CORRECTION: This post has been revised since it was first published to reflect the fact that the 13.5% tuition hike for in-state students occurred this summer and applies to the current academic year (2010-2011).
Last year, the University of Minnesota contemplated imposing a significant tuition hike on its law students, while trying to keep college tuition low. This year, Minnesota did in fact push through the tuition increase, while protecting the high salaries of its law school faculty.
Paul Caron at Tax Prof Blog pointed us to a number of reports about how Minnesota hiked law school tuition by 13.5% for this academic year, while planning to cut faculty salaries by only 1.15% in the 2011 fiscal year. So Minnesota law students, if you were hoping for a dollop of Astroglide along with your next tuition bill, you have my sympathy. The administration at Minnesota Law doesn’t even have the common courtesy to give you a reach-around.
Law school administrators don’t care about you, current and prospective law students. They don’t even have to pretend to care about your problems anymore…
A recent study by economists at UC Berkeley gives employers a nice argument for keeping salaries a secret. Well, luckily for you, I’m not your employer. Therefore I have no qualms about sharing with you Part 2 of the results from our small-firm salary survey.
In your emails following Part 1, many of you asked that I take the practice experience element of the survey and show how it correlates to salary. Good point. I actually had that in mind from the start, but ended up pushing it into my Part 2 draft when I decided to split up the post.
But you don’t care; you just want the numbers. So, with the final caveat that I’m sure I’ll never be able to fully satiate your salary hunger, here’s the latest snack…
When the UC Irvine School of Law first burst onto the scene, the school offered free tuition to everyone in its inaugural class. Then, in its second year, UC Irvine offered a 50% discount to all students admitted to the class of 2013.
And now, UC Irvine will knock 33% off its tuition, for members of its third entering class (the class of 2014).
Students considering UC Irvine will certainly appreciate the money. The National Law Journal reports that, not counting the discount, in-state tuition is $40,000 a year and out-of-state tuition is $50,000 a year. Welcome to public law school in the 21st century.
Despite being a public law school, UC Irvine will fund this tuition reduction through private donations. So you have to wonder: how long can they keep that up?
A posting on Raleigh’s Craigslist board has been flagged for abuse and taken down three times. This post doesn’t use profanity, it doesn’t offer illicit services, there’s really nothing offensive about it.
The Craigslist moderators must just think that it’s a joke. But we’ve seen these type of ads before. A disgruntled law graduate goes onto Craigslist, looking for someone to buy his law degree. It happens.
In the past, as in the case with this Georgetown Law graduate, the J.D. holder has been looking for a little bit of money to offset the massive cost of a degree which cannot be turned into a job. But this new fellow seems to have an even more reasonable request. He just wants to get some lunch out of the deal…
I wanted to wait until I calmed down before I posted on it, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. So I broke into the Bronx Zoo this morning and stole some elephant tranquilizers. I’m going to shoot up and finish this post, now.
Biglaw salaries are no secret. You can find numbers all over the internet, including places like oh, I don’t know, Above the Law (not just the home page, but also the Career Center).
But what about information for everyone else? You already know what I made during my time at a small firm, but that doesn’t really help unless you’re looking for a job at my old firm (surprise, they’re not hiring).
Those looking to smaller firm options need information — law students especially. The OCI music has stopped, and there are plenty of people left standing. The good news is that there are other places to sit down. The bad news is that nobody can tell whether sitting in those seats will earn them enough to keep their creditors at bay.
With that and a general interest in the dissemination of information in mind, please take this short survey, so I can begin compiling some hard numbers on small firm salaries. As always, survey responses are kept completely confidential. I’ll sort, analyze and package the results in some kind of eye-pleasing manner.
Please click HERE to take the SURVEY. And please pass the survey along to any of your friends at small firms; the more responses I get, the more accurate and reliable the findings will be.
If you’d like to offer any other salary-related information or clever commentary, or have tips or story suggestions, please email me at Little Richard at gmail dot com. Thanks!
I hope Anthony Kennedy is happy. It’s Justice Kennedy’s world now, and we’re all just playing by the rules he lays down. Despite all the talking points you may have heard about how Citizens United really isn’t that big of a deal, what Justice Kennedy calls speech is flooding American politics ahead of this November’s mid-term elections. So reports Michael Luo of the New York Times.
I know what you are thinking, especially if “you” happen to be Justice Alito: Not True! But you have theories about what might happen, while the Times has facts about what is happening.
And the facts speak for themselves. According to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which monitors political advertising, “television spending by outside interest groups has more than doubled what was spent at this point in the 2006 midterms.”
Of course, at least four Supreme Court justices could have told you that would happen. And I’d imagine that even the other five damn well knew that tons of corporate money would flood into politics, and just didn’t care. What’s marginally more interesting than the “water is wet” fact that money is pouring in is the reason why captains of industry are speaking spending freely…
There was a lovely report in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, if you are a big dude. The report was less lovely if you are salad-eating waif of a man, and downright offensive if you are a normal-sized woman.
This isn’t going to shock anybody who is trying to make a living by servicing clients, but thin women make more than average-weight or plus-sized women. Over $15,000 more. I don’t know if your law degree makes your ass look fat, but a fat ass will make your law degree less profitable.
But what will surprise some people is that thin men make less than bigger fellas. About $8,000 less. Booya! How do you like them apples? In fact, keep your stinking apples, I’m off to have a dinner of steak and potatoes. Gotta keep those revenue enhancements coming in.
I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be celebrating while my big-boned sisters are out there feeling like the entire world is against them. Here, grab a tub of ice cream, sit on the couch next to the Big Sexy, and let’s talk this through…
Yes, yes it is. At least that’s what I gather based on the relative volume of commentary I received on the subject since the inception of this column about small law firms. I’ve been avoiding the topic, mostly because salary discussions usually degenerate into little richard-measuring contests but, in addition to the comment wars that spilled out of my posts on hours worked and billable hours, I’m still getting emails like this one:
I’m not sure all this “small law, low pay” stuff is accurate. Certainly, it’s true if we are assuming the small/mid law is in the same market as Big Law, but I’m not sure how often that is the case. Small/mid-sized legal market tends to have a much lower cost of living, which means the magnitude of the paycheck tells you little about its value. How about a post that captures and attempts to balance this concept?
Okay, fine. Now that I’m back from the Canadian wilderness, let’s talk about it…
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
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• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
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