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  #521 (permalink)  
Old 27-12-2015, 08:59 PM
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Have about 4 years PQE in a big 4. Have heard many things of late. My advice to JC2 students is this. If you have a choice do law at Oxbridge, LSE or UCL, go for it. If you have to take up loans of some sort, it's worth it in the long run.
Then try to do the BCL/LLM from Oxbridge thereafter. It's not easy for local unis grad to go to international firms. That's the reality. The profession is still about branding and image.
Thats quite extreme. Going at all costs have associated consequencs.

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  #522 (permalink)  
Old 27-12-2015, 09:01 PM
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Far too many students in this forum this days. Currently a 2 PQE, getting restless. What are my options?

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  #523 (permalink)  
Old 27-12-2015, 09:04 PM
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Far too many students in this forum this days. Currently a 2 PQE, getting restless. What are my options?
Thats obvious.

Inhouse or move to another law firm

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  #524 (permalink)  
Old 27-12-2015, 09:09 PM
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Thats obvious.

Inhouse or move to another law firm
That's a dumb question with a dumb response
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  #525 (permalink)  
Old 27-12-2015, 09:18 PM
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Thats quite extreme. Going at all costs have associated consequencs.
Instead of focusing on the branding, I think students now should focus on being hustlers just like the business students.

The investment banks traditionally favours the Ivy league/Oxbridge graduate. Typically for an SMU/NUS student to get in, they would have to hustle and build an insane CV to get an interview.

The same would be to the law guys now. A degree is simply not enough
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  #526 (permalink)  
Old 27-12-2015, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
I'm a 3rd year PQE in a Big 4 law firm. I'll be hitting Senior Associate within the next 3 months. I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify the salary structure within local firms. Here goes:

(1) Salary Culture Whilst local firms tend to set a low basic monthly salary, the annual remuneration is by no means unattractive. The annual remuneration mechanism is a very, very bonus-centric one, which involves a bonus component which pushes up the base wage by a minimum of 50%. A minimum 6 month bonus is given to flat-out average performers. Better performers typically get 7-8 months, while star performers (very rare) may get up to 9 or more. Anything less than a 6 month bonus is typically the firmís signal telling an associate to leave.

In order to bring monthly take-home paychecks more in line with those offered by offshore firms, part of the 6 month bonus is set aside, divided by 12 and "front-loaded" into monthly paychecks. These are set out below in Paragraph (3).

The easiest way to calculate your annual pay is to take the following formula: (12 + no. of months bonus) * Basic Salary. Typical annual packages based on a ballpark average performance are set out below in Paragrapsh (3).

(2) Basic Salary schedule for the first 4.5 years:
Year 1 (NQ, 1st 5 months) - $4,000
Year 2 - $5,000
Year 3 - $6,000
Year 4 (SA1) - $7,200
Year 5 (SA2) - $8,500

(3) Take-home Salary schedule for the first 4.5 years (pre-CPF):
Year 1 (NQ, 1st 5 months) - $5,800
Year 2 - $6,800
Year 3 - $7,800
Year 4 (SA1) - $9,000
Year 5 (SA2) - $10,500

(4) Aggregate Annual Salary schedule (based on 6-8 months bonus, ie 18-20 months basic salary)
Year 1 - $30,000 over 5 mths.
Year 2 - $90,000 to $100,000
Year 3 - $108,000 to $120,000
Year 4 - $129,600 to $144,000
Year 5 - $153,000 to $170,000

It is thus clear that the yearly increment in annual pay is not $12,000. Since local firms pay typically 18-20 months of the basic wage within a year, the true average annual increment ranges from $18,000 (years 1-3) to $24,000 (year 4-5 increase), often outstripping the annual increment offered by offshore firms. As a result, the income gap between a Big 4 associate and ann offshore associate shrinks every year, and by the time a local Big 4 associate hits Year 5, his annual pay really isn't too far below what his peers in the offshore firms are taking. Furthermore, the move to offshore firms starts looking less and less attractive, given the better prospects of making partner within the next 3 years.

Final Note: These figures exclude the monthly S$650 employer CPF contribution as these are useless funds that go into your Medisave and Special Account. They can't be used to pay for housing (or anything for that matter), and in most cases, you will only smell these funds when you're way too close to your deathbed... Nevertheless if you wish to include this, you can add about $12,000 to each of the annual income figures stated above.
Bump for being an informative post. Is this still relevant?
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  #527 (permalink)  
Old 27-12-2015, 09:22 PM
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Bump for being an informative post. Is this still relevant?
Does the inhouse route follow a typical structured wage banding?

Lynne
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  #528 (permalink)  
Old 27-12-2015, 09:25 PM
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Bump for being an informative post. Is this still relevant?
It is still fairly relevant as far as I'm aware. The banding hasn't really change, the only change in the foreseeable future is probably the way they structure the package, but I highly doubt that the absolute figure is going to change much. Either way it is a great compensation compared to other professions.
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  #529 (permalink)  
Old 27-12-2015, 09:27 PM
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It is still fairly relevant as far as I'm aware. The banding hasn't really change, the only change in the foreseeable future is probably the way they structure the package, but I highly doubt that the absolute figure is going to change much. Either way it is a great compensation compared to other professions.
Definitely true, many of the good lawyer would leave for the international firms if the wage model is not competitive. Though this would be largely dependent on the economy next year.
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  #530 (permalink)  
Old 27-12-2015, 09:33 PM
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Definitely true, many of the good lawyer would leave for the international firms if the wage model is not competitive. Though this would be largely dependent on the economy next year.
Hey!

I think this would be sector dependent and would also depend on the area of competency one is in. I think in general there are still a lack of legal talents in Singapore, lawyers with a few years PQE are still in demand. A lot of fear at the moment is driven by grads not having enough places at the law firm, but this does not apply to the whole legal sector as a whole, as the bottleneck would weed out supply of newly-minted lawyers.

Regards,
Zach
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