Law School Discussion

Law Students => Job Search => Topic started by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 01:04:57 PM

Title: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 01:04:57 PM
I was offered a job in a city about 35-45 minutes away. Small firm, salary is 10 per hour. I'll be taking over for the paralegal (and his duties) all summer long (leaving to take the bar)he does all the paperwork for immigration, juvenile court, etc. I'll also be translating at court on certain days, and some other clerk work. They've offered 10 dollars per hour w/ a review at 90 days for a possible raise. The owner guaranteed position when I graduate and pass the bar (salary unknown). I'll also have work on a p/t basis during the fall of next year and whenever I'm free. I'm top 25% at T4. The salary is imo insanely low and I'm wondering if I should counter, further is it appropriate to make a counter offer at this stage in the game. I think I'm probably the top candidate from either of the two schools near the firm because I can speak and write in Spanish which is the firms main clientèle and really no one in these area seems to speak or write spanish. Advice appreciated.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: GA-fan on March 04, 2008, 01:20:49 PM
Take it. You've got a paying job this summer, which most of your classmates would kill for. Since it's march, and you don't have any other options coming in, just take teh chance on low money to get your foot in the door. You'll be thanking yourself that you did when lots of your classmates come up empty-handed and you have an automatic job offer at graduation.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: McLovin on March 04, 2008, 01:21:37 PM
I'm sorry.  You go to a T4, and you're complaining that you're only going to make 10/hr at a firm?  This is such a ridiculous post.  Most of your classmates won't be making anything.  In fact, many 2L's don't make anything.  You are lucky to have received such an offer especially since you go to a T4 school.  Honestly, quit whining.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: sir_scott on March 04, 2008, 01:32:21 PM
Ask for $15/hr.  But don't make it threatening. 
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: jacy85 on March 04, 2008, 01:39:09 PM
I agree with most of the other posters - I wouldn't be complaining about $10/hr, especially if you have nothing else on the table and are about to graduate law school from a T4.

I would, however, seek to discuss the terms of employment of this guaranteed offer after you pass the bar.  What you make in the interim taking over for the paralegal is almost irrelevant compared to what they'll be offering you once you're licensed to practice.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 01:58:49 PM
I appreciate the advice. I'm going to ask for more. I'll probably pass on the position unless they accept 15 P/H. I'd rather not work this summer and just take classes if it means I will only be banking 10 per hour. I don't subscribe the school of thought that t4 = poverty. Recent study came out that had the T4 I attend in the top half of earnings 9 months after graduation. Take that for what its worth. We'll see what happens tomorrow I'll email the gentleman tonight.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: McLovin on March 04, 2008, 02:02:15 PM
I appreciate the advice. I'm going to ask for more. I'll probably pass on the position unless they accept 15 P/H. I'd rather not work this summer and just take classes if it means I will only be banking 10 per hour. I don't subscribe the school of thought that t4 = poverty. Recent study came out that had the T4 I attend in the top half of earnings 9 months after graduation. Take that for what its worth. We'll see what happens tomorrow I'll email the gentleman tonight.

Way to delete your original post in which you wondered how 2L's could not find a job.

A recent study?  Which one would that be?  Have all the students reported their salaries or only the ones at well paying jobs.  Honestly, you're lucky to have found a paying job your 1L summer. 
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 02:08:48 PM
I deleted the post because its not getting across my point. Not sure how the study was done but I don't have any reason to doubt the numbers. 63k per year after graduation. I agree maybe it was only the student with well paying jobs. What is your experience(s) w/ the system? Are you a recent graduate? Do you go to law school? grad school?

I'm willing to listen to you but tell my why I should? What is you expertise in this field? How do you know a person in my situation is lucky to have been offered a position?

I'll hang up and listen, Mclovin.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: McLovin on March 04, 2008, 02:13:56 PM
I deleted the post because its not getting across my point. Not sure how the study was done but I don't have any reason to doubt the numbers. 63k per year after graduation. I agree maybe it was only the student with well paying jobs. What is your experience(s) w/ the system? Are you a recent graduate? Do you go to law school? grad school?

I'm willing to listen to you but tell my why I should? What is you expertise in this field? How do you know a person in my situation is lucky to have been offered a position?

I'll hang up and listen, Mclovin.

Dude, we're on a law school discussion board; of course I go to law school.

Also, trust me, the averae grad coming out of a T4 is not making 63K.  Anyone on this board will back me up.

My experience comes from my own 2L job search and those of my friends.  Many of my friends (I go to a high T2), who are in the top 25% and are on journals/moot court do NOT have jobs yet, let along paying jobs.  Look around on this board!  In a previous post, in the "still don't have a job thread" there was someone here who was Top 5% at a T2 and on Law Review, who can not find a job.  The job market sucks, and you need to take what you can get.

Furthermore, in my situation, I sent out numerous resumes, probably around 50-60 and did not get ONE interview or call back.  I also networked my ass off to get a public interest internship that DOES NOT pay.  This experience is shared by a lot of other people.   

This from a poster on the general board:

"Graduated from a bottom top tier school.  Top 10%, multiple book/cali awards, worked at law firm througout 2L; judicial extern at state appellate court.  Not law review.  Moved out of my school's state and region for Chicago.  Now I can't get anyone to reply to applications.  Any suggestions besides flames?"

