Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Income Compared to Book of Business

What is the "typical" income as a percentage of fees origina booyah08/18/18
depends on the firm. I do know that $500k/per year is enoug dingbat08/18/18
Under the terms of my first employment, 1/3, or $167k. jeffm08/18/18
1/3 is what I get of the business I bring in. isthisit08/18/18
Are you doing the work? If you do the work, probably 50-7 midlaw08/18/18
nice evelynpittman08/20/18
My base is around $150K plus 10% of what I originate. I' booyah08/21/18
500k per year, or 500k over three years? If it's per year dingbat08/21/18
$500K per year. What do you think would be reasonable as booyah08/21/18
Because you have the base (which I assume is not variable do midlaw08/22/18
Big firms with high overhead will pay the originator 35-40% napoleone08/22/18
This is pretty extreme, compared with what I am used to loca guyingorillasuit08/22/18
I am saying if you both originate and perform the work. If napoleone08/24/18
I'd think of an origination fee and salary as 2 different co jeffm08/22/18
If I was bringing in and collecting 500k, I'd be pretty piss lolwutjobs08/22/18
If you're not keeping at least a quarter of originations tha orgdonor08/22/18
And that's why I do not want a partnership. I keep gross min orgdonor08/22/18
So you bring in $500k/yr and do all the work, for $150k base dingbat08/22/18
This. I've always understood to 500k to be the "threshold" lolwutjobs08/23/18
at all but the biggest biglaw, it will suffice*. At a small dingbat08/23/18
I was just seeking this information for a while. After 6 hou neiljakson09/20/18
It's bad enough when we have real posters committing threads wutwutwut09/20/18

booyah (Aug 18, 2018 - 3:53 pm)

What is the "typical" income as a percentage of fees originated?

For example, what is a reasonable salary if you are originating $500K plus per year?

Thanks for any input.

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dingbat (Aug 18, 2018 - 5:20 pm)

depends on the firm. I do know that $500k/per year is enough to make partner at most firms (with the expectation that it'll grow)

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jeffm (Aug 18, 2018 - 6:39 pm)

Under the terms of my first employment, 1/3, or $167k.

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isthisit (Aug 18, 2018 - 6:49 pm)

1/3 is what I get of the business I bring in.

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midlaw (Aug 18, 2018 - 7:46 pm)

Are you doing the work?

If you do the work, probably 50-70%. If you’re collecting on other’s work for your originated files 15-25%. If a blend, then a blend.

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evelynpittman (Aug 20, 2018 - 9:41 am)

nice

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booyah (Aug 21, 2018 - 8:51 pm)

My base is around $150K plus 10% of what I originate.

I've originated $500K plus the past three years and do all of the work on those cases.

Not sure if this is reasonable compensation or not.

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dingbat (Aug 21, 2018 - 10:40 pm)

500k per year, or 500k over three years?

If it's per year, you're getting screwed, and should either lateral to another firm, or, if you think you can pull it off, go solo. $500k/year is enough to make partner at most law firms. If you can take even a third of it with you going solo, that's a really good start.

On the other hand, if it's $500k over three years, then it's reasonable

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booyah (Aug 21, 2018 - 10:42 pm)

$500K per year.

What do you think would be reasonable as a base?

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midlaw (Aug 22, 2018 - 5:20 pm)

Because you have the base (which I assume is not variable downward) a 10% kicker on originations is pretty fair.

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napoleone (Aug 22, 2018 - 1:03 pm)

Big firms with high overhead will pay the originator 35-40% assuming you originate and do the work. Smaller firms with low overhead will be more like 50-65%.

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guyingorillasuit (Aug 22, 2018 - 6:14 pm)

This is pretty extreme, compared with what I am used to locally. I know the arrangements for a few local small firms, and the origination fees are closer to 10%. This means if you bring in the client, but you are too busy to handle the case and it goes to another partner, you get 10% of the collectables. 50% would mean the other people are working for next to nothing. Of course, this is also within the context of an eat-what-you-kill partnership agreement, which is how most local small firms operate.

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napoleone (Aug 24, 2018 - 1:54 am)

I am saying if you both originate and perform the work. If you just originate the work, at my firm we pay 15%.

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jeffm (Aug 22, 2018 - 5:46 pm)

I'd think of an origination fee and salary as 2 different concepts. A 20% origination fee is very fair.

If you originate $500k in business, you should have already asked yourself how much overhead and expenses you would have if you left the firm and took the client with you.

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lolwutjobs (Aug 22, 2018 - 8:42 pm)

If I was bringing in and collecting 500k, I'd be pretty pissed if I was only making 167k a year

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orgdonor (Aug 22, 2018 - 9:08 pm)

If you're not keeping at least a quarter of originations that feels wrong to me (total compensation). Could probably take that book elsewhere and get a lot more.

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orgdonor (Aug 22, 2018 - 9:06 pm)

And that's why I do not want a partnership. I keep gross minus expenses equals net.

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dingbat (Aug 22, 2018 - 9:31 pm)

So you bring in $500k/yr and do all the work, for $150k base + 10% = $200k?

If you were to go solo and take half the business with you, you'd be making $250k less overhead, so more or less the same.

But, $500k/yr origination for 3 years running, I've known people in biglaw who made partner doing that. Seeing as you're not currently a partner, you should quietly reach out to some of the bigger firms in your area and see what kind of offer they're willing to make.

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lolwutjobs (Aug 23, 2018 - 3:40 pm)

This. I've always understood to 500k to be the "threshold"

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dingbat (Aug 23, 2018 - 8:09 pm)

at all but the biggest biglaw, it will suffice*. At a small firm, a much lower amount could be sufficient


*I know for a fact that people have made partner with $500k at firms in the top 50 by size, PPP, vault, whatever metric you want to use. I don't know for sure of the top 20 or so firms.

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