Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

I'm considering doing the articling recruit in both BC and ON. I've been meeting with lawyers from BC as much as possible to prepare. One told me that they pay in BC is dramatically lower than in ON and I should take that into account. I'm wondering if anyone with knowledge of the pay levels in both provinces might indicate what "dramatically" might mean?

Thank you for your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You’re making a decision to live on opposite ends of a massive country based on moderate pay disparity? Where does your family live? Where do you have friends? Where are you going to be able to sustain a practice without being completely miserable? These are more important considerations IMO.

Edited by FingersCr0ssed
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, FingersCr0ssed said:

You’re making a decision to live on opposite ends of a massive country based on moderate pay disparity? Where does your family live? Where do you have friends? Where are you going to be able to sustain a practice without being completely miserable? These are more important considerations IMO.

How do you know OP hasn’t already considered those factors, or is in the process of considering those factors but also wishes to weigh this one? 

At the big corporate firms, the pay drop isn’t as dramatic as it used to be. Market rate for first year associates in Toronto is around $110,000/year, whereas it’s about $103,000/year in Vancouver. Articling salary is markedly lower – about $88,400 annualized in Toronto vs. $65,000 annualized in Vancouver.

Others can speak better to other areas of law. 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

At the big corporate firms, the pay drop isn’t as dramatic as it used to be. Market rate for first year associates in Toronto is around $110,000/year, whereas it’s about $103,000/year in Vancouver. Articling salary is markedly lower – about $88,400 annualized in Toronto vs. $65,000 annualized in Vancouver.

The articling salary disparity is especially an issue when factoring in cost of living. Toronto and Vancouver are both extremely expensive places to live, with the median rent at ~$2200-2300/month for a 1br place.

If you're articling in downtown Vancouver, you either spend 2-3 hours a day in traffic, or you spend your entire salary to live within walking distance of the office. That extra $20,000 articling salary in Toronto makes it easier to live closer to the office.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, canuckfanatic said:

The articling salary disparity is especially an issue when factoring in cost of living. Toronto and Vancouver are both extremely expensive places to live, with the median rent at ~$2200-2300/month for a 1br place.

If you're articling in downtown Vancouver, you either spend 2-3 hours a day in traffic, or you spend your entire salary to live within walking distance of the office. That extra $20,000 articling salary in Toronto makes it easier to live closer to the office.

 

You can split a two bedroom with a friend. There's always a middle ground between extreme options.

Edited by harveyspecter993
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, canuckfanatic said:

The articling salary disparity is especially an issue when factoring in cost of living. Toronto and Vancouver are both extremely expensive places to live, with the median rent at ~$2200-2300/month for a 1br place.

If you're articling in downtown Vancouver, you either spend 2-3 hours a day in traffic, or you spend your entire salary to live within walking distance of the office. That extra $20,000 articling salary in Toronto makes it easier to live closer to the office.

 

This is so extreme! For some reason I doubt you can't find housing near downtown vancouver (say within 30 minutes by walk and or transit) for 2000 or less. 

Worst case you get a roommate. 

How do you think people making 40k a year get by living in either of these cities?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

You can split a two bedroom with a friend. There's always a middle ground between extreme options.

You're right, and I have friends who live together while articling in Vancouver. Might be harder to find a roommate if you're not from Vancouver/don't have friends working in Vancouver.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

For some reason I doubt you can't find housing near downtown vancouver (say within 30 minutes by walk and or transit) for 2000 or less. 

You can find housing, I didn't say it rent was minimum $2200, I said that was the median. It's reasonably affordable to live in Kits and take public transit downtown, or find a small studio downtown for $1500-$1800/month.

Generally, living in Vancouver means that you have to manage expectations when it comes to savings goals.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask clerks at the BC courts, their pay is roughly that. 

Realistically, you get a roommate or live outside Vancouver proper. If you have a car, Vancouver is nicer than Toronto in that rent drops a lot quicker as you leave the core, because the GTA has such an extensive transit system (particularly when you include the GO system).

There also pockets of reasonable places. Kits and East Van are cheaper, as is southwestern Vancouver proper, particularly close to Davie Village (Van’s gay village). 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, canuckfanatic said:

Generally, living in Vancouver means that you have to manage expectations when it comes to savings goals.

I don't want to detract from the thread too much but In my experience, people who are committed to saving and investing money will find ways to do so no matter which city they live in. The problems  start when people insist on living a certain lifestyle because they feel they deserve it.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

I don't want to detract from the thread too much but In my experience, people who are committed to saving and investing money will find ways to do so no matter which city they live in. The problems  start when people insist on living a certain lifestyle because they feel they deserve it.

Like living alone in the core of a major metropolitan city in a one bedroom (not studio) straight out of university.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Like living alone in the core of a major metropolitan city in a one bedroom (not studio) straight out of university.

“straight out of university” 

technically true but most graduates from law school are also people in their mid to late 20s with prestigious professional degrees. How dare someone who studied for seven+ years to get where they are want to live alone in a *gasp* one bedroom apartment!

Edited by BringBackCrunchBerries
noneya
  • Like 3
  • Haha 5
  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

“straight of of university” 

technically true but most graduates from law school are also people in their mid to late 20s with prestigious professional degrees. How dare someone who studied for seven+ years to get where they are want to live alone in a *gasp* one bedroom apartment!

It's fine as long as said person doesn't complain about cost of living. There are too many people who shop at whole foods, live ritzy apartments when there are cheaper options available and then complain about how their city is "so expensive". 

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

It's fine as long as said person doesn't complain about cost of living. There are too many people who shop at whole foods, live ritzy apartments when there are cheaper options available and then complain about how their city is "so expensive". 

