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  #1681 (permalink)  
Old 09-10-2017, 08:42 PM
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US UK Firms are outliers then

So lets stick to local firms. What are the retention rate? Salary? And do firms pay for Part B? What is allowance during Part B and TC period? What is salary for fresh associates?
Should I am for a mid-sized but high retention rate or big size for the name?

My interests are in corporate commercial law area. I heard this is the only way to earn money compared to doing family/criminal law where most people would not do at all because of low pay. Is this true?

Thanks and I am a first year student in a local university.

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  #1682 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2017, 08:54 AM
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TC: $500 - $2000 per month. Generally the average is $1500.

Part b: Allowance: $200- 400 per month - Generally on average not everyone gets allowance, it is subject to your contract.

Fees for part B: usually pay yourself. However, some firms do pay if associates get retained and stayed for a longer period of 1 or 2 years. I believe this is quite rare, but I did get offered this, but did not stay on with the firm.

Filing fees to be called to the bar, most likely yes, cost is about SGD 1000. Almost everyone I know including myself was able to claim this amount.

I personally feel corporate/commercial law does earn more money. However, if you are not partner and you are not getting a cut of the profits (which associates do not get in the first few years of practice), then do whatever law that you interested or do whatever good offer that comes by, since its hard to get a job.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
US UK Firms are outliers then

So lets stick to local firms. What are the retention rate? Salary? And do firms pay for Part B? What is allowance during Part B and TC period? What is salary for fresh associates?
Should I am for a mid-sized but high retention rate or big size for the name?

My interests are in corporate commercial law area. I heard this is the only way to earn money compared to doing family/criminal law where most people would not do at all because of low pay. Is this true?

Thanks and I am a first year student in a local university.


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  #1683 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2017, 08:58 AM
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Default 2014 Thornton

Forgot to add that starting salary is about 4000 plus minus 200 in a small local firm.

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
TC: $500 - $2000 per month. Generally the average is $1500.

Part b: Allowance: $200- 400 per month - Generally on average not everyone gets allowance, it is subject to your contract.

Fees for part B: usually pay yourself. However, some firms do pay if associates get retained and stayed for a longer period of 1 or 2 years. I believe this is quite rare, but I did get offered this, but did not stay on with the firm.

Filing fees to be called to the bar, most likely yes, cost is about SGD 1000. Almost everyone I know including myself was able to claim this amount.

I personally feel corporate/commercial law does earn more money. However, if you are not partner and you are not getting a cut of the profits (which associates do not get in the first few years of practice), then do whatever law that you interested or do whatever good offer that comes by, since its hard to get a job.

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  #1684 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2017, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
TC: $500 - $2000 per month. Generally the average is $1500.

Part b: Allowance: $200- 400 per month - Generally on average not everyone gets allowance, it is subject to your contract.

Fees for part B: usually pay yourself. However, some firms do pay if associates get retained and stayed for a longer period of 1 or 2 years. I believe this is quite rare, but I did get offered this, but did not stay on with the firm.

Filing fees to be called to the bar, most likely yes, cost is about SGD 1000. Almost everyone I know including myself was able to claim this amount.

I personally feel corporate/commercial law does earn more money. However, if you are not partner and you are not getting a cut of the profits (which associates do not get in the first few years of practice), then do whatever law that you interested or do whatever good offer that comes by, since its hard to get a job.
That bad huh? During my time ie 2 to 3 years ago, standard tc market rate was $2k a month and it was unthinkable that any halfway decent mid tier firms will fully reimburse your bar fees if youre retained, albeit in tranches.

Or are you talking only about small firms?

I guess fresh grads nowadays really are getting shafted. Pls get retained, tahan for a few years then jump inhouse or to a non local firm where they actually treat their fee earners like real professionals. That's my advice to my juniors
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  #1685 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2017, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
That bad huh? During my time ie 2 to 3 years ago, standard tc market rate was $2k a month and it was unthinkable that any halfway decent mid tier firms will fully reimburse your bar fees if youre retained, albeit in tranches.

Or are you talking only about small firms?

I guess fresh grads nowadays really are getting shafted. Pls get retained, tahan for a few years then jump inhouse or to a non local firm where they actually treat their fee earners like real professionals. That's my advice to my juniors
*unthinkable that any halfway decent firm wouldn't reimburse you fully
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  #1686 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2017, 08:43 AM
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I am the message above. Yes it was that bad, I was a trainee in a small firm, but from what I heard from people in midsize and large law firms, I got the better deal as a trainee.

