Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Hiring first “associate.”

I’m at the point where I turn down lots of business becaus dakotalaw03/24/18
". . .and I have little patience for people who aren’t as isthisit03/24/18
In law, to me an associate implies a partnership track. You' superttthero03/24/18
You can't afford a decent associate. bucwild03/24/18
Maybe bump it up to 50k and you'll attract a "go-getter" wor thirdtierlaw03/24/18
No offense bro but you sound awful to work with and for. You sillydood03/24/18
You make me sick physicssezno03/24/18
Meh, just get a referral/contract situation set up. Agree to dopesmokeresquire03/24/18
This is the credited way for semi-aspie boomers with a super midlaw03/25/18
came here to say this. You can't afford an associate. lilgub03/25/18
You need to reevaluate if you are considering paying 20k bas birdbirdbird03/24/18
Are You A Sh*tlaw Partner? Take this easy test. Do you passportfan303/24/18
$20k per year is $1,667 per month. What's your hourly rate? jeffm03/24/18
I'm going to add that you're being really short sighted as w thirdtierlaw03/24/18
I struggled with the decision of whether or not to hire, and guyingorillasuit03/24/18
I can only assume flame. Otherwise, you're a horrendous boss shikes03/24/18
Ok, but people here will take this. Meaning it’s good for dakotalaw03/24/18
dakotalaw, If you are satirizing the way Boomers rational passportfan303/24/18
I don't think you "triggered" anyone. You asked a question o lawyer197203/25/18
How old are you dakotalaw? midlaw03/25/18
Dakota you are offering meager wages and show you have a pom physicssezno03/25/18
So by "associate" you mean sucker. I recommend advertising t gladigotaphdinstead03/25/18
Another perspective. Pay package stays same and you reduce 2ski03/25/18
Just offer steady referrals to someone who is willing to giv trollfeeder03/25/18
I want to keep the cases but have an employee do a lot of th dakotalaw03/25/18
"In my area, half of the graduates have no way to begin prac jeffm03/25/18
Highly credited after the first paragraph. If Dakotalaw want midlaw03/25/18
As I said, I have referral services that dish cases based on dakotalaw03/25/18
"All I can say is that we are talking anonymously online. In trial2204/04/18
Hey, DakotaLaw, Remember that prospective client who had passportfan303/25/18
Absent for the OPs consideration is the malpractice angle. h dopesmokeresquire03/25/18
$20k base is an insult and you deserve whatever trouble you dietcoke03/25/18
Yeah so I don’t think you read the whole post. Should be a dakotalaw03/25/18
But you want to pay $20K, and some months that may be all th fettywap03/25/18
I'm pretty sure law clerks to trial courts get paid more tha pisces21303/25/18
My experience is, solos hiring associates almost always goe themapmaster03/25/18
If you are looking for a greenhorn right out of school, then 2ski03/25/18
Anyone working for 20k base has no network. So they could no cantimaginenocountry03/25/18
Anyone who would take that deal is not worth employing. Anyo garfieldfan03/25/18
If your offer is $20,000 plus 1/3 of what the associate brin caj11103/26/18
Ive hired a bunch of people. The problem with your plan is t orgdonor03/26/18
This is the wrong way to hire associates. In small law, true jorgedeclaro03/26/18
There's always temporary/contract services for when things g caj11103/26/18
Those people cost market rate though, OP clearly is looking triplesix03/26/18
Which is why you find an entry-level attorney who is looking jorgedeclaro03/26/18
I agree with just about everything already said in this thre pauperesq03/26/18
Paralegals cost more than what he is trying to pay haha triplesix03/26/18
According to him, the roughly $40k he wants to pay an attorn pauperesq03/26/18
I think one point that's getting lost in all this is that th wutwutwut03/26/18
Wut wut gets it. The cases would exactly double from one dakotalaw03/26/18
Well, I still think you're a cheap SOB (haha) - just wanted wutwutwut03/26/18
Thanks. dakotalaw03/26/18
🤣 isthisit03/26/18
But why would they not realize this in like two seconds and garfieldfan03/26/18
This. If the associate isn't smart enough to just sign u joecoder03/26/18
But a person right out of law school has no idea how to prac dakotalaw03/26/18
Don't be a douche, just because a douche hired you at one po whipster03/26/18
Ok. dakotalaw03/26/18
I think this is a fair offer. I would like to apply for the trickydick03/27/18
Me too, I'd even do it for 10k. mtbislife03/29/18
We’ve started paying brand new associates, fresh out of sc notiers03/30/18
Lol everybody hates this OP physicssezno04/04/18
I'm interested but only if minimum 1/3 of the training invol defensivelawyer04/04/18
I loled. superttthero04/04/18
Quick update, this arrangement has gotten plenty of interest dakotalaw04/05/18
what kind of talent you getting? shouldalearnedmaths04/05/18
Looks like entry level market is still in the gutter. Poo triplesix04/05/18
I have a friend who hung his own shingle a couple years ago. flyer1404/05/18
27 resumes so far. Most are from people already licensed. A dakotalaw04/05/18
Please update thread with law school, GPA, and DSM code once isthisit04/05/18
No one said that people wouldn't apply to your job poasting. 3lol04/05/18
Workers should be entitled. jeffm04/05/18
You know, I think a prospective employee would be wasting th superttthero04/05/18
Yeah, but here's the argument being made against him in toto jeffm04/05/18
OP doesn't seem to get it. superttthero04/05/18
"But grads from the decent schools in my state aren’t goin triplesix04/05/18
Yeah, but who cares about OP's loss? Actually, things like jeffm04/05/18
we can only hope dear triplesix04/05/18
It shows how low the bottom of the employment spectrum goes physicssezno04/05/18
yes. pay is way way too high as evidenced by all the res defensivelawyer04/05/18
This thread is gold. OP is literally one of the most asi mrtor04/09/18
I'm offering 40-45k to do more than carry a brief case. How dakotalaw04/09/18
A lot more than that. You're offering $20k and "generously" mrtor04/10/18
OP is thinking small. He needs to auction off the privile passportfan304/09/18
Life is hard and people instinctively avoid blaming themselv dakotalaw04/09/18
Neither are you....except in one way: you are one of the mos lawyer197204/09/18
Agree...and most of it has nothing to do with the terms of t superttthero04/09/18
Don't assume my online persona matches my personality. I don dakotalaw04/09/18
You forgot to say that you dont suffer triggered fools gladl superttthero04/09/18
I feel so sorry for you. It must be sad to look at life thr lawyer197204/09/18
Quite right old bean! This JDU fora attracts all number isthisit04/09/18
Nobody's triggered. It's just that the non-boomers on the bo midlaw04/10/18
How many trials bro?!?!?!?! triplesix04/10/18
Fewer than JDDT! midlaw04/11/18
Speaking of personal responsibility, How about you start by physicssezno04/09/18
better to do it like trump. contract out the work, then sti defensivelawyer04/10/18
OP - you have received sensible, universal advice from exper barneystinson04/10/18
OP is a legal narcissist. He thinks he contributes 100% o passportfan304/11/18
I want this JDU classic thread to get to a 100 replies but I themapmaster04/11/18
Ultimately, if one cannot afford to pay someone a decent wag esquirewalletsmatter05/26/18
Looks like you gave that honor to EWM. wutwutwut05/26/18
Graci. It’s great to be back. And “retired” from law ( esquirewalletsmatter05/26/18