From another poster:

"Try as I may, I've been unable to secure a summer job. I'm a second year law student at a T2 school, am in the top 10% of my class, won school's moot court competition, and am on the moot court board. Is it too late to get a paid summer associate position? Should I continue to send my resume out to firms??  Any comments or advice would be very much appreciated.   Thank you."
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: starter on March 04, 2008, 02:28:10 PM
I'm in the top half of my law school at a T1 (30-40 range) and made 10/hr last year, during my 2L summer.  I worked for a solo back in my hometown and it was the only offer I had to do any legal work.  If I were you, I'd take the job and not even ask for more money.  You don't want to sound like you have a sense of entitlement. 

Summer school is a waste of time, in my opinion.  You need to do something to show that you are gaining some kind of practical legal experience.  Why would you pass on money, even if it is 10/hr to take a few hours of summer school and not make anything or get some experience?
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 02:28:31 PM
I don't doubt you that's why I asked I'm interested in your perspective. But truthfully I just don't get it, I've been on 10 interviews and have sent out 50-60 applications. All the larger firms have been rejections w/out even a request for an interview which I expected. But I have not had trouble getting interviews with middle of the pack firms, true I have not had an offer prior to this one, but I have not received a rejection letters from any of the firms I've interviewed w/. So those may still pan out. I think the market is slow but there is work out there, it goes beyond even networking. My group of friends has roughly 6 ppl in it. One person has work w/ a small firm similar to my situation and a backup plan to clerk for a judge if she decides last minute to 86 the firm idea. I have another friend who got a position in Columbus w/ Tucker, Ellis, & West.(this was all through prior connections) My other friends are working on finding work but they have not had trouble getting interviews. I think the market you are in matters and it seems like some places have more work.

As for the threads on this site...
LSD is a small % of ppl in law school. I really take the posts about work trouble w/ a grain of salt b/c many people in law school are straight out of undergrad and I hate to say it but they have terrible personalities. IMO the biggest thing is getting an interview. Once you've got the interview the person w/ the lowest rank can get the position because a huge part of it is personality.

LSD is a small % of ppl in law school...
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 02:31:26 PM
I'm in the top half of my law school at a T1 (30-40 range) and made 10/hr last year, during my 2L summer.  I worked for a solo back in my hometown and it was the only offer I had to do any legal work.  If I were you, I'd take the job and not even ask for more money.  You don't want to sound like you have a sense of entitlement. 

I might still take the position but I don't really think a counter makes you come across as being entitled. But you make a good point. I'm going to ask some people I know who own firms in Miami and see how the feel about a 1L making a counter offer.

Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: StevePirates on March 04, 2008, 03:09:26 PM
I would like to make two points on different subjects:

#1 Take the job at $10.00 most 1L's are doing unpaid internships this summer.  Getting paid anything rocks, plus taking over for a paralegal instead of just doing legal research will teach you how to actually DO stuff, which is invaluable if you want to practice in the field.

#2 I don't understand why the people who can't find jobs can't find jobs.  I'm at a T4, and have a paying job lined up.  My school is well respected locally, but pretty much unheard of on the wider market.  So, I'm staying in town.  I wonder if the jobless posters' interviewing abilities aren't up to par, and that includes cover letter writing, and resume writing.  Having great numbers won't always overcome horrible presentation. 
I also wonder what markets and types of jobs they are looking at.  There are plenty of jobs out there, just not plenty of BIGLAW jobs.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 04:02:35 PM
I would like to make two points on different subjects:

#1 Take the job at $10.00 most 1L's are doing unpaid internships this summer.  Getting paid anything rocks, plus taking over for a paralegal instead of just doing legal research will teach you how to actually DO stuff, which is invaluable if you want to practice in the field.

#2 I don't understand why the people who can't find jobs can't find jobs.  I'm at a T4, and have a paying job lined up.  My school is well respected locally, but pretty much unheard of on the wider market.  So, I'm staying in town.  I wonder if the jobless posters' interviewing abilities aren't up to par, and that includes cover letter writing, and resume writing.  Having great numbers won't always overcome horrible presentation. 
I also wonder what markets and types of jobs they are looking at.  There are plenty of jobs out there, just not plenty of BIGLAW jobs.

I think #2 is right on par. There are so many law students out there w/ great numbers who have the personality of a house plant or who have never been on an interview. This makes a difference. I've always found work throughout my life and the law field will be no exception...

#1 the more I think about the more I think you are right. I still want to make a counter just because I know that a few of the positions I have lined up pay atleast 12-15 per hour and I think one of those will pan out.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: jacy85 on March 04, 2008, 04:20:56 PM
Not sure how the study was done but I don't have any reason to doubt the numbers.

If you fail to see why you shouldn't take every study and statistic at face value and why you should "doubt the numbers," then I question whether you even deserve the $10/hour.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: GA-fan on March 04, 2008, 04:21:16 PM
insulting the people who can't find jobs as having no personality or interview skills is not a wise idea. I know a LOT of these people, and I can say that for many of them, this is just untrue. It's a tight market right now, and while I don't think that's an excuse to sit on your butt, it does mean that a lot of desirable people can't find a paying job. Karma is a bitchh on this kind of stuff, so I suggest you stay humble at this early stage in your legal career and be grateful for someone giving you a break.
And no, I'm not bitter--I have a job, I just feel very badly for my friends who (through no fault of their own) don't.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: sir_scott on March 04, 2008, 04:35:33 PM


I still want to make a counter just because I know that a few of the positions I have lined up pay atleast 12-15 per hour and I think one of those will pan out.


