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Calgarylaw2

What do you expect for compensation?

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8 minutes ago, msk2012 said:

I see salaries quoted on weekly or biweekly bases quite often. For example:

https://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?Language=English&JobID=149635

In relation to articling salaries, I also recall that some of them were annualized with a stipulation that they would be pro-rated down to a 10 month term (as is the case in Ontario).

Note most BC firms pay for all 12 months even though you are only actually working for 10.

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12 minutes ago, msk2012 said:

I see salaries quoted on weekly or biweekly bases quite often. For example:

https://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?Language=English&JobID=149635

In relation to articling salaries, I also recall that some of them were annualized with a stipulation that they would be pro-rated down to a 10 month term (as is the case in Ontario).

I wonder if weekly is an eastern thing - I've never seen that before. Heck, I've seen just about everything else - biweekly (as the pay period) or annually (as https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/for-legal-professionals/articled-student-program/pay-and-benefits or everyone on NALP), even monthly - but the monthly and biweekly are just based off the annual. You wouldn't bother doing the calculations down to whatever portion of a year the position is for (eg 10/12 of $65k). Just give the annual figure so they can compare it to any other job.

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6 hours ago, lookingaround said:

I wonder if weekly is an eastern thing - I've never seen that before. Heck, I've seen just about everything else - biweekly (as the pay period) or annually (as https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/justice/for-legal-professionals/articled-student-program/pay-and-benefits or everyone on NALP), even monthly - but the monthly and biweekly are just based off the annual. You wouldn't bother doing the calculations down to whatever portion of a year the position is for (eg 10/12 of $65k). Just give the annual figure so they can compare it to any other job.

no it's not an eastern thing, it's an OPSEU thing.  Ontario government employees are represented by different unions. The more hands on, on-call type of jobs are with a union called OPSEU, and they mainly use weekly (or hourly) salaries. Many jobs done in an office setting (policy, research, legal etc.) are represented by different unions, and they usually go by annual salaries. It's just that if you search for gov jobs right now you will only find a few, and they will often be OPSEU jobs quoted in weekly/hourly figures. Legal, policy type of jobs are mostly all restricted and currently not open to public 

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13 hours ago, CleanHands said:

Since you emphasized the "any," I'll say that in criminal defence it would be bad to ask for that as it's very out of step with the market (sadly) and would suggest the candidate is unfamiliar with the practice area (fortunately that doesn't apply to the OP though).

I don't want to derail OP's thread but $50k is not out of step with the market in Calgary for criminal defence, at least for 2019-2020/pre-COVID-19. I articled at a crim defence firm in downtown Calgary. Although it would be better described as a low-volume, high-complexity practice, most of my colleagues articling at high volume shops (whether Legal Aid or cash files) either reported earning the same as what I earned, or something close to it. None of us were gold medalists or former SCC clerks. I won't say exactly what any of us earned, but it was significantly more than the apparent Vancouver range of $24-36k.

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16 hours ago, Calgarylaw2 said:

In multiple interviews now, I have been asked. What do I expect for compensation? 

I have no idea what to answer. I live in Calgary, and these are small firms. At this point in the search for articling I would be happy with anything and simply want a position in a firm that works in an area that intrests me.  But I want to ensure I am answering with an appropriate figure. I usually answer with around 50 000, is this too much? 

Any insight on the expected or best way to answer this question would be appreciated. 

(Note this account is used by my wife and I, in case you look at our activity and it looks confusing ;) One of us is entering articling, while the other an entering 0L) 

The easiest answer is "competitive with other firms of a comparable size" and follow up with an average from Robert Half or the other salary guide. I would also be honest and say at this point you care more about securing a good position with people you are compatible with then a salary that will naturally increase over the years. There is nothing wrong with being honest, in my opinion, law firms tend to go into interviews with set compensation and look for students based on that, so you aren't leaving money on the table for them to spend on a new expresso machine or something (although I have more experience interviewing at government or large/medium sized Toronto firms).

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2 hours ago, rziegler said:

I don't want to derail OP's thread but $50k is not out of step with the market in Calgary for criminal defence, at least for 2019-2020/pre-COVID-19. I articled at a crim defence firm in downtown Calgary. Although it would be better described as a low-volume, high-complexity practice, most of my colleagues articling at high volume shops (whether Legal Aid or cash files) either reported earning the same as what I earned, or something close to it. None of us were gold medalists or former SCC clerks. I won't say exactly what any of us earned, but it was significantly more than the apparent Vancouver range of $24-36k.

I stand corrected then; good to know. I certainly didn't think Alberta would be any better, especially given all the high-profile hits to Legal Aid under the Kenney gov, but I'm happy to be wrong on this point.

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39 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

I stand corrected then; good to know. I certainly didn't think Alberta would be any better, especially given all the high-profile hits to Legal Aid under the Kenney gov, but I'm happy to be wrong on this point.

For at least some of the more successful defence practices in Vancouver, it’s not so much that they couldn’t afford to pay a student $50K. It’s that they refuse to. 
 

 

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16 hours ago, CleanHands said:

UBC's career services guide currently lists criminal defence articling salaries in Van (one of the most expensive cities in the country) at a range of $24k-$36k/year (and this was listed pre-COVID).

$50k/year for articling in crim defence is huge and you'd only get that at a shop focused pretty much exclusively on traffic stuff or the kind of elite boutique crim firms that hire gold medalists and SCC clerks and represent celebrities.

Basically no crim defence firms that do the standard bread-and-butter crim work with a lot of legal aid files pay articling students $50k. It absolutely would be detrimental to state that as a salary expectation.

I would NOT advise anyone to work there

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1 minute ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

For at least some of the more successful defence practices in Vancouver, it’s not so much that they couldn’t afford to pay a student $50K. It’s that they refuse to. 
 

 

How much are they taking home themselves though? I always thought the most senior and successful criminal defence lawyers who weren't marie Henein or brian Greenspan ilk (and who didn't exclusively do cash files) maxed out around 200-250 take home?

Am I totally off?

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

How much are they taking home themselves though? I always thought the most senior and successful criminal defence lawyers who weren't marie Henein or brian Greenspan ilk (and who didn't exclusively do cash files) maxed out around 200-250 take home?

Am I totally off?

At least a few are taking home much more than that.

The most lucrative practises may not be what you’re envisioning. They are not necessarily having decisions reported or getting their name in the paper. 

Edited by QuincyWagstaff
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Sorry @Calgarylaw2; I've well and truly derailed your thread. I take full responsibility.

I am enjoying what this discussion became, in any event.

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33 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

Sorry @Calgarylaw2; I've well and truly derailed your thread. I take full responsibility.

I am enjoying what this discussion became, in any event.

Haha no problem it is all good info and I've recieved the answers I came looking for, so it's win win. 

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18 hours ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

Well, I guess I did kind of know that and forgot but it's still crummy. I made like a 60k salary articling at a frigging legal clinic. Still, 50k is probably close to the common starting associate salaries in crim? I don't think it would necessarily be out of step to ask for that in an articling gig if the question was put to you. It must be fine to want 50 and be willing to settle for less in crim (say, whatever the typical rate is). 

Boo. It was 52k when I was at lao and 48k the year prior!

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1 hour ago, artsydork said:

Boo. It was 52k when I was at lao and 48k the year prior!

A specific grant funded my articling position so it was a bit higher than the regular stream. I articled with other students who made less, like $15/hr.

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This thread is depressing, but it's always better to have information than less, so thank you to those who have contributed.

As someone moving to BC and interested in Criminal Defence, I guess I'll have ample chance to prove that I am not making this career change for the money. ;)

-GM

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