dakotalaw (Mar 24, 2018 - 11:53 am)

I’m at the point where I turn down lots of business because I’m so busy already. If I had a fresh grad who wanted to learn and would accept peanuts, I know I could increase my own net earnings.

Anyone ever hired someone for like, 20,000 base, 33% of gross for each case they bring in?

I’m in an area with good referral services. Just adding a name to the list would double the firms cases from the service at minimal costs. So this new associate will bring in clients, plus surely they can drum up some business on their own.

A few concerns:

I have no experience training another person, and I have little patience for people who aren’t as smart as I am. I’ve also met one grad from the local school, which is a turd, and this kid was borderline dumb. But grads from the decent schools in my state aren’t going to be interested in my job posting.

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isthisit (Mar 24, 2018 - 12:06 pm)

". . .and I have little patience for people who aren’t as smart as I am"

Sounds like you'd be a douche boss to work for.

"20,000 base, 33% of gross for each case they bring in?"

20K base and 33% gross from cases the associate brings in is a typical sh!t law deal.

You definitly won't attract top or even mid tier candidates. You're going to get desperate J.D.s or dummies/malpractice waiting to happen.

Good luck.

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superttthero (Mar 24, 2018 - 12:08 pm)

In law, to me an associate implies a partnership track. You're certainly not hiring that.

Bump to 40k and 33% or 20k + 50%. That's close to what I've seen in the past in mid-markets.

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bucwild (Mar 24, 2018 - 12:44 pm)

You can't afford a decent associate.

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thirdtierlaw (Mar 24, 2018 - 12:48 pm)

Maybe bump it up to 50k and you'll attract a "go-getter" worth actually hiring.

If you're so sure that they'll have work coming in, then why not just give them a higher base?

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sillydood (Mar 24, 2018 - 12:50 pm)

No offense bro but you sound awful to work with and for. You won’t attract good talented people if you give off that vibe. And smart people will pick up on that quick and run the other way. So ironically, by being so exacting and douchey you’ll end up attracting the very dumb people you are trying to avoid.

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physicssezno (Mar 24, 2018 - 1:15 pm)

You make me sick

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dopesmokeresquire (Mar 24, 2018 - 2:31 pm)

Meh, just get a referral/contract situation set up. Agree to refer out cases for 80% to them, 20% for you.

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midlaw (Mar 25, 2018 - 1:09 am)

This is the credited way for semi-aspie boomers with a superiority complex to handle overflow work. With your attitude, the odds you finding (and more importantly, keeping) anyone decent is de minimus. You're better off not trying.

As Jeffm says, do the work yourself or, as DSE says, set up a referral network.

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lilgub (Mar 25, 2018 - 3:33 pm)

came here to say this. You can't afford an associate.