After hearing all the wisdom of your peers, I still think that is the right move.  I think it can be done with tact.  And, I think it can be done without conditioning acceptance of employment on the add'l $5/hr.  That is, "I accept, but how do you feel about $15/hr."  They may counter w/ $12/hr, in which case you are better off. 

From the firm's perspective: 
Paying you $15 is still a deal over the prior paralegal, especially if they are investing in your future, and acquiring someone w/your Spanish skills.

Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: GoGoPogo on March 04, 2008, 04:40:57 PM


I still want to make a counter just because I know that a few of the positions I have lined up pay atleast 12-15 per hour and I think one of those will pan out.


After hearing all the wisdom of your peers, I still think that is the right move.  I think it can be done with tact.  And, I think it can be done without conditioning acceptance of employment on the add'l $5/hr.  That is, "I accept, but how do you feel about $15/hr."  They may counter w/ $12/hr, in which case you are better off. 

From the firm's perspective: 
Paying you $15 is still a deal over the prior paralegal, especially if they are investing in your future, and acquiring someone w/your Spanish skills.



You think $15 is a deal for the firm to get a T4 grad when there are countless other T2,3,4 people without jobs? Even in this thread, people are complaining that they are either finding no work or taking unpaid things.

Honestly, I think if OP asks for a 50% raise, they will shoot him down.

That would be like me calling the firm I'm going to be working for this summer and telling them that $2,600/week isn't enough, I need $3,900 or else! Preposterous.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 04:42:54 PM
insulting the people who can't find jobs as having no personality or interview skills is not a wise idea. I know a LOT of these people, and I can say that for many of them, this is just untrue. It's a tight market right now, and while I don't think that's an excuse to sit on your butt, it does mean that a lot of desirable people can't find a paying job. Karma is a bitchh on this kind of stuff, so I suggest you stay humble at this early stage in your legal career and be grateful for someone giving you a break.
And no, I'm not bitter--I have a job, I just feel very badly for my friends who (through no fault of their own) don't.

Sorry if it came across that way not my intent at all. My point is that the market is not as tight as some make it out to be and there are mamy people in law school who really don't present themselves as personable or motivated to find work. Also the lack of interview experience hurts people as well. Thats just my 2 cents. Not a shot at people who have not found work.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: GoGoPogo on March 04, 2008, 04:44:05 PM
insulting the people who can't find jobs as having no personality or interview skills is not a wise idea. I know a LOT of these people, and I can say that for many of them, this is just untrue. It's a tight market right now, and while I don't think that's an excuse to sit on your butt, it does mean that a lot of desirable people can't find a paying job. Karma is a bitchh on this kind of stuff, so I suggest you stay humble at this early stage in your legal career and be grateful for someone giving you a break.
And no, I'm not bitter--I have a job, I just feel very badly for my friends who (through no fault of their own) don't.

Maybe their fault was slacking off in UG or not bothering to study hard for the LSAT and thus getting into a crap school where you can't get a job w/ top 10% and law review or whatever?

I mean, maybe their instant situation isn't their fault, but they got themselves into the mess either by slacking off too much in UG, on the LSAT, in law school, or not bothering to "network."
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 04:46:48 PM


I still want to make a counter just because I know that a few of the positions I have lined up pay atleast 12-15 per hour and I think one of those will pan out.


After hearing all the wisdom of your peers, I still think that is the right move.  I think it can be done with tact.  And, I think it can be done without conditioning acceptance of employment on the add'l $5/hr.  That is, "I accept, but how do you feel about $15/hr."  They may counter w/ $12/hr, in which case you are better off. 

From the firm's perspective: 
Paying you $15 is still a deal over the prior paralegal, especially if they are investing in your future, and acquiring someone w/your Spanish skills.



You think $15 is a deal for the firm to get a T4 grad when there are countless other T2,3,4 people without jobs? Even in this thread, people are complaining that they are either finding no work or taking unpaid things.

Honestly, I think if OP asks for a 50% raise, they will shoot him down.

That would be like me calling the firm I'm going to be working for this summer and telling them that $2,600/week isn't enough, I need $3,900 or else! Preposterous.

I don't really look at it like that at all. I look at it like this:

I'm a motived person w/ a BA capable of taking over for someone in a market that doesn't have many Spanish speakers. Being from a T4 doesn't matter to this firm, they respect my law school. This isn't about prestige its about doing what is right for your self. There are too many people in this forum who just undervalue themselves and that lack of confidence is precisely what is hurting them in interviews.

If you go into thinking you are only worth 10 dollars per hour you'll end up getting paid 5.50 or not get a job at all. Everyone in Law School is successful, they've completed a degree. They can ride and write well, these are  not marginal people, HAVE SOME PRIDE FOR GODS SAKE! 10 bones an hour is a joke to offer a college graduate.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 04:50:35 PM
insulting the people who can't find jobs as having no personality or interview skills is not a wise idea. I know a LOT of these people, and I can say that for many of them, this is just untrue. It's a tight market right now, and while I don't think that's an excuse to sit on your butt, it does mean that a lot of desirable people can't find a paying job. Karma is a bitchh on this kind of stuff, so I suggest you stay humble at this early stage in your legal career and be grateful for someone giving you a break.
And no, I'm not bitter--I have a job, I just feel very badly for my friends who (through no fault of their own) don't.

