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briskicetea

Year of Call - Alberta v Ontario

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I genuinely tried searching for this but couldn't find any information anywhere. I'm trying to figure out the salary differences between Alberta and Ontario.

I was called in 2017 in Alberta. This means that as of January 2019, I will be a third year associate in Alberta (in Alberta our first year only consists of the remainder of the calendar year after articling). To my understanding, a 2017 call in Ontario would be a second year associate as of January 2019, although I'm not sure on this so please correct me if I'm wrong.

The national firms in Alberta pay $120,000 for a third year associate whereas the national firms in Ontario pay $120,000 for a second year associate. This means that a 2017 call would get paid the same in Ontario and Alberta.

Is my understanding of this correct?

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To my understanding there is even variation between national firms in Ontario. Some national firms in Toronto, such as Davies, start their first year associates at 130k. So you're not really correct but I imagine you're estimations are close enough.

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29 minutes ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

To my understanding there is even variation between national firms in Ontario. Some national firms in Toronto, such as Davies, start their first year associates at 130k. So you're not really correct but I imagine you're estimations are close enough.

Davies is Davies though. They're the only firm I can think of that does that.

You'll be able to find information about many firms on NALP Canada. First-year associate pay is posted for some Toronto and Calgary offices. After that, it is hard to say. 

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Pretty sure Davies is the only firm at $130,000 right now.

It's an oversimplification to say that second-year associates in Toronto make $120,000, though. The lockstep has broken down a bit as firms have bumped associate comp, and the bonus structure in Toronto is in a bit of flux as well. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois

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5 hours ago, easttowest said:

Davies is Davies though. They're the only firm I can think of that does that.

You'll be able to find information about many firms on NALP Canada. First-year associate pay is posted for some Toronto and Calgary offices. After that, it is hard to say. 

Didn't Bennett Jones fall into this category before the bump? Not sure if they still do though.

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26 minutes ago, testcase said:

Didn't Bennett Jones fall into this category before the bump? Not sure if they still do though.

I know they pay their articling students way more, but I don't know about associates. 

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There's a chart that goes around Calgary and as of 2018, salaries are roughly as follows:

  • 1st year - $82,000
  • 2nd year - $98,000
  • 3rd year - $120,000
  • 4th year - $140,000
  • 5th year - $160,000
  • 6th year - $180,000

From another thread, it seems like the Toronto salaries are as follows:

  • 1st Year - $100,000 
  • 2nd Year - $120,000
  • 3rd Year - $150,000 
  • 4th Year - $165,000 
  • 5th Year - $175,000 
  • 6th Year - $190,000 

So based on my understanding of the differences between year of call in Alberta and Ontario, a 2017 call would currently be getting paid $98k in Calgary and $100k in Toronto. Come 2019, that same 2017 call will be getting paid $120k in both cities. 

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The information above re Toronto is out of date. Bay street (in general) pays 110/130/150 for first, second and third years, respectively. 

So in your scenario, the 2017 call would make 130k as of January, if working at most Bay street firms. Other cities and firms off Bay street have very different compensation models. 

With the exception of Davies (BJs doesn't exceed market anymore), the differentiating factor is bonus. Stikemans and Cassels are known to pay large bonuses. 

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4 minutes ago, SlightlyObsessed said:

The information above re Toronto is out of date. Bay street (in general) pays 110/130/150 for first, second and third years, respectively. 

So in your scenario, the 2017 call would make 130k as of January, if working at most Bay street firms. Other cities and firms off Bay street have very different compensation models. 

With the exception of Davies (BJs doesn't exceed market anymore), the differentiating factor is bonus. Stikemans and Cassels are known to pay large bonuses. 

Out of curiosity, what do bonuses at these firms tend to look like? X% of salary? Is there an approximate range?

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It depends on your billables, how well the firm is doing. 

Many firms give 10% of salary if you hit target, increasing if you exceed target substantially.

Stikeman is known to pay more like 30%. 

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Surely where you want to live and the particular job in question is much more important than a few thousand dollars. But what do I know, I work in Vancouver....

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3 hours ago, Mal said:

Surely where you want to live and the particular job in question is much more important than a few thousand dollars. But what do I know, I work in Vancouver....

Well yea. I've been considering moving from Calgary to Toronto and wanted to figure out the salary differences. I had (naively) thought that given the much higher cost of living in Toronto, that the salaries would be proportionately higher.

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Out of curiosity.. if you get called to the bar in June 2018, when would you be considered a 2nd year for the salary bump? i.e. June of 2019, January 2020, or some other time

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8 minutes ago, MT696 said:

Out of curiosity.. if you get called to the bar in June 2018, when would you be considered a 2nd year for the salary bump? i.e. June of 2019, January 2020, or some other time

If you get called in June 2018, you will effectively be a first  year call on the lock step from June 2018-January 2019. January 2019-January 2020, you will be a 2nd year on the lock step and so forth.

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10 minutes ago, NoWinNoFee said:

If you get called in June 2018, you will effectively be a first  year call on the lock step from June 2018-January 2019. January 2019-January 2020, you will be a 2nd year on the lock step and so forth.

Thanks!

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10 minutes ago, NoWinNoFee said:

If you get called in June 2018, you will effectively be a first  year call on the lock step from June 2018-January 2019. January 2019-January 2020, you will be a 2nd year on the lock step and so forth.

In Calgary this is the system. In Ontario a lawyer called in June 2018 would be a first year until January 2020 based on my understanding.

I don't get why the provinces don't standardize years of call. I imagine we'll get a national securities commission before then... 🙃

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On 11/25/2018 at 8:41 PM, briskicetea said:

Well yea. I've been considering moving from Calgary to Toronto and wanted to figure out the salary differences. I had (naively) thought that given the much higher cost of living in Toronto, that the salaries would be proportionately higher.

Yeah, assuming the lockstep in Calgary is always about $10K behind the Toronto grid then it seems that the salary:cost of living ratio is far better in Calgary when compared to Toronto. We make a lot on Bay street but living is not cheap. 

RE: bonuses - at least for the first few years, at most firms, bonuses cap out at 30%. I have heard anecdotes on here that this is not true for all firms on Bay, but it does seem to be the case with everyone I've had conversations with. I know at my firm (and many others) if you hit your target you get 20%. I have heard on ls.ca that there are also a lot of firms that have the 10% rule (but all of my friends on Bay have consistently discussed the 20% number). I'm not sure about how the calculation works once you're over,  I would imagine it's something like 5% extra for every 100 hours capping at 30% - however, for those of us (the many of us really) who are at a firm that starts with the 20% at target number, but who have billed more than 200 hours over target - that 30% cap just doesn't quite seem right (or worth it). 

 

Edited by TheScientist101

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On 11/25/2018 at 9:14 PM, briskicetea said:

In Calgary this is the system. In Ontario a lawyer called in June 2018 would be a first year until January 2020 based on my understanding.

I don't get why the provinces don't standardize years of call. I imagine we'll get a national securities commission before then... 🙃

You are correct, vis a vis the big firms, and it primarily relates to the fact that Calgary calls go to work and Ontario calls don't start working for another 2-3 months after being called. Your "first year" is 15-16 or so months long in Ontario.

Edited by Rashabon

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