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birdbirdbird (Mar 24, 2018 - 4:08 pm)

You need to reevaluate if you are considering paying 20k base + 33%. That is as shi**y a deal as it comes. As others have said, if you do get anyone they are going to be bottom of the barrel.

I employ three associates. The more you pay, the better. Hire an associate when you know you know that you can pay them well and still earn money off their work. Plain and simple. I also have never known associates to bring in much work. If they could bring in 200k in work (which would only increase their base to 86k per year under your proposal), why would they be working for you??

Hiring people can be a very smart move. Outside of defense firms, it is one of three ways to make real money in law (hire people and scale up, advertise and refer out, or specialize and be the best in that specialty). Do it right and you will make money. Try to skimp and you will get a dummy that will f things up.

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passportfan3 (Mar 24, 2018 - 5:53 pm)

Are You A Sh*tlaw Partner?

Take this easy test.

Do you hire associates for as little money as possible?

Do you complain regularly about how stupid and lazy your associates are?

Will you continue this pattern for the rest of your career?

If you answered Yes to all three, you are an official Sh*tlaw Partner. Enjoy the prestige!

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jeffm (Mar 24, 2018 - 5:57 pm)

$20k per year is $1,667 per month. What's your hourly rate? Let's say $250. This proposed associate only has to work 6.7 hours per month to cover himself. Why can't you just work the 6.7 hours and keep the money for yourself? It's barely 1.5 hours per week.

Keep in mind that the numbers you are tossing out there make it like you are not turning down as much work as it must feel like.

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thirdtierlaw (Mar 24, 2018 - 6:40 pm)

I'm going to add that you're being really short sighted as well. What good is it to you to bring in a guy, let him meet your referall network and then have him leave? If the person is at all competent after a year of learning the ropes, he'll know he could bring in at least $20k. Why would he stay? Because you gave him a poor deal when he didn't have any other choices?

Paying an extra $30k may actually get you a "go-getter" who had other options. If they are decent they'll end up making you way more than that extra $30k cost you. Especially because you're saying these referalls are only coming if you add an associate, so he is practically paying for himself.

My bosses had a similar situation. They got another conflict contract that essentially paid my salary. I got paid much more as a base than you're offering and a better split. I worked my butt off for them. Because I was working so hard for them 3 years later, I was making them SUBSTANTIALLY more money than it cost them to employ me. I don't know why that wouldn't be your end goal. Sure you'll make less year 1 and maybe 2. But it's an investment that costs you next to nothing but can pay off huge.

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guyingorillasuit (Mar 24, 2018 - 6:41 pm)

I struggled with the decision of whether or not to hire, and I ultimately decided that I can't afford it. Your mileage may vary. I do turn down business, but it's crappy business - unreasonable, penny pinching clients. I still sign up all the good ones.

There are a lot fewer unemployed attorneys than there were 10 or even 5-6 years ago. People wizened up, law school enrollment dropped by 50%, and people are not as willing to take a low wage to learn the ropes.

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shikes (Mar 24, 2018 - 7:50 pm)

I can only assume flame. Otherwise, you're a horrendous boss who no one should work for. If you have that much business, you need to invest in an actual associate and pay them a normal base. Further, 33% of gross for business THEY bring in is pathetic and laughable. I;ve never heard of less than 50% for small firms like yours.

I worked for a solo when I was in law school who paid associates 25k. He averaged 5-7 months out of each before they left. If thats the business model, then sure, go for it. If you want to bring someone up who will be loyal and develop into a good attorney that will handle everything for you when things go south and you're busy, then you need to pay them.

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dakotalaw (Mar 24, 2018 - 9:46 pm)

Ok, but people here will take this. Meaning it’s good for them.

Meaning they are better off taking it than not. So I’ll not feel like a jerk, but thanks.

I don’t want to offer someone 50k because they won’t be worth it. A fresh grad is worth very, very little. The incentive package I’m suggesting may need to be altered, but the basic package is pretty common. Incentivizing others to work hard and take ownership of their future.

I worked my way from the bottom, and I’m offering training here. Sorry to trigger you guys.

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passportfan3 (Mar 24, 2018 - 10:03 pm)

dakotalaw,

If you are satirizing the way Boomers rationalize their self-interest with cliches about "working your way up" and "being thankful for the opportunity," you are doing a good job.

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lawyer1972 (Mar 25, 2018 - 12:57 am)

I don't think you "triggered" anyone. You asked a question on this board, and the board answered.

It would be in your best interest to listen to the advice stated here. It will probably save you many headaches down the road. If your arrogance stands in the way, look at jeffm's breakdown. From a business standpoint, it would be better for you to do the work yourself rather than hire out. Assuming Jeffm was somewhat close to your billing rate, it equals to a time commitment of one half of a football game.

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midlaw (Mar 25, 2018 - 12:58 am)

How old are you dakotalaw?

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physicssezno (Mar 25, 2018 - 2:34 am)

Dakota you are offering meager wages and show you have a pompous and holier than thou attitude. You show little humility and for that and you’re pittance offer you should be mocked. I pity whoever has to deal with you until they get a better job for someone who can afford to pay an associate fair wages and is secure enough to let go of contempt for people.