Maybe their fault was slacking off in UG or not bothering to study hard for the LSAT and thus getting into a crap school where you can't get a job w/ top 10% and law review or whatever?

I mean, maybe their instant situation isn't their fault, but they got themselves into the mess either by slacking off too much in UG, on the LSAT, in law school, or not bothering to "network."

I'm going to keep harping on it...

I don't think tier has anything to do w/ finding work.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: GoGoPogo on March 04, 2008, 05:01:40 PM
insulting the people who can't find jobs as having no personality or interview skills is not a wise idea. I know a LOT of these people, and I can say that for many of them, this is just untrue. It's a tight market right now, and while I don't think that's an excuse to sit on your butt, it does mean that a lot of desirable people can't find a paying job. Karma is a bitchh on this kind of stuff, so I suggest you stay humble at this early stage in your legal career and be grateful for someone giving you a break.
And no, I'm not bitter--I have a job, I just feel very badly for my friends who (through no fault of their own) don't.

Maybe their fault was slacking off in UG or not bothering to study hard for the LSAT and thus getting into a crap school where you can't get a job w/ top 10% and law review or whatever?

I mean, maybe their instant situation isn't their fault, but they got themselves into the mess either by slacking off too much in UG, on the LSAT, in law school, or not bothering to "network."

I'm going to keep harping on it...

I don't think tier has anything to do w/ finding work.

Then it's just that people from good schools are smarter and harder working? No offense, I didn't have much trouble finding a job paying a very good amount for my first summer, neither did my classmates. The only people without jobs through 2L OCI are either completely inept at interviews or are in the bottom 10%, and even those people end up in midlaw making $100k/year.

Your school has really indoctrinated you with the whole "you're just as good as people at top schools and will be able to find jobs as easily as them" propaganda, huh? Ironic given that the ONLY OFFER you've found is for a firm trying to pay you $10/hr...

That's fine, you are the one who made your choices, but saying that "tiers don't matter when finding jobs" when your life is proving the exact opposite is quite delusional, wouldn't you agree?
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: mike4488 on March 04, 2008, 05:07:46 PM
Well I don't go to a t14 law school but it is pretty ridiculous to say tiers don't matter.  There is a difference between Yale and Cooley
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 05:13:33 PM
insulting the people who can't find jobs as having no personality or interview skills is not a wise idea. I know a LOT of these people, and I can say that for many of them, this is just untrue. It's a tight market right now, and while I don't think that's an excuse to sit on your butt, it does mean that a lot of desirable people can't find a paying job. Karma is a bitchh on this kind of stuff, so I suggest you stay humble at this early stage in your legal career and be grateful for someone giving you a break.
And no, I'm not bitter--I have a job, I just feel very badly for my friends who (through no fault of their own) don't.

Maybe their fault was slacking off in UG or not bothering to study hard for the LSAT and thus getting into a crap school where you can't get a job w/ top 10% and law review or whatever?

I mean, maybe their instant situation isn't their fault, but they got themselves into the mess either by slacking off too much in UG, on the LSAT, in law school, or not bothering to "network."

I'm going to keep harping on it...

I don't think tier has anything to do w/ finding work.

Then it's just that people from good schools are smarter and harder working? No offense, I didn't have much trouble finding a job paying a very good amount for my first summer, neither did my classmates. The only people without jobs through 2L OCI are either completely inept at interviews or are in the bottom 10%, and even those people end up in midlaw making $100k/year.

Your school has really indoctrinated you with the whole "you're just as good as people at top schools and will be able to find jobs as easily as them" propaganda, huh? Ironic given that the ONLY OFFER you've found is for a firm trying to pay you $10/hr...

That's fine, you are the one who made your choices, but saying that "tiers don't matter when finding jobs" when your life is proving the exact opposite is quite delusional, wouldn't you agree?

Not at all. I'm happy w/ my life. I'm happy w/ my choices. If what I can do this summer is worth 10 per hour I can live with it. Money is not the end all be all for me but merely an ends to a means.

If it makes you feel better to gloat and brag about your pay keep on keeping on. I'm happy that you got what you wanted. Even if I was homeless and poor I wouldn't have an ounce of regret in my body. I have an awesome apartment, great wife and friends, a kick ass dog, great porn and sports subscription. I want for nothing in my life. So ummmm yeah thats about it. :shrug:

Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: sir_scott on March 04, 2008, 05:16:05 PM


I still want to make a counter just because I know that a few of the positions I have lined up pay atleast 12-15 per hour and I think one of those will pan out.


After hearing all the wisdom of your peers, I still think that is the right move.  I think it can be done with tact.  And, I think it can be done without conditioning acceptance of employment on the add'l $5/hr.  That is, "I accept, but how do you feel about $15/hr."  They may counter w/ $12/hr, in which case you are better off. 

From the firm's perspective: 
Paying you $15 is still a deal over the prior paralegal, especially if they are investing in your future, and acquiring someone w/your Spanish skills.



You think $15 is a deal for the firm to get a T4 grad when there are countless other T2,3,4 people without jobs? Even in this thread, people are complaining that they are either finding no work or taking unpaid things.

