that reason. So there’s no pressure on firms to push up articling salaries. 

In fairness, all this was true in 2019 (and 2019 was also pre-NY hiring explosion, although that has died down a bit). The raises in 2019 were sparked by students banding together at one firm to push for raises, and a knock on effect as the market moved to match. 

I don’t sense any momentum towards a student raise in Canada, but it’s not impossible. Inflation is obviously very high, and $1900 in 2019 dollars is north of $2100 in Canadian dollars. In contrast, $1450 in 2009 dollars (when I understand that pay rate was set) was only $1730 in 2019 dollars. 

Right now, my money would be on us waiting several years before Toronto articling salaries increase. But I wouldn’t have predicted a pay raise in 2019, either. 

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  • 6 months later...

I’ve heard a rumour of a salary increase in Vancouver, any truth to this?

The rumour was very much a I heard from a friend who heard from friend who has a brother who goes to a bar where he spoke to a lady who … well not that unreliable, but very real chance it’s just a case of miscommunication, so fellow vancouverites don’t get hopes up.

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AllWellAndGood
  • Lawyer
On 3/2/2023 at 5:45 PM, Cool_name said:

I’ve heard a rumour of a salary increase in Vancouver, any truth to this?

The rumour was very much a I heard from a friend who heard from friend who has a brother who goes to a bar where he spoke to a lady who … well not that unreliable, but very real chance it’s just a case of miscommunication, so fellow vancouverites don’t get hopes up.

I haven't heard about an increase to the lockstep from anyone.

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1 hour ago, AllWellAndGood said:

I haven't heard about an increase to the lockstep from anyone.

Too bad, likely just a case of miscommunication then, which is what I suspected. 
 

sorry for the false alarm everyone.

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todoman
  • Lawyer

I have heard that smaller to mid-size firms (Loopstra Nixon, WeirFoulds and Robins Appleby) have increased salaries to match the general Bay Street lockstep. Any truth to this?

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Bob Jones
  • Lawyer
On 3/12/2023 at 6:11 PM, todoman said:

I have heard that smaller to mid-size firms (Loopstra Nixon, WeirFoulds and Robins Appleby) have increased salaries to match the general Bay Street lockstep. Any truth to this?

Can confirm that WF about 20-25 below the range in terms of base, although it is case specific. 
 

Generally speaking, most firms are not following that scale unless it’s the main full service firm national/international firms (McCarthy’s, Osler, Dentons etc). But, if you’re at a mid size full srveice firm in the dt area with similar targets, you can probably make reference to the lock step rated and aim for 15-25 under. 

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Kismet
  • Lawyer
2 hours ago, Bob Jones said:

Can confirm that WF about 20-25 below the range in terms of base, although it is case specific. 
 

Generally speaking, most firms are not following that scale unless it’s the main full service firm national/international firms (McCarthy’s, Osler, Dentons etc). But, if you’re at a mid size full srveice firm in the dt area with similar targets, you can probably make reference to the lock step rated and aim for 15-25 under. 

Interesting- looks like NALP shows WF first year associate comp at $130k

https://www.nalpcanada.com/employer_profile?FormID=4077&QuestionTabID=46&SearchCondJSON={"SearchEmployerName"%3A"Weirfoulds"}

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lawfacade123
  • Law Student
On 3/2/2023 at 5:45 PM, Cool_name said:

I’ve heard a rumour of a salary increase in Vancouver, any truth to this?

The rumour was very much a I heard from a friend who heard from friend who has a brother who goes to a bar where he spoke to a lady who … well not that unreliable, but very real chance it’s just a case of miscommunication, so fellow vancouverites don’t get hopes up.

Student salaries in Vancouver went from 65k to 80k in the fall, maybe that's what they were talking about.

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C_Terror
  • Lawyer
On 3/15/2023 at 1:41 PM, Kismet said:

I found that almost all the bay Street firms doing OCIs all start at 130K as a way to entice students, but the pay scale is drastically different once you start going up the years. I.e. a national full service will be 130-150-175-200 etc, while a smaller boutique firm will go 130-140-150-170 (this is just a guess, but just based on what my friends in boutiques told me a few years back). These firms just don't bill out their associates as much as full service firms to justify the higher base salary.

