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Bay Street Salaries (Mid Size Firms)

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Posted (edited)

Hey Everyone,

I scoured all over the forum but could not find any information regarding associate salaries for mid sized firms (Fogler, A and B, WeirFoulds, Torkin, ect). Do they follow the same lock step salary progressions as the larger sized firms on Bay Street? 

Edited by lawschool27

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, lawschool27 said:

Hey Everyone,

I scoured all over the forum but could not find any information regarding associate salaries for med sized firms (Fogler, A and B, WeirFoulds, Torkin, ect). Do they follow the same lock step salary progressions as the larger sized firms on Bay Street? 

Generally speaking, yes. Even if the base compensation is the same, however, firms have pretty varying compensation structures once you’re a few years into practice. You may find some smaller firms compensate their high flying associates better than bigger firms, while others may lag behind. 

Not that it super matters, but just for your own purposes I’m not sure all of these are really mid-size. A&B has ~140 lawyers, Fogler ~120, WeirFoulds ~100. A&B might actually have more lawyers than Davies’ Toronto office, and I don’t think anyone would say they’re a mid-size firm. 

Not that there’s a bright line rule, but <100 lawyers seems to be what most people think of when you say “mid-size”, with most of those firms falling in the 20-60 lawyer range. I’d probably lump A&B, Fogler, and WeirFoulds (plus other firms of similar sizes, like Cassels and Miller Thomson) into the big firm category, with Torkin in the mid-size firm category with places like Wildeboer and Lerners

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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WeirFoulds, Wildeboer, Torkin Manes, Fogler all pay $1700 a week for articling, which is the going rate on the street. Basically matched with most firms like Torys, Stikes, Goodman’s and the big internationals. Davies recently raised articling salary to $2250, McCarthys $1900 and Fasken $1850. Not sure if associate comp at Weir, Wildeboer, Torkin, etc are on par with larger firms, but I’d assume that it’s competitive in any given call year. 

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3 minutes ago, OzStudent said:

The ZSA guide isn't helpful for bay street gigs. None of the firms OP referenced are paying their first year associates 95k/year, let alone 80k. And if you're only making $110,000 as a third year associate at A&B, I have a bridge to sell you.  

As a general rule, mid-size and boutique firms servicing the same type of clients serviced by the large firms are going to pay their associates roughly the same base compensation at the start of their careers. 

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21 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

The ZSA guide isn't helpful for bay street gigs. None of the firms OP referenced are paying their first year associates 95k/year, let alone 80k. And if you're only making $110,000 as a third year associate at A&B, I have a bridge to sell you.  

As a general rule, mid-size and boutique firms servicing the same type of clients serviced by the large firms are going to pay their associates roughly the same base compensation at the start of their careers. 

How much does bonus vary? 

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Would look at the "Large Firm" pay bracket, and the lower end of it. 

Recognizing that some of Fogler, A and B, WeirFoulds, Torkin might match the high-end of the scale, but most don't through to 7th year.

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5 minutes ago, HopefulLawyer97 said:

How much does bonus vary? 

It's entirely dependent on the firm. There are a couple structures that are quite common, and if I had to guess the 10/15/20% bonus structure is the most common on the street overall, but you really can't know without talking to associates at the firms. Some have a flat bonus for all associates. Some do flat bonuses for all that hit a certain billable target. Some do increasing bonuses based on billables, while others do increasing bonuses based on partner discretion.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, HopefulLawyer97 said:

WeirFoulds, Wildeboer, Torkin Manes, Fogler all pay $1700 a week for articling, which is the going rate on the street. Basically matched with most firms like Torys, Stikes, Goodman’s and the big internationals. Davies recently raised articling salary to $2250, McCarthys $1900 and Fasken $1850. Not sure if associate comp at Weir, Wildeboer, Torkin, etc are on par with larger firms, but I’d assume that it’s competitive in any given call year. 

I think the firms who were paying $1700 plus bonuses/bar study pay are going to $1900 with no bonus or bar study pay like McCarthys just for the optics of matching the weekly salary number. They may not all be doing that but I know some are. 

Edited by easttowest
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3 hours ago, HopefulLawyer97 said:

WeirFoulds, Wildeboer, Torkin Manes, Fogler all pay $1700 a week for articling, which is the going rate on the street. Basically matched with most firms like Torys, Stikes, Goodman’s and the big internationals. Davies recently raised articling salary to $2250, McCarthys $1900 and Fasken $1850. Not sure if associate comp at Weir, Wildeboer, Torkin, etc are on par with larger firms, but I’d assume that it’s competitive in any given call year. 