Honestly, I think if OP asks for a 50% raise, they will shoot him down.

That would be like me calling the firm I'm going to be working for this summer and telling them that $2,600/week isn't enough, I need $3,900 or else! Preposterous.

The only problem with your analogical reasoning is that, well, your analogy is retarded.

The guy is worth more than $400/week w/out any legal education, w/out being a future associate with the firm.

And, why are you so preoccupied w/getting the guy to be soooo grateful for $10/hr - that is poverty, literally. 

He has a marketable skill w/ his Spanish and has a B.A.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: Peaches on March 04, 2008, 05:21:04 PM
A few notes...

I think that it may not be "personality" exactly that is a problem for many law students without jobs -- it's JUDGMENT.  People write truly terrible cover letters.  They say things they shouldn't to  firm, and don't say some of the things they should.  They don't understand how their tone comes across in e-mails, and have Facebook profiles of them in their Halloween costumes dressed as slutty nurse.  It's not chance that I've gotten an offer at every single callback I've gone on.  (I've gotten the offers within at least 3-4 business days of the interview.  I know that's not true for everyone, but if you were their first choice you'd probably know by now.)  And included in that judgment is thinking you're hot *&^% out of the T4.  

Also, the $63k is dubious for the reasons listed by other posters (reporting problem, calculating).  But find a student loan calculator online.  Even $63,000 is terrible unless you're going to school for free or cheap.  To make the payments to pay my loans back within ten years without "some financial hardship" (according to the calculators), I'll need to make at least $130,000 starting.  That won't be a problem for me, but it's something you should look in to before talking up your school's inflated $63k starting salaries.

And rah, rah.  We all go to law school.  To some degree we all may be in the "top" segments of the US population, somewhat loosely defined given the low admissions standards at lots of schools.  But that doesn't mean you're in the top of the field, or that the firms would *want* everyone, even if the market wasn't tight.  Not everyone is successful, and not everyone in law school has the tools to be successful.  These people are disproportionately present in the fourth tier.  You can't positive-think yourself into a high paying legal job.  [As a sidebar to my "bad judgment" earlier in this post, overconfidence is also a problem.]

And here's a newsflash.  We all have BAs and a foreign language.  You can maybe stand out in another field with that, but not law.

This is what you need: legal experience plus enough money to survive the summer.  This is what they're offering: legal experience   plus enough money to survive the summer.  There are more people who need legal experience this summer than there are jobs offering legal experience.  That's the market. 

So while you're right that the market isn't that tight and not all gloom and doom, that's true primarily if you have something that's sought after -- like if you're at a T14 or the top of your class.  But you're not at a T14, and you're not choosing between 10 midlaw/biglaw offers.  You don't offer much that's unique or in high demand, so you're debating a paralegal job at $10 an hour.  And I think you should take it. 
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 05:29:22 PM
I disagree Peaches. But fair enough. I'm going to do what I think is best that'll be that. Good luck the rest of the semester.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: sir_scott on March 04, 2008, 05:31:16 PM
It's not chance that I've gotten an offer at every single callback I've gone on.  (I've gotten the offers within at least 3-4 business days of the interview.  I know that's not true for everyone, but if you were their first choice you'd probably know by now.)  And included in that judgment is thinking you're hot *&^% out of the T4. 

Hell yes! Those T4's that think they are such "hot sh-t," I mean come on!  So, obnoxious, right?

Only thing worse are those people that will never love anyone more than themselves.  Peaches, I bet you can't help but make out with a mirror - irresistible!  mmmmm-tongue-mmmm smoochy smoochy mmmmm - peachy i luv u - mmmmm
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: GoGoPogo on March 04, 2008, 05:39:23 PM
I disagree Peaches. But fair enough. I'm going to do what I think is best that'll be that. Good luck the rest of the semester.

You're trying to mislead a lot of people. Regardless of whether you're doing what you want or not, you're working a job that you likely could have gotten out of high school.

It's like getting a masters degree specifically to work at Starbucks; sure, you can do it, but you would be very overqualified.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 06:21:13 PM
I disagree Peaches. But fair enough. I'm going to do what I think is best that'll be that. Good luck the rest of the semester.

You're trying to mislead a lot of people. Regardless of whether you're doing what you want or not, you're working a job that you likely could have gotten out of high school.

It's like getting a masters degree specifically to work at Starbucks; sure, you can do it, but you would be very overqualified.