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vital_signs
  • Law Student
On 3/19/2023 at 11:35 PM, C_Terror said:

I found that almost all the bay Street firms doing OCIs all start at 130K as a way to entice students, but the pay scale is drastically different once you start going up the years. I.e. a national full service will be 130-150-175-200 etc, while a smaller boutique firm will go 130-140-150-170 (this is just a guess, but just based on what my friends in boutiques told me a few years back). These firms just don't bill out their associates as much as full service firms to justify the higher base salary.

Is there any reliable way to get information about a firm's long term pay scale? Having first year associate salary on NALP is a blessing but it feels awkward to ask about compensation to an associate if you don't know them well.

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LMP
  • Articling Student
19 minutes ago, vital_signs said:

Is there any reliable way to get information about a firm's long term pay scale? Having first year associate salary on NALP is a blessing but it feels awkward to ask about compensation to an associate if you don't know them well.

This might be helpful: https://www.zsa.ca/salary-guide/

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LMP
  • Articling Student
27 minutes ago, JohnsonWest said:

not accurate for vancouver at least. 

Too high or too low?

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3 hours ago, LMP said:

Too high or too low?

Years 3 and 4 for a large firm are 2,000, too low. 
 

Other wise, it looks correct. 
 

I’d be interested to know what the other poster is referring to.

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JohnsonWest
  • Lawyer
2 hours ago, Cool_name said:

Years 3 and 4 for a large firm are 2,000, too low. 
 

Other wise, it looks correct. 
 

I’d be interested to know what the other poster is referring to.

in my third year at a large firm in Van I earned 155. The link says that's what 4th years earn. 

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22 hours ago, JohnsonWest said:

in my third year at a large firm in Van I earned 155. The link says that's what 4th years earn. 

Really? Are you including bonuses or something or counting call year correctly? 
 

A person is only a first year for their first stub year in Vancouver, after which they are a second year call. Ie you get called in September 2021, you will be a second year in January 2022, and a third year now.

I’d love to be wrong on this, but my understanding is that the scale is 142 for third years, 157 for fourth.

 

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  • 3 months later...
Ex1L
  • Lawyer
On 7/28/2022 at 11:34 AM, KOMODO said:

I believe the current biglaw rates (other than for the outliers like BJ, Davies, etc.) are as follows (from notices delivered as of ~October 2021, effective starting in January 2022):

1st year - 130k - 2021 call
2nd year - 150k - 2020 call
3rd year - 175k - 2019 call
4th year - 195k - 2018 call
5th year - 215k - 2017 call
6th year - 235k - 2016 call
7th - individually set (some firms may have a lockstep for this year but I think quite a few are individually determined)

Does anyone know if Blaney McMurtry matches this grid?

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Satan
  • Lawyer
On 6/29/2023 at 9:34 PM, Ex1L said:

Does anyone know if Blaney McMurtry matches this grid?

Highly unlikely that they do. 

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Bob Jones
  • Lawyer
On 6/29/2023 at 9:34 PM, Ex1L said:

Does anyone know if Blaney McMurtry matches this grid?

My understanding is most firms are not on this scale, except for the bigger full service “bay st”/int firms. Think McCarthys, BJ, Faskens, etc. 

Mid size/regional firms in the GTA will be about 20-25k below the scale, which is still great comp compared to median salaries for Canadians as a whole, but not quite the same. And then even if the firm is on the scale, there’s no guarantee that you will get that next raise exactly on the scale, based upon the targets you hit, the economy, etc. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
C_Terror
  • Lawyer

https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2023/2023onsc4220/2023onsc4220.html?resultIndex=7

 

Saw this case pop up in linked in this week. Interesting read, especially since equity salaries in top Toronto firms are such a black box. I'll let you dig around through the case yourself, as it's all public information now. Also shocked that this partner would rather let this go to discovery instead of settling, as now everybody knows his compensation.

Long story short, this partner made about 1.5M pre pandemic, and about 2.5M post pandemic. Assuming he's an average partner at the firm, that means the average partner made about 1 MILLION DOLLARS more PER YEAR during the pandemic while us associates were worked to the bone. What pisses me right off is that firms took away the normal benefits of working late like expensed dinners, while also saving on other staff expenses. Then they have the gall to act like they were doing us an insane favor of providing us one time 10%-20% retention bonuses in one year while their compensation went up 60+%. When push came to shove, they finally agreed to a 20K base salary adjustment and made the associates sound like ungrateful animals for asking. All the while average partners were likely clearing an additional million dollars in their total comp. 

Unbelievable. Us Canadian big law associates are gigantic suckers.

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