FYI, you can’t boast about your own “success” and only be able to afford those meager pay offers.

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gladigotaphdinstead (Mar 25, 2018 - 7:18 am)

So by "associate" you mean sucker. I recommend advertising this on Craigslist. good luck!

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2ski (Mar 25, 2018 - 7:41 am)

Another perspective. Pay package stays same and you reduce hours requirement. This makes it very attractive for a mom atty to work while kid is at school. You will probably have to pickup dues and maybe even include medical insurance.

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trollfeeder (Mar 25, 2018 - 8:17 am)

Just offer steady referrals to someone who is willing to give you a decent finders fee. No overhead for you, and you get some money for your trouble. If you are too broke to offer an employee real money, then you can't hire someone.

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dakotalaw (Mar 25, 2018 - 10:31 am)

I want to keep the cases but have an employee do a lot of the busy work. This is basically why 95% of lawyers hire an associate. It's how you grow a company/firm.

In my area, half of the graduates have no way to begin practicing law. At 20,000 plus 1/3, they are looking to make about 40,000 their first year out. Full time, JD required. They are going to have cases given to them, malpractice insurance, and, most importantly, actual legal training. And by the way, I'm in a lower cost of living area. 40k a year is considerably better than the average joe, and it only goes up from there. What I'm offering is way, way better than going solo right out of law school.

As far as the pompous and holier than thou attitude. . All I can say is that we are talking anonymously online. In real life I'm outgoing and sociable. Surely this sounds pompous too, but I've always been one of the popular kids. I said in this thread that I don't like dealing with stupid people. I don't. I'm objectively smart-- I score very highly on tests like the LSAT. I'm a smart guy. People don't say that because it's very off putting, but online, I'll say I'm a smart guy. I'm not going to attract the best legal candidates, but I'd rather take smart with lots of flaws than dumb. It's my prerogative.

Thanks to those who offered advice.

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jeffm (Mar 25, 2018 - 1:37 pm)

"In my area, half of the graduates have no way to begin practicing law. At 20,000 plus 1/3, they are looking to make about 40,000 their first year out..."

dakota, I am not among those who are "outraged" at your idea. Value is what a willing buyer will pay and a willing seller will accept. That's fine by me.

I'm just suggesting you look at it from different angles.

For example, under your formula, $20k of the $40k is base. Therefore, the other $20k must come from the 1/3 of cases the associate brings in. If $20k is 1/3, then the associate must originate $60k in his own right. If a fresh newbie can bring in $60k in business, he doesn't need you.

In reality, he will not make $40k the first year. Not even close, unless he's very fortunate. You can't expect a formula like that to encourage anyone to stay. They will either die on the vine, or once they grow enough of their own cases, they will be gone.

If you want to grow your own firm, my opinion is you need to be the one who generates the cases. Then, you can pay base, plus a percentage (like 1/3) of collected fees. There are some capable attorneys who just can't make it rain. These types will stay if you provide them with enough work to make it work for both of you. If you are looking for rain-makers, your formula will fail.

Just my 2 cents... Good luck!

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midlaw (Mar 25, 2018 - 2:02 pm)

Highly credited after the first paragraph. If Dakotalaw wants a rainmaker, this won't get one. If he wants to develop a rainmaker, this won't motivate them. If he wants a worker bee, this won't get him a smart and capable one. Terrible idea all around.

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dakotalaw (Mar 25, 2018 - 5:55 pm)

As I said, I have referral services that dish cases based on the number of attorneys at the firm. So he or she will bring in a lot of cases. I’d aim to put them around 40k the first year, with a big bump in year 2.

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trial22 (Apr 4, 2018 - 4:55 pm)

"All I can say is that we are talking anonymously online. In real life I'm outgoing and sociable."


Oh so since you're outgoing and sociable you have a open field to be a POS

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passportfan3 (Mar 25, 2018 - 1:47 pm)

Hey, DakotaLaw,

Remember that prospective client who had a weak case but kept insisting it was great and that you needed to take it on a contingency and who, when you tried to tell him the weaknesses of his case, always had a quick answer?

That's who you sound like.

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dopesmokeresquire (Mar 25, 2018 - 2:39 pm)

Absent for the OPs consideration is the malpractice angle. having a know-nothing associate do 95% of the "busy" work is a recipe for disaster.

If you want to dump all this work on a an associate and NOT get sued for malpractice, you will need to hire someone with experience AND pay them accordingly. Or if you want a know nothing and pay them crap, then you will have to put in A LOT OF WORK training them. You don't to have your cake and eat it too.

Like I said, set up a referral with an experienced attorney. He/she would be an independent contractor. They would have their own malpractice insurance and you would just give them a 1099 every year.

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dietcoke (Mar 25, 2018 - 7:47 pm)

$20k base is an insult and you deserve whatever trouble you get from paying that kind of laughable wage.

$20k is under $10/hr if they only work 40 hours a week. Move that up to what a typical associate works, e.g. 60 hours, and you're below minimum wage.

Below minimum wage for a job that requires college + professional school + state licensure + usually a lot of debt?

Disgusting post.