I got offered to retain for 4k (well because I was quite close with the boss after training), but decided not to. After getting called to the bar during mass call this year I joined as a lead in house counsel in a mid size company. Salary wise is decent 3.8k and never had to OT, which would be unimaginable if I stayed on in the firm.

Not sure if I made the right choice by going in house so early though. any advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
That bad huh? During my time ie 2 to 3 years ago, standard tc market rate was $2k a month and it was unthinkable that any halfway decent mid tier firms will fully reimburse your bar fees if youre retained, albeit in tranches.

Or are you talking only about small firms?

I guess fresh grads nowadays really are getting shafted. Pls get retained, tahan for a few years then jump inhouse or to a non local firm where they actually treat their fee earners like real professionals. That's my advice to my juniors


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  #1687 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2017, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I am the message above. Yes it was that bad, I was a trainee in a small firm, but from what I heard from people in midsize and large law firms, I got the better deal as a trainee.

I got offered to retain for 4k (well because I was quite close with the boss after training), but decided not to. After getting called to the bar during mass call this year I joined as a lead in house counsel in a mid size company. Salary wise is decent 3.8k and never had to OT, which would be unimaginable if I stayed on in the firm.

Not sure if I made the right choice by going in house so early though. any advice?
From general observation, most General Counsels and Asst. General Counsels seem to have at least a couple years of private practice experience under their belt. I think it will take a lot longer (not impossible) to rise to that level without having some years of practice.

It is also difficult to return to practice now that you've left. So if your expectation is to return to practice as a partner of a Big 4, this ain't happening unless you have an extensive client list willing to back you.

Having said that, I think that the in-house landscape is on the cusp of a renewal of sorts. Indranee Rajah recently tossed around the idea of developing and regulating in-house talent in order to offer an attractive talent pool for foreign mncs. Though....I'm not too clear if this is a superficial measure undertaken in response to the glut of lawyers or if this is a genuine effort on the part of the govt to develop said talent pool.

Oh wells, only time will tell i guess!
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  #1688 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2017, 01:59 PM
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Read this thread through internships, TC applications, and just accepted a TC from a big4 firm, tier 1 dept. Hope to contribute to any qns juniors have. I understand this kinda topic isn't very politically correct in law sch, where talk seems to revolve around "firm culture", nice people, and anything other than pay. It was so refreshing to read this, all the way to the very first post in 2009.

1. Retention Rates

I interned at drew where an assoc said their retention last year was 90%+. They take about 30-40 trainees per year. In general, based on my internships in the big 4+x, their position is that they hire with the intention to retain. In order to verify this for particular firms, speak to seniors who are training there/working there (either during internships, or through school networks, or facebook).

Why not 100%? At a big 4+x firm, during a session with the HR head, i asked about that, and they said either the trainee performs poorly, or they choose to work elsewhere. but this is not the norm in the big 4+x. it's a reputation thing -- big 4 takes in enough business to avoid erratic retention cycles. in a big 4+x which traditionally retains 100% in one corp dept i interned in, one year where the retention fell to 50%, the assoc who got retained said it was very unusual.

Retention is multi-factorial. Sometimes the partner just doesn't like to work with you (you have bad vibes or whatever, you are rude/weird). At that point your law sch grades are irrelevant. I can't stress the importance of personality. You need to come across as not weird, interesting but not too outstanding. Near the last stages of my TC interview, before the "if we offer will you accept" line came out, they kept pressing on what i did during my free time.

I've heard of NUS dean's listers who fail to get TCs in year 3 (perhaps they applied narrowly to big 4 only, but that still says alot), also in a big 4+x firm, a dean's lister who didn't get retained.

2. Salary

Previous posters are more or less there.

Trainee pay in big 4 (on their websites): $2,000. Baker and TSMP $2,500. Other mid size firms: most will peg to big 4, while some go lower. Firms listed on the LawSoc TC listings page: $1,000 to $1,500.

Short of going to the firm and asking assocs, what i get is that taking big 4 as the base value, the multiple firms apply to the trainee allowance persists throughout assoc years.

3. TC Terms of Offer

"Market rate" TC reimbursement terms can be found by checking all big 4 websites.
generally:
- full reimbursement of part b fees (conditional on retention and serving as an assoc for a year)
- allowance of $500 during part b
- trainee allowance above

This is what i got in my TC offer.
Generally, based on websites, decent mid size firms use the same template, varying only the trainee allowance. I know one big 4+x firm where they reimburse regardless of retention (i saw a friend's TC offer from those firms).

