Welcome to Above the Law’s Skaddenfreude: Totally Gauche Ogling of Other Lawyers’ Incomes. We all know that lawyers can’t stop talking about their work — and, of course, how much they get paid for that work. Skaddenfreude brings that talk out in the open (and onto the internet). Each week we’ll pass along some of the juicy compensation information we’ve received.
Here’s how it will work. If you’d be willing to participate, please email us (subject line: “Skaddenfreude”), with as much of the following information as possible:
(1) your name;
(2) when you graduated from law school (for seniority purposes);
(3) title (e.g., partner, associate, assistant U.S. attorney, public interest staff attorney);
(4) where you work (employer and city);
(5) practice area;
(6) your annual income;
(7) any explanatory comments about that income (e.g., whether your income includes a bonus, what that bonus was for, etc.); and
(8) how hard you work (estimated annual billables or actual billables, for firm lawyers; hours worked or “typical workday,” for others)
We’ll publish selected entries, trying to cover a range of employers (public and private sector), geographical areas, and seniority levels. How frequently Skaddenfreude will appear depends on you, our readers, and how much data you submit to us.
We need complete information — including your name and your employer’s name — for some assurance that your submission is accurate and authentic. But when we publish, we’ll anonymize you, omitting your name and your employer’s name. Here are what typical entries might look like (these are fictionalized, for demonstration purposes only):
(1) corporate associate, class of ’99, at a large firm (200+ lawyers) in a major city: $250,000 ($220,000 base and $30,000 merit bonus);
(2) litigation partner, class of ’95, at a midsize firm (50-200 lawyers) in a midsize city: $200,000;
(3) assistant U.S. attorney, class of ’98, in a midsize city: $82,000;
(4) staff attorney, class of ’01, at a public interest organization in a large city: $45,000;
(5) tax partner, class of ’90, at a large firm (200+ lawyers) in a major city: $550,000;
(6) law professor, class of ’98, at a top 25 law school in a major city: $105,000.
If you are drooling in anticipation of this dirt, you’re not alone — so are we. But we can’t do it without you. So please send us all your salary dirt, by email (subject line: “Skaddenfreude”). Feel free to attach your latest tax return or W-2 in PDF form. (Just kidding; but hey, if you want to, go right ahead.)
As always, much thanks!