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dakotalaw (Mar 25, 2018 - 8:30 pm)

Yeah so I don’t think you read the whole post. Should be about 40k at the end of the year.

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fettywap (Mar 25, 2018 - 8:58 pm)

But you want to pay $20K, and some months that may be all they make. It's hard to pay your bills when you don't make enough to pay them every month.

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pisces213 (Mar 25, 2018 - 9:01 pm)

I'm pretty sure law clerks to trial courts get paid more than 20k, and probably closer to 30k-40k in most places. And that's a cushy job that's almost guaranteed 40 hours a week with decent benefits.

So anyone who can score that job will not likely apply for your "associate" position, even if there is a chance of making 40k. But even they are mostly fresh grads, those that you probably think know nothing anyway; given that, the ones that will apply to your firm will likely fall even below that group.

But since there may be go-getters who really thrive in your arrangement, there could be people who are fairly competitive and really make that 40k you imagine they'd make. Problem is, they'd probably give their clients their own phone numbers instead of the law firms, and jump ship the moment they think they can make about the same by themselves. Now not only have you lost somebody who you could have worked with and increased your overall profit, you have a competitor!

Those that will remain are those that will be content making 20k (if any), and you will probably have to put up with them, train them, and know that the moment they have their own business, will leave and create their own firm. With this group, you will have a bit more time to adjust their pay as they grow (or be happy paying them 20k for doing just your busy-work), but judging from the tone of the thread, they will probably have very little loyalty once they become good enough.

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themapmaster (Mar 25, 2018 - 9:36 pm)

My experience is, solos hiring associates almost always goes bad unless it’s retirement planning. The market is just too saturated with lawyers. Even at mid sized law firms with rich and corporate clients, you see multiple partners to support one associate. Now if you’re a biglaw partner netting $500,000+ and can assign projects to your underlings... easy, man!

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2ski (Mar 25, 2018 - 10:06 pm)

If you are looking for a greenhorn right out of school, then this works. You already said this is good $ for area and you will train.

You are shifting the liability to your employee to generate quality billable hours. Hence the percentage incentive.

Another way would be to start at $30k and auto up to $40k in 6 mos with satisfactory performance. No percentage of the cut. This way you still keep clients in the future. Your way implies 'partnership' to a client by an employee.

So, if 20k is good for area then 40 would be super. It would be capped at that and you can offer more if this person actually makes you money in year 2 and beyond. You also would attract someone with a bit more experience thus saving you training time. Remember all the time you spend training is time away from your own billables. Especially if they quit...

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cantimaginenocountry (Mar 25, 2018 - 10:11 pm)

Anyone working for 20k base has no network. So they could not really bring in any business other that of their mother. So basically this is a cattle call for who will work for 20k or rather who would accept 20k while they train with you.

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garfieldfan (Mar 25, 2018 - 11:06 pm)

Anyone who would take that deal is not worth employing. Anyone who would offer that deal is not worth working for.

No offense to OP, but the numbers and math being thrown out here are offensively low.

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caj111 (Mar 26, 2018 - 3:33 am)

If your offer is $20,000 plus 1/3 of what the associate brings in AND whatever cases they work on for you (whether they themselves brought them in or not), that might be an okay deal. You *might* attract someone who works with you long enough to treat your office as a training ground and then move on when they feel confident enough to go open their own practice. I don't think you will get anyone to stay all that long, just my 2 cents.

Also, you said in your first post, that you "have no experience training another person" and "have little patience for people who aren’t as smart as I am", yet in a subsequent post you say you "are offering training". So which is it here? Can you train someone and have the patience for them to get through whatever learning curve there is, or not? If not, then don't bother with hiring someone because it won't work out well. I'm no expert on this, but I'd find a seminar or something to help you learn how to handle and train a new employee.

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orgdonor (Mar 26, 2018 - 10:09 am)

Ive hired a bunch of people. The problem with your plan is that the associate will defect. Eventual that always happens. But you get the most value after a year or two of training.

The person will have to waitress or whatever to make ends meet. And they will want to stop doing that asap.

If you hire and take on more work, and then lose the associate, you will have to do the work yourself, and thus cut back on cases for a while.

Personally, I took on more bad cases after hiring because I was worried about paying the new associate. When the associate leaves, you won't be able to take the good cases available at that time. This will be even worse if you start pushing the cases the associate brings in. Those cases will probably be, like, real bad. But that's part of the associate's comp - so you'll feel constrained to take them.

Then the associate will leave and you'll have some contingent fee land deal gone awry that is so complicated and somehow also boring, which the law says you are going to lose in like three different ways (but not until trial when you've spent so much money).

If you can't afford to pay for loyalty - don't buy. You want to get a suited LIST case with liability problems or a divorce case with some college friend of your new associate who won't pay and beat up his super hot
very likeable wife? The person will leave in ten minutes, and then talk to you condescendingly at the bar association function because you seem like such a schlub.

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jorgedeclaro (Mar 26, 2018 - 10:39 am)

This is the wrong way to hire associates. In small law, true entry-level associates are time sinks. You pay a decent amount to attract promising talent and you expect that they will be about scratch for the first year. This is true for all but the best associates or family law where you can sucker clients with crap associates at outrageous hourly rates.

