Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Bonus Round 2016!!! (Plus Compensation Survey Results)

Each year at this time we take a look at bonuses. As a special bonus to you this year, we also have the results of our compensation survey. The last two years we did a magic numbers survey, but this year we have something a little different--we gave you a chance to tell us how much you make based on how long you've been working without asking where you work. This is finally your chance to get an idea of how much money attorneys in Las Vegas make!

While we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any of the results of this survey, we had over 100 responses. The numbers we are sharing are the first 100 responses (since that is all SurveyMonkey will let you see without paying for an upgrade).  Warning:  the results are not for the faint of heart. These numbers may make you think you are underpaid. They may make you think you are not special. Just remember that these are just numbers and do not take into account a number of other factors that come into play when determining compensation. Click through to see the results...

First, some general numbers and facts about the survey results.  Out of 100 responses:
  • the years of experience ranged from less than a year up to 30 years
  • the lowest reported salary was $60,000 and the highest reported salary was $660,000 
  • billable hour requirements ranged from none to 2400
  • some results may be skewed by some outliers, but since this is an anonymous survey, we have no way of verifying the data and have included all of it in our analysis
BONUSES

  • The good news is that over 65% of you are expecting a bonus this year.  
  • 17% of the respondents are expecting a bonus in excess of $20,000.
  • 5% are expecting $15,001-$20,000
  • 7% are expecting $10,001-$15,000
  • 15% are expecting $5,001-$10,000
  • 26% are expecting $1,000-$5,000
  • 17% are expecting less than $1,000 (including those expecting nothing)
  • The remaining 13% are those of you who had to say a specific number bigger than $20,000; are government employees without a bonus; or, own your own business 
  • The majority of those surveyed get a yearly bonus. Those of you who get a bonus monthly, quarterly, or twice a year each make up less than 10% of the respondents. 
  • Bonuses were all over the place with regard to experience, so your mileage may vary...
COMPENSATION AND BILLABLE HOURS

  • LESS THAN A YEAR OF EXPERIENCE
    • 6 respondents
    • Average salary is $92,500
    • The low salary was $60,000 and the high was $190,000
    • 5 reported no billable hour requirement, and 1 responded 1850
  • 2 YEARS EXPERIENCE
    • 7 respondents
    • Average salary is $91,000
    • The low salary was $65,000 and the high was $115,000
    • 3 reported no billable hour requirement, 2 responded 1800, and 2 responded 2000
  • 3 YEARS EXPERIENCE
    • 9 respondents
    • Average salary is $100,500
    • The low salary was $75,000 and the high was $135,000
    • 3 reported no billable hour requirement, 1 responded 1800, 1 responded 1850, 1 responded 1900, 1 responded 2000, 1 responded 2100, and 1 responded 2300
  • 4 YEARS EXPERIENCE
    • 2 respondents
    • Average salary is $105,000
    • The low salary was $75,000 and the high was $135,000
    • 1 reported no billable hour requirement, 1 responded 1800
  • 5 YEARS EXPERIENCE
    • 10 respondents
    • Average salary is $127,500
    • The low salary was $75,000 and the high was $210,000
    • 4 reported no billable hour requirement, 5 responded 1900, and 1 responded 2000
  • 6 YEARS EXPERIENCE
    • 8 respondents
    • Average salary is $121,250
    • The low salary was $80,000 and the high was $165,000
    • 2 reported no billable hour requirement, 2 responded 1800, 1 responded 1850, 1 responded 1900, 1 responded 2200, and 1 responded 2280
  • 7 YEARS EXPERIENCE
    • 5 respondents
    • Average salary is $126,000
    • The low salary was $90,000 and the high was $150,000
    • 2 reported no billable hour requirement, 1 responded 1850, 1 responded 1900, and 1 responded 2150
  • 8 YEARS EXPERIENCE
    • 8 respondents
    • Average salary is $116,250
    • The low salary was $80,000 and the high was $140,000
    • 25 reported no billable hour requirement, 1 responded 1850, 1 responded 1900, and 1 responded 2150
  • 9 YEARS EXPERIENCE
    • 9 respondents
    • Average salary is $136,500
    • The low salary was $100,000 and the high was $190,000
    • 2 reported no billable hour requirement, 1 responded 1500, 1 responded 1800, 1 responded 1850, 2 responded 1900, and 2 responded 1950
  • 10 YEARS EXPERIENCE
    • 11 respondents
    • Average salary is $133,250
    • The low salary was $70,000 and the high was $180,000
    • 1 respondent was in-house, 5 reported no billable hour requirement, 1 responded 1850, 2 responded 1900,  1 responded 1950, and 1 responded 2400
  • 11-15 YEARS EXPERIENCE
    • 12 respondents
    • Average salary is $172,000
    • The low salary was $60,000 and the high was $425,000
    • 8 reported no billable hour requirement, 1 responded 1900, and 3 responded 2000
  • 16-20 YEARS EXPERIENCE
    • 5 respondents
    • Average salary is $243,000
    • The low salary was $100,000 and the high was $660,000
    • 4 reported no billable hour requirement, and 1 responded 1950
  • 21-30 YEARS EXPERIENCE
    • 8 respondents
    • Average salary is $234,500
    • The low salary was $110,000 and the high was $550,000
    • 4 reported no billable hour requirement, 1 responded 1900, 1 responded 1950, and 1 responded 2200
What do you think? Are you surprised by any of these numbers? Are they higher or lower than you thought? See any patterns? Is this useful information?