I disagree but either way its ok. I don't mind. Education is a good thing.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: NATUREBOY on March 04, 2008, 06:25:40 PM
I was offered a job in a city about 35-45 minutes away. Small firm, salary is 10 per hour. I'll be taking over for the paralegal (and his duties) all summer long (leaving to take the bar)he does all the paperwork for immigration, juvenile court, etc. I'll also be translating at court on certain days, and some other clerk work. They've offered 10 dollars per hour w/ a review at 90 days for a possible raise. The owner guaranteed position when I graduate and pass the bar (salary unknown). I'll also have work on a p/t basis during the fall of next year and whenever I'm free. I'm top 25% at T4. The salary is imo insanely low and I'm wondering if I should counter, further is it appropriate to make a counter offer at this stage in the game. I think I'm probably the top candidate from either of the two schools near the firm because I can speak and write in Spanish which is the firms main clientèle and really no one in these area seems to speak or write spanish. Advice appreciated.
Let me comment on something I think everybody else missed.  You are not taking the bar, right?  The paralegal is, correct?  You are a 1L, right?  OK, then.  Let me give you my standard advice regarding summer jobs.  Unless you get an offer from one of these big firms paying you $2k a week or something comparable, at least for your first summer, you should just go to summer school.  Get ahead in your hours.  Try to graduate a semester early.  Whether your attend summer school or take a $10/hour job will have ZERO bearing on your interviews as a 2L.  Trust me!  A lot of people here will say I'm full of *&^%, and I myself would had told you the exact opposite of what I'm telling you now when I was a 1L, but it's true!  2L OCI is all about grades, grades, grades.  What you did the summer before is just something to talk about during the interview.  If you choose NOT to believe me, do so at your own risk.  I don't care.  I'm going to get totally scoffed at for even posting this.  I don't care; in my experience it's the truth. 
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: McLovin on March 04, 2008, 06:30:49 PM


I still want to make a counter just because I know that a few of the positions I have lined up pay atleast 12-15 per hour and I think one of those will pan out.


After hearing all the wisdom of your peers, I still think that is the right move.  I think it can be done with tact.  And, I think it can be done without conditioning acceptance of employment on the add'l $5/hr.  That is, "I accept, but how do you feel about $15/hr."  They may counter w/ $12/hr, in which case you are better off. 

From the firm's perspective: 
Paying you $15 is still a deal over the prior paralegal, especially if they are investing in your future, and acquiring someone w/your Spanish skills.



You think $15 is a deal for the firm to get a T4 grad when there are countless other T2,3,4 people without jobs? Even in this thread, people are complaining that they are either finding no work or taking unpaid things.

Honestly, I think if OP asks for a 50% raise, they will shoot him down.

That would be like me calling the firm I'm going to be working for this summer and telling them that $2,600/week isn't enough, I need $3,900 or else! Preposterous.

I don't really look at it like that at all. I look at it like this:

I'm a motived person w/ a BA capable of taking over for someone in a market that doesn't have many Spanish speakers. Being from a T4 doesn't matter to this firm, they respect my law school. This isn't about prestige its about doing what is right for your self. There are too many people in this forum who just undervalue themselves and that lack of confidence is precisely what is hurting them in interviews.

If you go into thinking you are only worth 10 dollars per hour you'll end up getting paid 5.50 or not get a job at all. Everyone in Law School is successful, they've completed a degree. They can ride and write well, these are  not marginal people, HAVE SOME PRIDE FOR GODS SAKE! 10 bones an hour is a joke to offer a college graduate.

It's called paying your dues; it's certainly not a joke.  Sometimes you need to take a job that doesn't pay or pay well so you can put yourself into a better position in the future.  You seem to have a sense of entitlement because you graduated college and go to law school.  No offense, and I'm not trying to insult those going to T4 schools, but you do go to a poor school.  Take what you can get, work your ass off, and then you can receive some entitlement.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: Peaches on March 04, 2008, 06:31:15 PM
Quote
Hell yes! Those T4's that think they are such "hot sh-t," I mean come on!  So, obnoxious, right?

Only thing worse are those people that will never love anyone more than themselves.  Peaches, I bet you can't help but make out with a mirror - irresistible!  mmmmm-tongue-mmmm smoochy smoochy mmmmm - peachy i luv u - mmmmm

Are you adding anything to the discussion? 

Nothing on the fourth tier, but it's objectively harder to get a high-paying job (or any decent paying legal job at all) out of the fourth tier because their graduates are objectively less desirable.  One of my parents graduated from a fourth tier law school and barely broke even for the first two years out.  Now moderately successful, but it 25 years to make it.  Chances are, if you start at the fourth tier you'll be working your way up, and getting legal experience at $10/hour for a summer with a potential job after graduation sounds like an OK way to start. 

It's not self-love... it's reality. Do you think the OP is freaking fantastic with a BA, a fourth tier law school, and Spanish?  Wow, what a killer combination!
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: Peaches on March 04, 2008, 06:33:34 PM
Agree with McLovin on paying your dues.  Going to a top school or getting top grades allows you to skip a few rungs on the ladder, but other attorneys become successful by paying their dues.

Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 06:39:46 PM
Quote
Hell yes! Those T4's that think they are such "hot sh-t," I mean come on!  So, obnoxious, right?

Only thing worse are those people that will never love anyone more than themselves.  Peaches, I bet you can't help but make out with a mirror - irresistible!  mmmmm-tongue-mmmm smoochy smoochy mmmmm - peachy i luv u - mmmmm

Are you adding anything to the discussion? 

Nothing on the fourth tier, but it's objectively harder to get a high-paying job (or any decent paying legal job at all) out of the fourth tier because their graduates are objectively less desirable.  One of my parents graduated from a fourth tier law school and barely broke even for the first two years out.  Now moderately successful, but it 25 years to make it.  Chances are, if you start at the fourth tier you'll be working your way up, and getting legal experience at $10/hour for a summer with a potential job after graduation sounds like an OK way to start. 

It's not self-love... it's reality. Do you think the OP is freaking fantastic with a BA, a fourth tier law school, and Spanish?  Wow, what a killer combination!

