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AdvocateFinch

Average Starting Salary

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I started articling at a personal injury firm in Ontario (outside of Toronto) in September. I was looking to collaborate a list of average starting salaries per area of practice for boutique firms because I could not find any online...

My starting salary in PI is $ 95,000.00 (with bonuses during Christmas and end of accounting year). My friend is working at a criminal defence boutique, and his starting salary was $65,000.00 (Plus performance bonus). My other friend isworking at an Intellectual property boutique and is making $85,000.00 (Christmas and end of accounting year bonus).

I wanted to compare articling salaries per these boutiques and was wonder what was common in other areas of practice? Maybe we can put together a guide for future articling students (indexed to inflation of course).

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3 hours ago, AdvocateFinch said:

I started articling at a personal injury firm in Ontario (outside of Toronto) in September. I was looking to collaborate a list of average starting salaries per area of practice for boutique firms because I could not find any online...

My starting salary in PI is $ 95,000.00 (with bonuses during Christmas and end of accounting year). My friend is working at a criminal defence boutique, and his starting salary was $65,000.00 (Plus performance bonus). My other friend isworking at an Intellectual property boutique and is making $85,000.00 (Christmas and end of accounting year bonus).

I wanted to compare articling salaries per these boutiques and was wonder what was common in other areas of practice? Maybe we can put together a guide for future articling students (indexed to inflation of course).

God, I wish I was interested in PI. 

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1 hour ago, pzabbythesecond said:

95k is higher than the highest articling salary I've heard of. That's.. wow. 

Are we sure that's not their first year call salary, not articling. 

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37 minutes ago, lawstudent20202020 said:

Are we sure that's not their first year call salary, not articling. 

I think you're right. OP said their starting salary which maybe means 1st year as an associate.

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6 hours ago, AdvocateFinch said:

I started articling at a personal injury firm in Ontario (outside of Toronto) in September. I was looking to collaborate a list of average starting salaries per area of practice for boutique firms because I could not find any online...

My starting salary in PI is $ 95,000.00 (with bonuses during Christmas and end of accounting year). My friend is working at a criminal defence boutique, and his starting salary was $65,000.00 (Plus performance bonus). My other friend isworking at an Intellectual property boutique and is making $85,000.00 (Christmas and end of accounting year bonus).

I wanted to compare articling salaries per these boutiques and was wonder what was common in other areas of practice? Maybe we can put together a guide for future articling students (indexed to inflation of course).

PM'd you

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Even if the OP is a first year lawyer as opposed to an articling student, $95,000 is a high starting salary for a brand new call in PI. Especially outside of Toronto. I certainly don't doubt it is possible, but I have never heard of it happening outside of Toronto (unless you are at Oatley Vigmond in Barrie). Congrats to the OP I guess!

EDIT - if the OP is indeed getting 95k to article, I would assume the 95k figure is either (1) false; or (2) an example of connections, e.g. working for a small PI shop that is doing very well financially (the practice area does have absolutely huge income potential) and it is his parent's firm, owned by a family friend, etc. 

Edited by happydude
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1 minute ago, happydude said:

Even if the OP is a first year lawyer as opposed to an articling student, $95,000 is a high starting salary for a brand new call in PI. Especially outside of Toronto. I certainly don't doubt it is possible, but I have never heard of it happening outside of Toronto (unless you are at Oatley Vigmond in Barrie). Congrats to the OP I guess!

Lol Oatley Vigmond. This is a totally asshole comment to make, but I remember during the OCI recruit sending out a total last minute backup bullshit application to them and commenting on my "passion for the Barrie lifestyle." They have the last laugh though because that's a killer salary. 

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3 hours ago, pzabbythesecond said:

95k is higher than the highest articling salary I've heard of. That's.. wow. 

Bennet Jones pays $96,200 in Toronto. 

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8 minutes ago, realpseudonym said:


*Views expressed above are not factual, do not reflect the views of the lawstudents.ca community, and do not reflect this hat's best effort at humour. To the extent that Bennett Jones' defamation lawyers may read this, I have no assets, only debt, go away.

Wrong! You also have delicious, valuable bone marrow. 

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Is personal injury a field that pays a really high starting salary? Yeah it would be good to see a breakdown where we can see what the average professions will pay. I assume corporate law would be higher then? Why does personal injury pay so much...?

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12 minutes ago, realpseudonym said:

Yeah, but they take your left kidney as a deposit and only give it back once you've billed the number of hours that Tony Merchant claimed to docket the previous year. That's a law fact.*

*Views expressed above are not factual, do not reflect the views of the lawstudents.ca community, and do not reflect this hat's best effort at humour. To the extent that Bennett Jones' defamation lawyers may read this, I have no assets, only debt, go away. 

The weird thing is that they drop right back in line with basically everyone else for first-year associates. 

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1 minute ago, NFLDFree said:

Is personal injury a field that pays a really high starting salary? Yeah it would be good to see a breakdown where we can see what the average professions will pay. I assume corporate law would be higher then? Why does personal injury pay so much...?

When you’re dealing with potential 7 figure settlements, after sweating it out for upwards of 5 years, you can imagine the pay the lawyers are going to ask is going to be a pretty penny. 

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Just now, NFLDFree said:

Is personal injury a field that pays a really high starting salary? Yeah it would be good to see a breakdown where we can see what the average professions will pay. I assume corporate law would be higher then? Why does personal injury pay so much...?

I suspect OP's case is not normal. PI can pay a lot because people get very badly hurt and receive large settlements or damages awards, and lawyers can still represent them on contingency.

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1 hour ago, NFLDFree said:

Is personal injury a field that pays a really high starting salary? Yeah it would be good to see a breakdown where we can see what the average professions will pay. I assume corporate law would be higher then? Why does personal injury pay so much...?

 

Personal injury, generally, pays junior associates less than what you would see at large full service firms, leading boutiques, and often times even mid-size players downtown. The huge money potential in the practice area arrives once you have more experience in the field, and your compensation is not merely a base salary, but also depends on how many files you settle, the size of the settlements, etc.

If you're purely in it for money, but want to do this area of law, you'd be best served practicing insurance defence at a full service firm for a number of years, and then switching sides.

Edited by happydude
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14 hours ago, NFLDFree said:

Is personal injury a field that pays a really high starting salary? Yeah it would be good to see a breakdown where we can see what the average professions will pay. I assume corporate law would be higher then? Why does personal injury pay so much...?

PI has insane earning potential but a bad reputation. Sorta like plastic surgery in medicine - the people who don't understand it will look down on it.

IMO, PI and Family are the best kept secrets in law. There is this crazy rat race in law school for BigLaw and students ignore fields that arguably generate more wealth over a career (not starting out.)

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Just now, setto said:

IMO, PI and Family are the best kept secrets in law. There is this crazy rat race in law school for BigLaw and students ignore fields that arguably generate more wealth over a career (not starting out.)

Probably true, but I just can't be bothered by PI culture or Family Law, generally. It's not all about money!

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