Here's what you do instead. Advertise an office share/rental for a new attorney. Find someone you like and could plausibly see yourself working with someday. Tell him you have 10-20k in contract work you can give him throughout the year, maybe more. That way you aren't offering minimum wage, you don't feel the obligation tutor and you might get an associate out of it in a couple years.

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caj111 (Mar 26, 2018 - 11:30 am)

There's always temporary/contract services for when things get too busy, and some have people available who can do a lot more than document review. There are even temporary/contract services out there that specialize in certain areas of law, i.e. labor, workers comp, although this is mostly in the larger metro areas.

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triplesix (Mar 26, 2018 - 11:36 am)

Those people cost market rate though, OP clearly is looking to pay way below market rate while expecing that idiot to be grateful haha

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jorgedeclaro (Mar 26, 2018 - 1:23 pm)

Which is why you find an entry-level attorney who is looking for space and offer an office share. If it’s a low cost of area place like OP says, it should be moderately attractive to a newbie hanging a shingle to have someone to model a practice on and have a promise of available contract work to build his practice on. At $30.00, that’s 666 hours a year. Even if the rate is $40.00, then it’s 500 hours.

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pauperesq (Mar 26, 2018 - 12:48 pm)

I agree with just about everything already said in this thread, including dumping on OP.

That said, what is it that you really need from this associate, OP? What tasks are getting you bogged down on the files? If you're really just looking to pass off the busy work, why not hire a competent paralegal?

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triplesix (Mar 26, 2018 - 2:18 pm)

Paralegals cost more than what he is trying to pay haha

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pauperesq (Mar 26, 2018 - 2:24 pm)

According to him, the roughly $40k he wants to pay an attorney is competitive in his market. A decent paralegal would be significantly less. He could even entertain hiring one part-time.

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wutwutwut (Mar 26, 2018 - 1:46 pm)

I think one point that's getting lost in all this is that the would-be associate doesn't need to scrape up and bring in his own work.

Instead, if I understand OP correctly, the new associate would bring in the new work (via the referral service) merely by the fact of his/her existence. I.e., the referral service won't increase the number of referrals until OP is a 2-lawyer firm. After that, he believes they will.

How much the additional referrals will amount to I guess is a matter for speculation. And the "don't know how to train/don't got no patience" parts will still be issues.

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dakotalaw (Mar 26, 2018 - 6:23 pm)

Wut wut gets it.

The cases would exactly double from one large source, which is where I get 80 percent of my cases. My first year in private practice I grossed 60k from this list alone and I only worked 9 of 12 months.

The new guy will double my cases just by being admitted and staying alive.

I could just put the salary at 40/45k and no profit sharing, but I wanted to start the guy like I started. Incentivized to sell. This is a sales job and associates with no incentive to bring in business are often missing out on professional growth.

I hooked a nice 10k alimony mod retainer today. I wouldn’t have gotten this case 3 years ago before all the trying and failing I have been through.

My .02.

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wutwutwut (Mar 26, 2018 - 6:32 pm)

Well, I still think you're a cheap SOB (haha) - just wanted to point out that one aspect.

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dakotalaw (Mar 26, 2018 - 6:42 pm)

Thanks.

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isthisit (Mar 26, 2018 - 7:07 pm)

🤣

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garfieldfan (Mar 26, 2018 - 7:56 pm)

But why would they not realize this in like two seconds and leave? You aren't offering enough upside to retain someone who realizes the business model is just signing up for referrals. If the options are collect the nominal salary plus a third of the referal-based work to work for you or collect 100% of the referral-based work, it is a no brainer bc the salary isn't high enough to justify staying.

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joecoder (Mar 26, 2018 - 9:03 pm)

This.

If the associate isn't smart enough to just sign up to the referral system and gross 60k on their own, why would you want them to work for you?

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dakotalaw (Mar 26, 2018 - 9:27 pm)

But a person right out of law school has no idea how to practice law. I grossed 60k in 9 months in my first year of private practice, but I had dozens of criminal trials under my belt from the DA office. This gave me confidence to take on civil litigation and sell people on my experience.

The new person will bring me at least sixty thousand in gross, but on their own, they aren't going to do this. They could sign up for the same referral service, but very few people will hire them.

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whipster (Mar 26, 2018 - 8:00 pm)

Don't be a douche, just because a douche hired you at one point it smells like. You aren't that smart. You aren't smarter than other people. You will fail eventually, probably soon, because of your doucheyness.

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dakotalaw (Mar 26, 2018 - 9:24 pm)

Ok.

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trickydick (Mar 27, 2018 - 12:44 am)

I think this is a fair offer. I would like to apply for the position.

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mtbislife (Mar 29, 2018 - 6:14 pm)

Me too, I'd even do it for 10k.

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notiers (Mar 30, 2018 - 6:56 am)

We’ve started paying brand new associates, fresh out of school, about $85,000. Not because we want to - but because we attract better people that want to stay with us. When hiring an associate - out yourself in their shoes. Would you take the job that is being offered and would you be happy with it? In your case - probably not.