It is a killer combo...
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: Peaches on March 04, 2008, 06:52:55 PM
Just believe in yourself and the jobs will come to you!  :)
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: Peaches on March 04, 2008, 07:33:48 PM
Wow, bitter much? 

Just checked out your posts.  You sound like you're doing really well!  Maybe I should follow your advice and study 8+ hours a day so that I can make $15 an hour!  That will show them what I'm really worth!  I'm sure I'll blow away the competition, with my bachelor's degree, Spanish language skills, and misguided confidence. :)

Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 04, 2008, 08:07:03 PM
Wow, bitter much? 

Just checked out your posts.  You sound like you're doing really well!  Maybe I should follow your advice and study 8+ hours a day so that I can make $15 an hour!  That will show them what I'm really worth!  I'm sure I'll blow away the competition, with my bachelor's degree, Spanish language skills, and misguided confidence. :)



I'm sorry that you have some flaw that makes you need to try and insult others to feel better about yourself. Good luck trying to fill w/e hole it is you have in your heart or soul. I really hope money and a degree from Harvard or Yale fills that emptiness.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: Peaches on March 04, 2008, 08:34:41 PM
Realism shouldn't be insulting.

And in case you didn't read the thread, Sir_Scott started with the personal insults. 
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: StevePirates on March 04, 2008, 11:06:17 PM
A few notes...

I think that it may not be "personality" exactly that is a problem for many law students without jobs -- it's JUDGMENT.  People write truly terrible cover letters.  They say things they shouldn't to  firm, and don't say some of the things they should.  They don't understand how their tone comes across in e-mails, and have Facebook profiles of them in their Halloween costumes dressed as slutty nurse.  It's not chance that I've gotten an offer at every single callback I've gone on.  (I've gotten the offers within at least 3-4 business days of the interview.  I know that's not true for everyone, but if you were their first choice you'd probably know by now.)  And included in that judgment is thinking you're hot *&^% out of the T4. 
 

So while you're right that the market isn't that tight and not all gloom and doom, that's true primarily if you have something that's sought after -- like if you're at a T14 or the top of your class.  But you're not at a T14, and you're not choosing between 10 midlaw/biglaw offers.  You don't offer much that's unique or in high demand, so you're debating a paralegal job at $10 an hour.  And I think you should take it. 

"Judgment" is an infinitely better way of phrasing what I was trying to get across when I said "personality".  Thank you for putting it into a less "attack-y" word.  I meant no offense to the people without jobs (directed to Ms. Raven there).  I was simply trying to say that they may lack the "soft skills" needed to land a job, and that's something that anyone can learn with a little effort.

I also agree that countering doesn't make much sense in general.  If you have a specific feel for your prospective employers, then that's great, but free market rules apply.  The supply of 1L's outstrips the supply of jobs.  If they want the job done for $10.00, they can find someone to do it for $10.00
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: Bob Loblaw Esq. on March 05, 2008, 06:01:22 AM
this thread is hilarious.

op - the question is not whether you are worth an extra $2-5/hr, whether you can get a different low paying gig, whether your spanish skills may put you over, etc....  The question for you is, do you want substantive legal experience this summer?   It sounds like this would be some great experience that has potential to help you out in oci next fall and generally your employment prospects from here on. 

The only reason I can think of that you should be gunning for an extra couple of bucks is if you really need it to to support yourself, family, whatever.  From your posts you have not mentioned any sort of need; it seems that for you its some sort of prestige thing, which is funny, its only an extra couple of bucks an hour, and you're willing to pass up a decent job because of it.

Some of the previous posters are correct, many of your peers would kill just to have any kind of gig that will give them some legal experience.  You might say that you could give a crap whether your peers would kill for this position, or as you previously said, you dont buy into the whole notion that a t4 student should be grateful for this type of job.  That's fine.  But seriously, if you pass this job up, i'm sure all your buddies will be lined up at the door ready to take the job (without asking for a raise). 

Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: Peaches on March 05, 2008, 06:05:06 AM
Agree with you.  But apparently this means that you, too, have a hole in your soul. :)
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: vaplaugh on March 05, 2008, 07:23:40 AM
The only reason I can think of that you should be gunning for an extra couple of bucks is if you really need it to to support yourself, family, whatever.  From your posts you have not mentioned any sort of need; it seems that for you its some sort of prestige thing, which is funny, its only an extra couple of bucks an hour, and you're willing to pass up a decent job because of it.

Seconded.  If the need for money is the issue, then ask.  If this is an issue of pride or proving something to yourself or others, forget about it.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: anxiety on March 05, 2008, 04:29:34 PM
I understand your issue with taking a low paying job. I had this concern as well in my search for a summer job. Do not listen to the debbie downers who tell you that as a T4 you cannot get a well-paying job. I am ranked similarly in my class at a T4 and I got a summer internship paying $30 an hour at a local IP firm.

I do agree with one poster, though, that the substantive experience you will gain this summer is far more important than the money. If my employer had offered me this particular job without pay, I still would have taken it because it is my dream job. The high salary is just an added perk. :)
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: MrBrett1117 on March 05, 2008, 05:32:19 PM
I understand your issue with taking a low paying job. I had this concern as well in my search for a summer job. Do not listen to the debbie downers who tell you that as a T4 you cannot get a well-paying job. I am ranked similarly in my class at a T4 and I got a summer internship paying $30 an hour at a local IP firm.

