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harveyspecter993

Bay Street Salary Progression

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I'm going to have to shine my barelylegal signal in the air tonight, haha. She is indeed, the hero I need.

 

If you don't know it's a posting handle already, looking for "barely legal" is going to set you up for some awkward encounters.

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so by that statement you mean to say there are no less than average looking lawyers in your mind?

 

No. Law students/lawyers are on average at least average-looking. Don't think too hard about it.

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No. Law students/lawyers are on average at least average-looking. Don't think too hard about it.

 

Well.... I'm not sure this is true. I know it sounds true, but you have to remember, there's correlation between hidden variables that often skews these types of common sense things into unexpected results.

 

For example, being "intelligent", generally, requires certain favourable developmental conditions. On average, intelligent people likely avoided certain defects and consequences. They may have had superior genes, or potentially a superior environment, or better access to resources in childhood. Many of these factors would also correlate with things that are generally associated with attractiveness (e.g.: people with better resources might be healthier, people who have superior environments might be taller due to better nutrients, people who have superior genes might well be more aesthetically pleasing too). While I wouldn't say intelligence is an indicator of attractiveness, I would say there's almost certainly going to be a positive correlation.

 

Thirty seconds on Google finds results for this:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201012/beautiful-people-really-are-more-intelligent

 

I'm too lazy to go to Google Scholar and review articles but I'm sure there's some published papers on it too. 

Edited by Pyke

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I'm going to have to shine my barelylegal signal in the air tonight, haha. She is indeed, the hero I need.

 

Nope.

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So...you agree with me?

 

Well, the statement, on average, at least average looking, could be an endorsement of my position, a sarcastic rebuttal, or both.

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Depends on how you stand up for yourself.

 

 

Can you elaborate on this? 

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I appreciate the insight from lawyers who are actually practicing. But when students ask questions on topics such as this, it always strikes me as almost unbearably fannish.

 

How much money?!?

 

And how much do I need to work for that?

 

Wait, and how much money again?!?

 

For how many hours?

 

And will girls be impressed by the size of my compensation package?

 

I try not to argue with people's priorities and with what they choose to define as important. But how the hell can people have these conversations and be superficially engaged with the idea of a career in BigLaw and evidence almost no interest at all in any subject of discussion other than how much money for how much work and sometimes for how much prestige?

 

How about responsibility - what sorts of work will you be allowed to do, and when? What about autonomy - how long until you're able to carry files independently? What about satisfaction - how much freedom do you have to take on issues that are of interest to you? What about profile and wider exposure - will you have opportunities to contribute to journals, speak at conferences, or even just write for the firm's web content? I could go on and on and on.

 

I don't know the answers to these questions. I don't know when, or how, you gain access to things you might want out of a legal career other than more money for less work and the opportunity to brag even more about the size of your package. But if you claim to be interested in this sort of work, and you aren't asking any other questions about it, you don't deserve to be taken seriously. And when you're another bitter flame out case, who either doesn't get a foot in the door at all or else gets a foot in that door and then is unhappy with what you find ... you really won't have anyone else to blame.

 

I think you are being rather close minded. You are assuming that these types of questions are not being asked and only questions of money are. There is much dialogue surrounding the topics you mentioned, even on this forum. 

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Can you elaborate on this? 

What's to elaborate on?  One of the key things for articling students/young associates to learn is that they have to manage their own workflow, at least to a certain extent.  Some things are out of there hands - if work isn't coming in, it isn't coming in, nothing you can (though you can certainly control the time you spend on non-billable work during those periods).  Ditto, if its an all hands on deck fire drill, well, you do what you gotta do.  But those are the extremes, most of your day-to-day life is somewhere in the middle. The art is to manage your time so that you are (and are seen to be) a productive member of the team, while still giving yourself some space to have a life.  

 

This is a hard skill to learn as a young lawyer - some heavy hitter comes into your office and asks him whether you can help on a file, your first instinct is to say "yes sir, yes sir, three bags full".  But, if you don't have capacity to take on that work and still fulfill the priorities in your life, you're not doing yourself any favours.  Either the work will suffer, or you're going to burn yourself out trying to satisfy all the demands on your time.  You see that a lot with articling students, they haven't quite figured out that if you don't say "no", people will keep piling on working until they get crushed (and it's not that those people are jerks, it's that if you're not telling them you're swamped, how are they supposed to know?). It's a skill that people develop as they develop confidence in themselves and as they cultivate the trust of their colleagues/clients.  At some point, you figure out that the powers-that-be aren't going to fire you because you told a partner that you didn't have capacity to take on a file or can't do something instantly (in reasonable circumstances - if you tell the partner you're too busy and they catch you on TV at the Blue Jays weekday matinee, that could be a problem), and your colleagues/clients trust you that you will do the work for them as soon as you can, given the various other constraints in your life.  

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I think you are being rather close minded. You are assuming that these types of questions are not being asked and only questions of money are. There is much dialogue surrounding the topics you mentioned, even on this forum. 