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physicssezno (Apr 4, 2018 - 5:55 pm)

Lol everybody hates this OP

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defensivelawyer (Apr 4, 2018 - 8:46 pm)

I'm interested but only if minimum 1/3 of the training involves the opportunity to listen to your amazing trial war stories as a real prosecutor.

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superttthero (Apr 4, 2018 - 10:12 pm)

I loled.

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dakotalaw (Apr 5, 2018 - 8:11 am)

Quick update, this arrangement has gotten plenty of interest.

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shouldalearnedmaths (Apr 5, 2018 - 8:32 am)

what kind of talent you getting?

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triplesix (Apr 5, 2018 - 9:31 am)

Looks like entry level market is still in the gutter.

Poo law is still poo even ITE haha

No Trump effect

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flyer14 (Apr 5, 2018 - 12:02 pm)

I have a friend who hung his own shingle a couple years ago. He posted a job for an administrative assistant for approximately 15 hours a week at $13 an hour.

He was fuming to me because he had 110 resumes in four days. Some would have been decent fits (i.e. law students) but there was still a number of JD's among the applicants. I told him, just look at the first ten, interview the three most qualified that aren't JD's, and hire the best out of those three and be done with it.

Law still sucks and any garbage job offer will attract a ton of applicants.

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dakotalaw (Apr 5, 2018 - 1:27 pm)

27 resumes so far. Most are from people already licensed. A few waiting bar results. Most resumes look totally fine.

Lot of people with full time non legal jobs are applying.

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isthisit (Apr 5, 2018 - 1:43 pm)

Please update thread with law school, GPA, and DSM code once someone has accepted the position at your posted compensation.

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3lol (Apr 5, 2018 - 2:06 pm)

No one said that people wouldn't apply to your job poasting. The point being made is that your job offer sucks and so do you.

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jeffm (Apr 5, 2018 - 3:24 pm)

Workers should be entitled.

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superttthero (Apr 5, 2018 - 4:20 pm)

You know, I think a prospective employee would be wasting their time to dwell on a bad job post. Hell, maybe some people would find this a fair offer.

I don't think it's crazy that other people, people not applying, are replying to OPs general posting on a forum by telling him/her what they think of him and outlining the type of "quality" employee he's bringing in with what he wrote.

"I have little patience for people who aren’t as smart as I am." He sounds like a douche of the highest order. I'm not trolling, just being blunt. He posted a douche post.

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jeffm (Apr 5, 2018 - 6:17 pm)

Yeah, but here's the argument being made against him in toto: "You are underpaying an utterly unqualified employee." Hasn't everyone pretty much realized that anyone who is qualified either will pass on the opportunity or will use it as a short-term stepping stone? Where's the bondage?

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superttthero (Apr 5, 2018 - 6:20 pm)

OP doesn't seem to get it.

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triplesix (Apr 5, 2018 - 6:22 pm)

"But grads from the decent schools in my state aren’t going to be interested in my job posting."

wonder why?

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jeffm (Apr 5, 2018 - 6:25 pm)

Yeah, but who cares about OP's loss? Actually, things like these can be tremendous first opportunities for new grads who need to get at least some minimal training before going solo or possibly getting a better job. Karma works in mysterious ways.

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triplesix (Apr 5, 2018 - 6:29 pm)

we can only hope dear

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physicssezno (Apr 5, 2018 - 7:23 pm)

It shows how low the bottom of the employment spectrum goes and upsets people because it shows there’s no job security in a field that people hoped would be secure. It contributes to the sense of anxiety about the market. People despise the OP because he’s proving that fact and benefiting from it.

Frankly, the feeling that OP should drop dead sounds a lot like a union worker demanding a fair shake based on something other than the fact that he’s competing for the same job w other people. A fair society that pays people based on the cost of living and effort not just what the employer can get away with.

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defensivelawyer (Apr 5, 2018 - 8:12 pm)

yes.

pay is way way too high as evidenced by all the resumes.

offer 11k plus 5 perc of new biz generated.

if resumes keep coming, lower both numbers.

hold out for zero.

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mrtor (Apr 9, 2018 - 5:04 pm)

This thread is gold.

OP is literally one of the most asinine and self-absorbed attorneys any of us have ever come across here -- which is a helluva distinction. He also inadvertently channeled the wrath of all of JDU in a way that even the worst trolls have failed to achieve. And, what's more, he didn't even mean to!

27 resumes is cute. Even if you can find one candidate -- by chance -- who can put up with you, stomach the wages, and perform even borderline-competent legal work, as others have echoed, that candidate won't stick around long. Before you know it, you'll be a revolving door with constant disruption and a terrible reputation.

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dakotalaw (Apr 9, 2018 - 7:17 pm)

I'm offering 40-45k to do more than carry a brief case. How much were you paid for your first legal job?

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mrtor (Apr 10, 2018 - 9:33 am)

A lot more than that. You're offering $20k and "generously" granting them a small fraction of their own origination. Based upon your logic, this offer could be worth UP TO $1,000,000+! Don't wait, CALL NOW!