 

Cost of living isn’t a literal term, in that it’s not the actual cost of staying alive in a given city. It’s a relative one, that adjusts for the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living in a given city.

It’s perfectly valid for someone to complain that the cost of shopping at whole foods and living in a ritzy apartment in Toronto is higher than the cost of doing the same things in Edmonton. It may not be sympathetic, but it’s a fair comment. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is whole foods considered...expensive? It's still buying food to make yourself, like you're a janitor or a teacher or something.

To the OP, I had understood from friends of mine that as far as bigger firms go, the dramatic pay difference in Vancouver is most keenly felt during articles and that the gap narrows at least somewhat post-call as you go along. But that's not from personal experience so surely someone more informed, smarter, and maybe even handsomer can comment.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, harveyspecter993 said:

It's fine as long as said person doesn't complain about cost of living. There are too many people who shop at whole foods, live ritzy apartments when there are cheaper options available and then complain about how their city is "so expensive". 

 

Toronto and Vancouver are considered (relatively) expensive cities when you look at the rent and mortgage affordability ratios though... skipping avocado toast and splitting a bedroom doesn’t change that. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, FortifiedEight said:

Hello everyone,

I'm considering doing the articling recruit in both BC and ON. I've been meeting with lawyers from BC as much as possible to prepare. One told me that they pay in BC is dramatically lower than in ON and I should take that into account. I'm wondering if anyone with knowledge of the pay levels in both provinces might indicate what "dramatically" might mean?

Thank you for your help!

Just to answer the OP's question about pay disparity between BC and Ontario, it will vary depending on the practice area and type of employer, but Ontario big law salaries are generally higher. The current lockstep salaries in BC for most big law firms are around:

1st year call: $103k

2nd: $115k

3rd: $125k

4th: $140k

5th: $155k (negotiable)

6th: $165k (negotiable)

7th: $175k (negotiable)

I don't remember the numbers for Ontario but I know they're higher, especially as you get more senior.

Although I believe BC associates are usually 1 year "senior" to their Ontario counterparts (i.e., a 3rd year BC call usually has the same amount of experience as a 2nd year Ontario call), because BC lawyers become 2nd year calls in their first January of being a practicing lawyer (even if they were called to the bar in the preceding September and have only been practicing for a few months), whereas Ontario lawyers have to wait 1 full year after being called before they are considered 2nd year calls. Someone from Ontario can correct me if I'm wrong.

Edited by hitman9172
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, hitman9172 said:

Just to answer the OP's question about pay disparity between BC and Ontario, it will vary depending on the practice area and type of employer, but Ontario big law salaries are generally higher. The current lockstep salaries in BC for most big law firms are around:

1st year call: $103k

2nd: $115k

3rd: $125k

4th: $140k

5th: $155k (negotiable)

6th: $165k (negotiable)

7th: $175k (negotiable)

I don't remember the numbers for Ontario but I know they're higher, especially as you get more senior.

Although I believe BC associates are usually 1 year "senior" to their Ontario counterparts (i.e., a 3rd year BC call usually has the same amount of experience as a 2nd year Ontario call), because BC lawyers become 2nd year calls in their first January of being a practicing lawyer (even if they were called to the bar in the preceding September and have only been practicing for a few months), whereas Ontario lawyers have to wait 1 full year after being called before they are considered 2nd year calls. Someone from Ontario can correct me if I'm wrong.

Ontario’s numbers are roughly this: 

Quote

First-year: $110,000 

Second-year: $130,000

Third-year: $150,000 

Fourth-year: $170,000

Fifth-year: $180,000

Sixth-year: $200,000

But also note that Ontario’s income tax rate is significantly higher. A fifth year will take home $116,728 in Toronto and $107,498 in Vancouver, for example. That’s without adjusting for your accelerated year of call thing – adjusted, you’re looking at $116,728 vs. $112,957. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Recent Posts

    • Thanks for the input! The U of T ones are really throwing me off because they all seem to tell these grand stories. While I do have actually a similar story to one of those candidates, U of T is not a school I'm applying to, and the prompts for the schools I am don't really say much about what they're looking for. They seem very succinct and to the point and I don't know how much I'm supposed to let my creativity flow on these things! I mean it's law school, we aren't meant to be creative right??
    • How much can an articling student and lawyer make in Saskatoon? I can’t find any information about this. any articling students here? What is your pay? how much do you expect to make in 5 years?
    • This will become a lot clearer after first semester exams. Nearly everyone changes their strategy going into second semester. For the most part, people typically do way too much and realize doing their 120 page constitutional readings every single class did not materialize into much on the exam. On the other hand, you'll find that some of your habits did contribute to a better exam answer and you will focus more on those. Unfortunately, it's not a one-size-fits-all approach so there isn't really a magic formula to this. Some people will find doing detailed readings more helpful in building their understanding, while others will find that spending more time synthesizing the information and doing practice tests/hypotheticals is more important. To each their own.
    • I keep finding myself focusing on the literal text, rather than why I'm reading a particular case. Wrapping my head around the reasoning behind having a self-service pharmacy was more difficult than the issues re: offer/acceptance.  Yes, they were technically over the counter drugs. But they also contained codeine. If my elementary school Lil Wayne phase taught me anything, that can be some serious stuff! What really felt crazy was the signup for Student Legal Services. I feel like the average person who's frequently at odds with the law knows more about criminal law than I do. I know I can only deal with relatively minor matters and have proper supervision, but still! 
    • Whenever the prof asks a question, answer it. As long as you're right, you'll be fine.

×
×
  • Create New...