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Author Topic: What is the starting salary for legal assistants at big law firms?  (Read 2996 times)

Stringtheory

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I'm considering working as a parelegal for a few years after college before applying to law school. I'd like to work at a V100 firm and was wondering how much on average do legal assistants fresh out of college make at these firms. Thanks in advance.

botbot

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Re: What is the starting salary for legal assistants at big law firms?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2008, 10:42:47 AM »
~35-60k

El_Che

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Re: What is the starting salary for legal assistants at big law firms?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2008, 01:47:25 PM »
Also keep in mind that a LOT of positions at V100 firms are gonna require previous experience or paralegal degrees.

mulligan14

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Re: What is the starting salary for legal assistants at big law firms?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2008, 02:09:42 PM »
If your looking at NYC, many start at about 40k and don't require any prior experience or paralegal degree except for a BA/BS. Depending on OT, the salary will likely be closer to 55k to 65k or higher if you really work a ton of hours.

1lstudent

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Re: What is the starting salary for legal assistants at big law firms?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2008, 02:54:18 PM »
I worked for a big law firm as a legal assistant and my checks were usually between $1000-$1300 a week.  That is with overtime, though (usually 60-65 hour work weeks).

Stringtheory

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Re: What is the starting salary for legal assistants at big law firms?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2008, 06:00:50 PM »
Thanks for the replies.

I AM A DREAMER

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Re: What is the starting salary for legal assistants at big law firms?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2008, 03:04:30 AM »
I'm working as a legal assistant at SMALL (less than 10 people) law firm in a small city in the Bay Area , and I'm making about 40k. I have no prior legal experience and only several years of general work experience. I rarely work OT.

Erk

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Re: What is the starting salary for legal assistants at big law firms?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2008, 09:35:25 PM »
Hi guys, I was thinking of working as a legal assistant before law school as well. Has anyone done this, and is it possible to do without a certificate? If so, how did you go about securing a position?

Thanks

nykni9ht

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Re: What is the starting salary for legal assistants at big law firms?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2008, 01:56:52 PM »
I graduated from Hopkins in 06' and took a job at Fried Frank in NYC. To get a positition, most of the top 50 firms listed by vault.com have very competitive application processes for hiring legal assistants. Almost all of them have two year programs oriented towards the law school bound individual. The application process starts in the Fall to early January. You can visit any of the firms websites to get more info on their hiring process legal assistant applicants.

If you are at a top 20-30 firm, be prepared to do 20-30+ hours a week in O/T. This will give you a sense of what working at a big firm is like hour wise. During trials we can work up to 100 hours in a week or travel out of state. This is not in any means a glamorous job, although all the perks are great: car rides home, meals after 8PM, subsidized gym memberships etc...be prepared to stretch your endurance to manage long hours and high stressed environments.

Starting salary is usually 36-40k at any of the big firms in NYC/DC/LA. I grossed well over 70K my first year because of all the O/T I did. Note, I also did not have a life. There are a lot of ambitious legal assistants looking to get a partner recommendation letters, this is rare but doable if you prove yourself. Even when your in at a top firm, you have to work hard to impress someone enough to write you a rec. letter.

1lstudent

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Re: What is the starting salary for legal assistants at big law firms?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2008, 01:06:33 AM »
try a temp agency to get your foot in the door.  You definitely work a ton of hours at the big firms as a legal assistant.  To me, if you are going to put in that many hours, you should just go straight to law school (which I'm doing).  Like I said, after taxes, I was taking home about $1300 a week, but I also was not working the maximum amount of hours I could have (I would have been bringing home after taxes close to 2 gs if I had worked all that they wanted me to).