23 comments:

  1. This makes me feel... very average. Hahahaha. Well, maybe I'm not as special as I thought!

    Law Dawg, I know this is a relatively small sample size, but did you see this bimodal distribution in the results?

    http://www.nalp.org/class_of_2014_salary_curve

    I'm curious if this bimodal distribution continues later in careers or whether it converges, or whether it even exists in Vegas. Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like you said, it's a small sample size, but it looks like a similar bimodal distribution is there for all levels of experience. Hard to say what the cause of that is or whether individuals are stuck in the lower echelon.

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  2. Whoever is making $60k with 11-15 YEARS EXPERIENCE needs to reevaluate where they're at. I make more than that as support staff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By the same token, whoever is claiming to make - as a Nevada attorney - $190k as a first-year lawyer is full of it.

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    2. Seems impossible unless they hung a shingle and then got a huge settlement right away. First years at the highest paying firms make $195,000 per year after bonus, and they have to pay for cost of living in LA/NY/SF/DC/Chicago/Houston (obviously not all the same, but probably all higher than Vegas).

      Delete
    3. Can't speak to this specific one, but there are some big firms that pay their NYC rate for an LV associate because they don't know better or want to get the best and keep them happy... Maybe Shark Pimp or someone like that could confirm.

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    4. I'm pretty sure the answer is no. Between the salaries listed by local firms on NALP, and the salaries reported by this blog, it's clear that every local firm that has a New York office paying the New York market rate pays their Vegas associates a far lower salary. E.g., Greenberg is in the 180k starting salary club in New York, but I think they're reported at 115k or 120k here.

      Delete
  3. As an attorney in the 8 years category, it's sad to see that 5-7 years experience all have a higher average pay. If I had to guess, I say it is because when we started practicing it was right at the beginning of the recession and so pay was less and since we had lower numbers to start with, they haven't increased us as much as we go forward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a 2010 graduate with 6 years of practice - we were all in the same boat. No one was hiring in 2010, and if they were, it was for $50-60K a year.

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    2. I wouldn't be so sad man. This isn't necessarily a representative snap shot. One person that's either lucky, unlucky, or lying, could significantly skew the numbers.

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  4. One issue I am having hard time reconciling is whether people put their base salary before bonuses, or included such bonuses as part of their salary? that obviously would skew numbers

    ReplyDelete
  5. So seeing these salaries I clearly need a new job. With 10 years of litigation experience but no book of business can I just mass mail my resume out to firms?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is the reason you have no book of business that you've been working at an insurance defense firm for 10 years? I don't mean to sound snarky, but it just surprises me that an attorney could work for that long and not develop a clientele.

      If you have 10 years of experience but no clients, you'll probably just get paid as a senior associate but it might be worth a shot to test the waters.

      I know this sounds obvious, but a tip to all those newly graduated attorneys: start building your own book of business now. The only way you will be valued later on in your career is by how many clients you can bring in the door.

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  6. Left private practice for in-house/government job. Took a salary cut and don't get a bonus, but these salaries make me feel pretty damn good about my pay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, if you're working for the AG or DA you're overpaid. No hate, good for you, but way overpaid compared to private sector.

      Delete
  7. How refreshing. So far today there has been no discussion of Rob Graham.

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  8. As this sluggish econ continues, it makes me sad that my colleagues drive the expensive cars and attend sports events when they cannot even make their payroll.

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  9. Thanks for posting this. I think this is a great resource even if there are some wacko numbers in there. Good to at least have an idea.

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  10. Former Judge Steven E. Jones was apparently released to Phoenix Halfway House.

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  11. The state bar petition on rob graham is troubling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where is a copy of the Rob Graham petition? Have not seen. Posted here?

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    2. https://www.scribd.com/document/334799228/Graham-Petition

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