4. Retention - mid size vs big 4+x

Your qn seems to assume training at a mid size firm is "safer". I may be reading you wrongly. But if i am right, this is untrue as a generalization. I believe you are expected to work hard wherever you are to justify retention. There is no general rule that mid size firms will retain you if in your trainee evaluation you get 4/5 avg for most criteria, while big 4 only retains if you get close to 5/5. some many factors such as whether the partner likes to work with you, the business needs, etc come into play.

When the time comes, you should ask seniors who are trainees/assocs in those particular firms for specific data. My advice is to start building your law sch networks as an information sourcing ground. In general, based on convos with friends who choose mid, most rly like the mid size firm after interning and don't bother applying to big 4.

5. Pay in corporate law vs community law (fam/crim/conveyancing)

Yes, corporate lawyers earn much more than fam/crim lawyers for assoc levels, unless you cut a deal with your employer in smaller firms and get a direct cut of the fees.

To understand why, it's best to understand the clientele of law firms, both in corporate and community law.

In corporate, you advise banks and companies who can pay. Anecdotal fees for a local MnA deal is $150,000-$250,000. This is split among equity partners, after covering costs for salaried partners and assocs.
In community law, you advise individuals. Fees for a consent divorce is about $1,000 to $1,500. Base fees to take on a criminal case is abt there also.
Now you may ask, what if i get rich clients for family and criminal matters? Put it very frankly, if they are that rich, they will go to the big 4's litigation practices or private client/wealth management/trust depts. i know AnG and RnT does fam work for these select clients, either cos they can pay or as a business favour.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
US UK Firms are outliers then

So lets stick to local firms. What are the retention rate? Salary? And do firms pay for Part B? What is allowance during Part B and TC period? What is salary for fresh associates?
Should I am for a mid-sized but high retention rate or big size for the name?

My interests are in corporate commercial law area. I heard this is the only way to earn money compared to doing family/criminal law where most people would not do at all because of low pay. Is this true?

Thanks and I am a first year student in a local university.
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  #1689 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2017, 02:06 PM
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Kerry Consulting - Compensation - Legal
Compensation for Banking, Finance, Accounting, Human Resources and Technology Jobs in Singapore

PQE (years) Salary Range (S$'000)
Singapore Firms NQ 50 to 60
1 to 2 60 to 90
3 to 5 80 to 130
6 to 8 130 to 210
UK Firms
NQ 100 to 120
1 to 2 120 to 150
3 to 5 160 to 220
US Firms
1 160
2 to 4 170 to 220
5 to 8 220 to 280
*While Singapore law firms tend to pay lower base salaries than the international law firms, they usually have a higher bonus component, paid out in one to three tranches the following year.

---

Just note that because "local firms" straddle such a large range, the avg of 4.1 to 5k is actly too low. taking big 4s as the base index, 5k - 6k. i prefer taking big 4 as the base because frankly, uk and us firms mainly poach from big 4s (check senior's linkedins), and if you are doing this comparison, you need to peg to big 4 and not local firms generally.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn't International US firms who follow the Cravath NY pay scale be much higher? Following your figures above, it seems that the Magic Circle salary with bonuses added on will be higher than US firms.

Current rate is $180,000 USD per annum ($15,000 per month) in first years in NY, which should loosely convert to $20,500 SGD per month - how is it only $15,000 according to your figures?
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  #1690 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2017, 02:11 PM
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Based on talks with actual in house counsel, partners in big 4 and assocs, unless you are group general counsel APAC for a BB bank, in house is a one-way road.

Therefore, choose very carefully. I spoke to an in house counsel at a swiss private bank who brought his work to reservist. He said his main factor was family time and work-life balance. He asked me when i wanted to start a family. I said 30. He said adjust your expectations. a bit pessimistic (i know of under 30 males in big 4+x who are married some with kids) but you get the point, from his perspective at least.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
From general observation, most General Counsels and Asst. General Counsels seem to have at least a couple years of private practice experience under their belt. I think it will take a lot longer (not impossible) to rise to that level without having some years of practice.

It is also difficult to return to practice now that you've left. So if your expectation is to return to practice as a partner of a Big 4, this ain't happening unless you have an extensive client list willing to back you.

Having said that, I think that the in-house landscape is on the cusp of a renewal of sorts. Indranee Rajah recently tossed around the idea of developing and regulating in-house talent in order to offer an attractive talent pool for foreign mncs. Though....I'm not too clear if this is a superficial measure undertaken in response to the glut of lawyers or if this is a genuine effort on the part of the govt to develop said talent pool.

Oh wells, only time will tell i guess!
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