$1700 isn't the going rate for those firms you've listed, $1900 is and has been since last summer! It was $1400/week in the summer of 2019, then was upped to $1700, but before anyone could actually be paid that, almost all the firms upped it again to $1900/week (we actually got the email about 2 days before in firms last year letting us know about the raise). Davies is an exception, they pay more. (This is for Torys, Stikes, Goodmans, Osler, Blakes, etc. etc. etc.) So I am not sure if places like Fogler, etc. have matched that, but all the big guys have been at $1900 since last year. And the firms that went to $1900 that I listed are still covering all the bar/licensing fees, just no signing bonus when we signed the articling contract, which was previously part of it. 

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^ including bar pay does mean that they get a raise. McCarthys wasn’t including it originally so 1700 plus the extras worked out to the same as 1900 without. 

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As long as they adjusted it for inflation. There was a 10 year period where the going rate was stuck at $1450 and with inflation adjustments it should’ve been around $1750ish. That extra $300 a week makes a difference when you’re saddled with debt and potentially renting in Toronto. 

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12 hours ago, easttowest said:

^ including bar pay does mean that they get a raise. McCarthys wasn’t including it originally so 1700 plus the extras worked out to the same as 1900 without. 

Could you explain bar pay? NALP doesn't provide much info other than whether a firm pays it or not.

Do they pay you at the $1700/week salary between the release of bar materials in April and your last/solicitor exam in June (approx 6-8 weeks)?

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16 minutes ago, bparrot213 said:

Could you explain bar pay? NALP doesn't provide much info other than whether a firm pays it or not.

Do they pay you at the $1700/week salary between the release of bar materials in April and your last/solicitor exam in June (approx 6-8 weeks)?

No, it has historically resulted in being paid for two weeks of bar exams.

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2 hours ago, bparrot213 said:

Could you explain bar pay? NALP doesn't provide much info other than whether a firm pays it or not.

Do they pay you at the $1700/week salary between the release of bar materials in April and your last/solicitor exam in June (approx 6-8 weeks)?

Most (if not all) of the firms I listed as paying $1900 + bar and licensing fees don't pay a salary while studying for the bar because we won't actually be working during that time. We have to write the bar this coming June (i.e., in 2.5 months) before starting articling in August. So they cover all our expenses to write those exams, but we aren't getting paid our salary because we aren't working. 

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15 hours ago, 123law30 said:

It was $1400/week in the summer of 2019, then was upped to $1700, but before anyone could actually be paid that, almost all the firms upped it again to $1900/week (we actually got the email about 2 days before in firms last year letting us know about the raise).

LET'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Is this for summers too, or just articling students? 

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Posted (edited)

Ah, so it is as I thought. The $1700 plus extras firms just moved the money around to match the McCarthys weekly rate for optics. 

Previously, students at firms paying $1700 plus extras received two weeks pay for the two bar exams, plus a few thousand in the fall of 3L, plus often another small bonus at the start of articles. Now I guess they just (edit: admittedly poor word choice) get $1900/wk once articles start (a worse deal, in my opinion).

There is a tier of $1700/wk firms that do not pay any kind of bonus, but I believe some of those firms still pay two weeks for bar exams (which was actually the custom before McCarthys went to $1900).

I note that this thread is about mid-size firms. I think, generally, you can expect to be paid $1700/wk at a “‘mid-size” Bay St firm, with no bonuses but possibly two weeks of pay in the summer before articles for the bar.

 

Edited by easttowest

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1 hour ago, easttowest said:

Ah, so it is as I thought. The $1700 plus extras firms just moved the money around to match the McCarthys weekly rate for optics. 

Previously, students at firms paying $1700 plus extras received two weeks pay for the two bar exams, plus a few thousand in the fall of 3L, plus often another small bonus at the start of articles. Now I guess they just (edit: admittedly poor word choice) get $1900/wk once articles start (a worse deal, in my opinion).

There is a tier of $1700/wk firms that do not pay any kind of bonus, but I believe some of those firms still pay two weeks for bar exams (which was actually the custom before McCarthys went to $1900).

I note that this thread is about mid-size firms. I think, generally, you can expect to be paid $1700/wk at a “‘mid-size” Bay St firm, with no bonuses but possibly two weeks of pay in the summer before articles for the bar.

 

The shift does result in the same, or a slightly worse, deal for articling students. It does benefit summer students, though, who appear to now get $1900/wk without losing anything. 

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, chaboywb said:

The shift does result in the same, or a slightly worse, deal for articling students. It does benefit summer students, though, who appear to now get $1900/wk without losing anything. 

That is true. You can tell which perspective I have. 

On the whole then, it’s a raise for students when you factor in the extra summer $$$ (now that we’re talking about it, it feels like someone pointed this out to me last year, perhaps even you!)

I’d still prefer the lump sum bonuses for articling. 

Edited by easttowest

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