Law School Discussion

salary and advancement

salary and advancement
« on: February 15, 2006, 09:58:33 PM »
hey i was just wondering.  from the stats i see around it seems like the average starting salary out of law school is around 50-60k.  but i was wondering what people know about advancement and salary increases.  how long does it take for a first year lawyer to start to advance and get a bump in salary?  i just didnt know if your looking at 60k for 5 years or so or if there are some significant bumps in salary after 1,2,or 3 years. 

of course you could always get that 125k starting salary.  but im just looking at the average. 


Re: salary and advancement
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2006, 10:29:00 PM »
biglaw (125K) has yearly raises and bonuses, so you escalate very quickly. i believe it's the same for midlaw (starting at 80-110K or so), though of course not on the same level. the government also has yearly raises. i have no idea for public interest.

the one area i assume is different is in starting your own practice or joining a very small one, which seems to be more typical among students from lower-ranked and more local schools. i know someone who joined a small, local firm  and his salary bas basically been stuck where he started (around 55K) and will be until the firm grows and picks up business, which could never happen for all he knows. but then again, his father was in the same position that he is and ended up making than many do in their gigs at biglaw- and of course he likes his work a lot more.

but overall, the salary bump seems pretty normal- if not guaranteed- in most pratice areas even after the first year. if you're working for someone that isn't giving you raises regularly, and you don't stand to find yourself better off if something good happens (when the firm grows, for example), that's probably a good sign that you should find another job.