 

Well, maybe that's true. But as a long-time reader on this site (as well as contributor, on topics I know) I can confirm the following. I've seen the salary question done to death, and really just reduced to this equation. How much money and how much do I have to work to earn it? I know I've never seen those other questions asked because I don't even know the answers to them. Endless comparisons between firms and who does or doesn't pay $10,000 more. I can't even recall anyone trying to compare and contrast degrees of responsibility, independence, and creativity allowed at firm X vs. firm Y.

 

Now maybe that's my own faulty memory at play. Uriel in particular does a good job of unpacking the experience of being a Bay Street lawyer. But the direct comparison as evidenced here? The desire to know where to get the "best" deal in terms other than money? Never seen it. Just sayin.

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Two things here.  First, I'm going to seize this opportunity as another one to deflate yet another sad foil balloon in the Seven Sisters myth.  You don't get paid more there; not as an associate and not as a partner.  Every firm is run as an independent enterprise.  Some non-"Sister" firms are clearly known to pay their associates more than those seven firms do (it's on NALP).  And as a partner, you might get a slice of a much bigger pie, but it's not going to be clear to you until you get intimately involved with a firm how big that pie is, and how big a slice you get.  Your compensation is based on your own business.  If you're a rainmaker, you'll make serious coin whether it's at Gowlings or Stikes.  If your book isn't that big, you might not make that much more at McCarthys than you would at BLG.  Who knows, you might make less.  

 

 

I haven't been able to find any firm on the NALP in Toronto which pays more than Davies. Which particular firm were you referring to?

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I'm kinda conflicted about answering this, but here goes.

 

You seem to have rephrased the point a bit there.  I was saying that there are non-"Sister" firms that pay their associates more than Sister firms do.  You appear to have restated that as saying there are non-"Sister" firms that pay their associates in lockstep more than all Sister firms do.  Bennett Jones pays $105,000 as a lockstep first-year salary, whereas Goodmans, Torys, Osler and Blakes are listed at $100,000.  That coheres with the statement I made, but not with the restatement you made.

 

EDIT: Just re-reading my post above, I think I see where there was a disconnect --- you thought I was saying that there are non-"Sister" firms that pay more than all Sister firms.  You're correct; that's not true.  Davies pays the most at first year lockstep, then BJ, then a million-way tie with virtually everyone else.  Which, I think, kind of reinforces my point that those seven don't stand apart from the industry generally.  (McCarthys and Stikes don't report compensation on NALP.)

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I'm kinda conflicted about answering this, but here goes.

 

You seem to have rephrased the point a bit there.  I was saying that there are non-"Sister" firms that pay their associates more than Sister firms do.  You appear to have restated that as saying there are non-"Sister" firms that pay their associates in lockstep more than all Sister firms do.  Bennett Jones pays $105,000 as a lockstep first-year salary, whereas Goodmans, Torys, Osler and Blakes are listed at $100,000.  That coheres with the statement I made, but not with the restatement you made.

 

EDIT: Just re-reading my post above, I think I see where there was a disconnect --- you thought I was saying that there are non-"Sister" firms that pay more than all Sister firms.  You're correct; that's not true.  Davies pays the most at first year lockstep, then BJ, then a million-way tie with virtually everyone else.  Which, I think, kind of reinforces my point that those seven don't stand apart from the industry generally.  (McCarthys and Stikes don't report compensation on NALP.)

Thanks for clearing that up.

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Generally speaking, you'll go from 100,000 in your first year to about 160,000, with relatively equal increments. So something like:

 

Year    Salary

1          100,000

2          110,000

3          125,000

4          140,000

5          150,000

6          160,000

 

Details vary by firm, but 90% of the big firms are probably within 10K of those figures, up or down.

 

I'm kinda surprised at this. From my understanding, Calgary firms tops this at year 5 even though they start lower at year 1.

Edited by Denny_Crane

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I'm kinda surprised at this. From my understanding, Calgary firms tops this at year 5 even though they start lower at year 1.

 

Might have to do with the definition of a "year 1" lawyer. At Calgary big firms you're only a "year 1" lawyer from your call to the bar to the end of that calendar year. In my case, about three and a half months. Then it goes by calendar year. So, Bay Street "year 1" at 100k is actually compared to Calgary "year 2" at about 98k.

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Might have to do with the definition of a "year 1" lawyer. At Calgary big firms you're only a "year 1" lawyer from your call to the bar to the end of that calendar year. In my case, about three and a half months. Then it goes by calendar year. So, Bay Street "year 1" at 100k is actually compared to Calgary "year 2" at about 98k.

 

This surprises me even more! I didn't realize Toronto didn't get the double bump. That means it gets topped even earlier along and by a greater margin, since Calgary's 7th year is Toronto 6th year

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This surprises me even more! I didn't realize Toronto didn't get the double bump. That means it gets topped even earlier along and by a greater margin, since Calgary's 7th year is Toronto 6th year

What about Vancouver?

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