I assume that you had an engineering/hard sciences degree?  If so, that would make you very different from the OP.

As others have said, take the job without asking for a raise unless you desperately need the money.  My 1L summer I worked for free.  It sucked, but the experience I got helped me land an SA position with a V40 NYC firm even though my school does not have any NYC ties. 

Whether or not you want to believe it, school reputation does matter.  You are very lucky to be getting a paid summer gig as a 1L given that you are only top 25% at a T4.  Don't jeopardize the great offer you have over an amount of money that in the long run is insignificant.  Take the job and get a huge leg up in OCI.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 06, 2008, 08:03:58 PM
Thank you all for the great advice. I've asked for a pay increase and the firm said that salary was not negotiable. However, they did agree to waive the 90 probationary period for whatever thats worth.

I'll probably email the firm tomorrow and pass on the offer. I think someone who has their heart in it should get the position. My wife and I are not desperate for the money but I still think I can a better salary wise. I agree being T4 makes a difference and maybe I am being pigheaded but I've never been one to settle when it comes to work. If the position was in closer I'd probably take it and suck it up, but its just too far to drive everyday for 10 per hour and not far enough away to justify getting an apartment. I think something else will come along and if it doesn't I'll just intern for free w/ the Prosecutors office 10 minutes away. For those who care I shall update when I know more.

Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: jacy85 on March 06, 2008, 08:14:42 PM
Thank you all for the great advice. I've asked for a pay increase and the firm said that salary was not negotiable. However, they did agree to waive the 90 probationary period for whatever thats worth.

I'll probably email the firm tomorrow and pass on the offer. I think someone who has their heart in it should get the position. My wife and I are not desperate for the money but I still think I can a better salary wise. I agree being T4 makes a difference and maybe I am being pigheaded but I've never been one to settle when it comes to work. If the position was in closer I'd probably take it and suck it up, but its just too far to drive everyday for 10 per hour and not far enough away to justify getting an apartment. I think something else will come along and if it doesn't I'll just intern for free w/ the Prosecutors office 10 minutes away. For those who care I shall update when I know more.



Do you  have an offer in hand from the DA's office?  If not, then you're being extremely cocky and presumptuous to simply assume that they'd want you.  Many 1 and 2Ls actually APPLY to intern (for free) at DA and PD offices, and have to interview/compete for offers.  ADAs only have so much time to supervise interns and only so much work they can let 1L do.  So don't assume you can just volunteer any old where you want.

And FWIW, if you're giving up PAID legal work as a 1L at a T4, you're insane.  Paid legal work for any 1L is hard to find, and only gets harder the lower down in the tiers you go.  You may refuse to see that, but it's true.  Granted, it says quite a bit about you that you got a paying offer anyway, and that's something to take pride in.  You're throwing away a great opportunity though, and getting greedy, IMO.  I'd suggest you get over yourself.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 06, 2008, 08:25:27 PM
Thank you all for the great advice. I've asked for a pay increase and the firm said that salary was not negotiable. However, they did agree to waive the 90 probationary period for whatever thats worth.

I'll probably email the firm tomorrow and pass on the offer. I think someone who has their heart in it should get the position. My wife and I are not desperate for the money but I still think I can a better salary wise. I agree being T4 makes a difference and maybe I am being pigheaded but I've never been one to settle when it comes to work. If the position was in closer I'd probably take it and suck it up, but its just too far to drive everyday for 10 per hour and not far enough away to justify getting an apartment. I think something else will come along and if it doesn't I'll just intern for free w/ the Prosecutors office 10 minutes away. For those who care I shall update when I know more.



Do you  have an offer in hand from the DA's office?  If not, then you're being extremely cocky and presumptuous to simply assume that they'd want you.  Many 1 and 2Ls actually APPLY to intern (for free) at DA and PD offices, and have to interview/compete for offers.  ADAs only have so much time to supervise interns and only so much work they can let 1L do.  So don't assume you can just volunteer any old where you want.

And FWIW, if you're giving up PAID legal work as a 1L at a T4, you're insane.  Paid legal work for any 1L is hard to find, and only gets harder the lower down in the tiers you go.  You may refuse to see that, but it's true.  Granted, it says quite a bit about you that you got a paying offer anyway, and that's something to take pride in.  You're throwing away a great opportunity though, and getting greedy, IMO.  I'd suggest you get over yourself.

I have an offer to intern at the prosecutors office in the county were I live and in Miami-Dade as well, I've had that lined up for a month or so. So I'm not being cocky. It's just my circumstances. Basically it boils down to whether I want to drive nearly 100 miles roundtrip daily. I don't. I think I can garner a similar experience whether I'm at a firm or whether I'm at the Prosecutor's office. The 10 per hour isn't worth the drive in my opinion. I'll see if something paid comes along, like I said I still have firms and PI institutions that I haven't been rejected at yet. 
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: ronaldo699 on March 06, 2008, 09:11:23 PM
i transfered to a school w/ work study - 5k grant for the summer....   i really did not look into this kinda thing when choosing schools, but shoulda and would advise the prelaw folks to do so as well..
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: afer1500 on March 13, 2008, 08:21:58 AM
So after an initial rejection, same employer reconsidered and offered more. I will be taking this offer.
Title: Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
Post by: Peaches on March 13, 2008, 08:42:33 AM
what did they offer?