This discussion has already gone in circles. It's a crap offer. Own your crap offer with pride. There are plenty of mediocre firms offering these types of mediocre jobs. It's par for the course in law. Just stop trying to defend it and yourself. Regardless of how many times it is rehashed, you're not going to win over any hearts or minds.

You're what's wrong with law.

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passportfan3 (Apr 9, 2018 - 6:22 pm)

OP is thinking small.

He needs to auction off the privilege of being his associate.

And sell his associates office supplies -- the way Jacoby & Meyer made more money selling office furniture to their affiliates than they made practicing law.

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dakotalaw (Apr 9, 2018 - 7:19 pm)

Life is hard and people instinctively avoid blaming themselves for their troubles. This thread isn't exceptional.

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lawyer1972 (Apr 9, 2018 - 9:52 pm)

Neither are you....except in one way: you are one of the most unaware self-absorbed douchebags ever to post here. You are the reason why people hate lawyers as well as one of the main reasons why people hate being lawyers.

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superttthero (Apr 9, 2018 - 9:57 pm)

Agree...and most of it has nothing to do with the terms of the offer.

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dakotalaw (Apr 9, 2018 - 10:35 pm)

Don't assume my online persona matches my personality. I don't have to sugar coat anything here. I can say, I'm objectively smart, and I don't like working closely on matters of importance with stupid people. You can choose to be triggered by that. You can choose not to. It doesn't change the fact that I'm objectively smart and I don't like working closely on matters of importance with stupid people. Nor does it change the fact that if other clever people are honest and emboldened to do so, they would say the same thing.

In real life, my clients are extremely satisfied. In four years I haven't had one bad online review. I charge less than everyone else and I work much, much harder. The only judges I piss off are the ones who don't follow the law, as they can tell I'm a bit of a boy scout on that.

Now of course I have all kinds of problems and weaknesses just like anyone else, but I didn't start this thread to talk about those. Do you feel better now that I have acknowledged that I have lots of faults? This website attracts defeated, unhappy, weak people. I egg you on because I like trolling these sorts. Does that say something negative about me? Absolutely, among other issues, I resent outspoken, soft, and "triggered" people.

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superttthero (Apr 9, 2018 - 10:46 pm)

You forgot to say that you dont suffer triggered fools gladly or something.

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lawyer1972 (Apr 9, 2018 - 10:56 pm)

I feel so sorry for you. It must be sad to look at life through your lens.

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isthisit (Apr 9, 2018 - 11:04 pm)

Quite right old bean!

This JDU fora attracts all number of rapscallions and their drivel is both shallow and pedantic.

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midlaw (Apr 10, 2018 - 12:16 am)

Nobody's triggered. It's just that the non-boomers on the board uniformly think you're a d-bag. I would say I hope to see you in court, but I practice real trial law.

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triplesix (Apr 10, 2018 - 8:21 am)

How many trials bro?!?!?!?!

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midlaw (Apr 11, 2018 - 10:31 am)

Fewer than JDDT!

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physicssezno (Apr 9, 2018 - 11:42 pm)

Speaking of personal responsibility, How about you start by blaming yourself for being a prick and for low balling people to work hard and honestly?

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defensivelawyer (Apr 10, 2018 - 12:05 am)

better to do it like trump. contract out the work, then stiff the contractor! better life lesson for the student.

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barneystinson (Apr 10, 2018 - 9:00 pm)

OP - you have received sensible, universal advice from experienced lawyers on this thread. To sum it all up - your offer is sh*tty and will attract mostly sh*tty candidates that won't live up to your unreasonably high standards given your sh*tty offer. Hiring an inexperienced, unintelligent person is bad for business and will likely harm your reputation. In the off chance that you find an intelligent and competent person despite your attitude and lack of training, the sh*tty pay will cause this person to leave once they find a half-decent opportunity.

If you can't afford to hire a decent candidate, then don't. Thinking you can hire and retain a good person at this pay is not going to happen. If you're as "objectively smart" as you say you are, you'd realize this and either increase the salary or admit you're not ready to hire someone.

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passportfan3 (Apr 11, 2018 - 7:25 pm)

OP is a legal narcissist.

He thinks he contributes 100% of his firm's value. He therefore sees all employees as costs to be minimized.

This is a common mindset when a solo expands. Most grow out of it. Some never do.

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themapmaster (Apr 11, 2018 - 9:47 pm)

I want this JDU classic thread to get to a 100 replies but I want to give the honor of the 100th post to someone else. Please.

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esquirewalletsmatter (May 26, 2018 - 9:27 am)

Ultimately, if one cannot afford to pay someone a decent wage then one should not hire. This thread summarizes why one should not go to law school absent certain circumstances such as family wealth or a near guaranteed position somewhere. The legal market for new grads is abysmal and this is the new norm. Prestigious profession eh?

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wutwutwut (May 26, 2018 - 9:40 am)

Looks like you gave that honor to EWM.

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esquirewalletsmatter (May 26, 2018 - 11:18 am)

Graci. It’s great to be back. And “retired” from law (too many firms similar to Ops) and now making double at the height of a related industry. Ambition and drive indeed.

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