Which Law Firms pay the most? Watch

orchidlilychen
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#1
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So I know you have big names like Kirkland et cetera, but there seem to be a fair few smaller American firms out there too.

I know that legalcheek the most list but it is out of date for lots of firms, especially like Sullivan & Cromwell.

Before I get roasted, I won’t use this to pick where to apply, I know to check practice areas etc etc etc
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999tigger
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(Original post by orchidlilychen)
So I know you have big names like Kirkland et cetera, but there seem to be a fair few smaller American firms out there too.

I know that legalcheek the most list but it is out of date for lots of firms, especially like Sullivan & Cromwell.

Before I get roasted, I won’t use this to pick where to apply, I know to check practice areas etc etc etc
More fun if you use those expert research skills. Have you tried asking on ROF etc etc etc?
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The West Wing
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Off the top of my head Kirkland, Sidley, Skadden, Ropes and Gray, Weil, Millbank, Davis Polk and Debevoise would be among the highest payers
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jacketpotato
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There is, of course, a personal cost to getting that salary.

Per ROF's "Firm of the Year" survey:

Best Agile Working at a US firm - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett solicitor
"An attitude of holidays being opportunities to work in a different location. One guy in a different team was reportedly asked to carry his Blackberry to the altar."
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flatlined
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Trainee money is mostly very similar. If you do a secondment at Simmons or Lovells, like all other city firms, providing secondments you will get six months free rent, flights and usually a 1k stipend. If you go to a US firm for a TC, you will work as long and usually longer hours than the associates since you work around them. Average turnover at associate level is about 2-3 years.

Probably 50% of US trainees will leave US firms to go in-house or for a U.K. firm by 2-3 PQE, more commonly in-house. Probably the majority of mid and senior levels have trained in a U.K. firm and moved over at 2-3 PQE to US. That is partly because US training schemes are not that massive and haven’t been going in large numbers for that long, but mainly because their trainees have left. Once you pass being junior you tend to be able to have more responsibility and are often are better able to manage your own time more flexibly. But after 5 years at a US firm(s) including the TC, most imo have had enough.

The hours can be horrendous. That Simpson quote reflects my experience too.

But the message is: if you’re looking for wealth and think a high salary is the answer to that, well i) the money is as an associate, not trainee, and isn’t stable or long run, ii) it is subject to huge amounts of tax so you’re not going to save that much, and iii) you are literally trading the best years of your life and soul for it.
Last edited by flatlined; 1 month ago
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Kitta
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With high salaries you have to consider the working hours, as people above have mentioned. The real money is in being Partner, as you get an equity stake in the business, so if you want a long-term goal for better financial returns focus on a firm which grants partnership quicker than other firms. As a rule, generally MC firms grant partnership quicker than US firms.
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