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Author Topic: Starting Salaries  (Read 3731 times)

jiggedyjared

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Starting Salaries
« on: May 21, 2006, 04:01:19 PM »
What do you guys think?  I've heard a lot of attorneys say that the starting salaries listed by schools are manipulated in such a way with statistics to push them north of their actual amounts.  Do you guys think this is right?  I seem to recall UT's AVERAGE starting salary being somewhere around 110K for private practice, but I have to believe that is too high.  I just looked at Mercer's (middle of tier 2) and they have there's listed at 55K - which seems pretty accurate. 


I think HYS average is about 115K for private practice
3-14: 100K
15 - 30: 85K
40 - 60: 75K
60 - 90: 60K
90 - tier 3: 50K
tier 4: 45K

That's my guess, anyhow.  I also understand that the above is averages.  So, a lot of it will have to do with how you do in your class and what area you live in.  Agree, though?

mirror

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Re: Starting Salaries
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2006, 07:23:15 PM »
What do you guys think?  I've heard a lot of attorneys say that the starting salaries listed by schools are manipulated in such a way with statistics to push them north of their actual amounts.  Do you guys think this is right?  I seem to recall UT's AVERAGE starting salary being somewhere around 110K for private practice, but I have to believe that is too high.  I just looked at Mercer's (middle of tier 2) and they have there's listed at 55K - which seems pretty accurate. 


I think HYS average is about 115K for private practice
3-14: 100K
15 - 30: 85K
40 - 60: 75K
60 - 90: 60K
90 - tier 3: 50K
tier 4: 45K

That's my guess, anyhow.  I also understand that the above is averages.  So, a lot of it will have to do with how you do in your class and what area you live in.  Agree, though?

What do you mean by average?

There's no way that the median private sector starting salary for Harvard is 115K.

Nope, its much higher

mirror

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Re: Starting Salaries
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2006, 07:25:15 PM »
What do you guys think?  I've heard a lot of attorneys say that the starting salaries listed by schools are manipulated in such a way with statistics to push them north of their actual amounts.  Do you guys think this is right?  I seem to recall UT's AVERAGE starting salary being somewhere around 110K for private practice, but I have to believe that is too high.  I just looked at Mercer's (middle of tier 2) and they have there's listed at 55K - which seems pretty accurate. 


I think HYS average is about 115K for private practice
3-14: 100K
15 - 30: 85K
40 - 60: 75K
60 - 90: 60K
90 - tier 3: 50K
tier 4: 45K

That's my guess, anyhow.  I also understand that the above is averages.  So, a lot of it will have to do with how you do in your class and what area you live in.  Agree, though?

youre pretty out of touch.  you do realize nyc market is $145k?

WfPck05

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Re: Starting Salaries
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2006, 07:46:17 PM »
I know people who went to tier 3 and 4 and who do IP law and got starting salaries over $100... It really depends on so many factors.

jiggedyjared

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Re: Starting Salaries
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2006, 08:15:14 PM »
I meant mean average, but median would work too. 

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youre pretty out of touch.  you do realize nyc market is $145k?

No need to be a prick.  I obviously don't know the market for NYC lawyers.  That's kind of why I was asking.  I still don't think that it's 145 for the average.  I'm sure that there are some that top out around 160, but for an average?  I can't see anyway that if you take the entire graduating class for any law school that it would be 145.  Maybe I'm wrong.  I guess that would qualify me as being "out of touch."

flydog

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Re: Starting Salaries
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2006, 10:47:11 PM »
Median and average can yield completely different numbers.

As far as NYC if you take a look at NALP statistics less than half of the 147 firms offer 145k. Another 40% are between 115-145 and the bottom 10% are between 90-115. This would make the market rate closer to 125k. 115k is entirely within reason for Harvard.  Not all graduates go to work in NYC and there are always people that prefer to go to smaller firms for a variety of reasons.

jiggedyjared

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Re: Starting Salaries
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2006, 01:09:41 AM »
I would hope at this point that pretty much everyone understands what an average is.  So, I think we can stop beating that dead horse. 

I'm still not buying that 50% of any law school (assuming you are taking the median) make more than 140K a year starting out. 

Lurking Third Year

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Re: Starting Salaries
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2006, 07:09:42 AM »
I meant mean average, but median would work too. 

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youre pretty out of touch.  you do realize nyc market is $145k?

No need to be a prick.  I obviously don't know the market for NYC lawyers.  That's kind of why I was asking.  I still don't think that it's 145 for the average.  I'm sure that there are some that top out around 160, but for an average?  I can't see anyway that if you take the entire graduating class for any law school that it would be 145.  Maybe I'm wrong.  I guess that would qualify me as being "out of touch."

average = mean, median, or mode... I take it you meant mean?  Median is probably more useful, but either way.

Let's say that any Harvard student can get biglaw somewhere. 

NYC market = 145k
I think DC is at 145
Philadelphia = 125
Atlanta = 115
Houston = 125?
Boston = 125
Chicago and SF, I'm not sure if it's gone up yet, it was 125, but they've started going up everywhere (hence 145 now being market in NYC)
Charlotte = 100

Depending on where you go, yes, salary will depend on how you finish in your class, and salary will definitely depend on location... but even in smaller legal markets like Minneapolis, Portland (OR), and Seattle, there are firms starting at over 100K.

This is biglaw, mind you.  Medium sized firms pay less.

I don't know why UT's starting salary couldn't be 115K.  Starting salary in Austin is 125, Houston and Dallas probably are too, and top Texas students can get jobs in any city, including the higher paying jobs in New York, DC, and the ones that are available in California.

Most DC firms are now paying 135, though some NY-based firms went up to 145.  Keep in mind that these are salaries before bonus. 

To the OP: the best way to evaluate the employment numbers is to ask about the response rate.  An average reported salary of 145k sounds impressive, but if only 50% or so of the class responded to the survey, it may be misleading.  Not to state the obvious, but keep in mind that if a school is using an average, that the high salaries received by the top students may skew the average a little, and this may be compounded by the fact that the students in the bottom of the class w/o jobs are probably the most likely not to respond to the survey. 

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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2006, 09:30:23 AM »
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Slow Blues

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Re: Starting Salaries
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2006, 09:32:21 AM »
I've asked before, but does anyone know where I can get a comprehensive list of starting sallaries? Even if we have to be skeptical about the validity of the information given, I'm very curious to see it. I am particularly interested in starting sallaries for schools in California: Berkely, USC, UCLA, USD, Pepperdine etc. Thanks.

Princeton Review's website had starting salaries, I think, as does US News.