AMA - I’m a lawyer working in a commercial law firm (1 Viewer)

RivalryofTroll

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Is it still sensible to pursue a combined law degree if you see law as a means of “opening up your options” and aren’t necessarily interested in going into the lawyer path (although my interests may change)?

I do understand that double law degrees are pretty strong and it will definitely help me in the career I want to pursue (and act as a means of separating me from the rest)

I hope that question makes sense.
There’s probably no real right or wrong choice here. What is sensible will depend on your aspirations, interests, strengths and weaknesses. Law is a traditionally competitive degree where it is hard to achieve higher marks due to the common use of grading on a bell curve. I wouldn’t say it should be done by anyone and everyone.

Traditionally, a small subset of employers (in particular, investment banking and strategy consulting firms) would probably see combined law as a marker of a strong candidate. However, increasingly, even those firms are more open to candidates of all academic backgrounds and not just Commerce and Law (eg engineering, psychology, computer science, etc).

Personally, I think one should only do law as a second degree if:
1. They are open to at least the small possibility of becoming a lawyer (even if they’re not deadset on becoming one).
2. They are good at reading and writing. Otherwise, if you don’t like huge amounts of textbook reading and for example you’re more into STEM, computer science or engineering might be a better second degree.

TLDR - it depends.
 

seremify007

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I had a quick read of that and thought it was quite interesting... is there a lot of variable compensation (ie bonuses) at the various levels? The guide says bonuses were excluded from the table but mentions that they're often 12-15%.

As for the most important page, it's interesting to see partner remuneration at $1.5m for large firms, $975k for medium and $485k for small in Sydney. It's hard to gauge though since it's the mode and doesn't really explain the range between say a junior fresh partner vs the longstanding partners, and then I wonder if partners still move in lockstep or what variables there are which determine take home.

This is all coming from someone who isn't in the industry at all, but am curious nevertheless!
 

RivalryofTroll

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I had a quick read of that and thought it was quite interesting... is there a lot of variable compensation (ie bonuses) at the various levels? The guide says bonuses were excluded from the table but mentions that they're often 12-15%.

As for the most important page, it's interesting to see partner remuneration at $1.5m for large firms, $975k for medium and $485k for small in Sydney. It's hard to gauge though since it's the mode and doesn't really explain the range between say a junior fresh partner vs the longstanding partners, and then I wonder if partners still move in lockstep or what variables there are which determine take home.

This is all coming from someone who isn't in the industry at all, but am curious nevertheless!
Fee earners at all levels pre-partner (after the first 1-2 “graduate program” years especially) can definitely expect bonuses of anywhere between 10% and 25% of their salary (the % depending on the amount of hours billed in the year and other performance factors, but ultimately it’s usually based on the quantity of hours).

From my understanding, firms can broadly be categorised into two categories being the lockstep equity model or the “eat what you kill” model. Also, some firms have “salary partners” and equity partners whilst other firms don’t have any salary partners and only equity partners.
https://www.afr.com/companies/profe...en-a-1-4m-salary-isn-t-enough-20210407-p57h5k
 

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