Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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How Much Money Other People Make.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | March 24, 2009

Posted by Cliff Tuttle

One staple feature of magazines for lawyers and now websites, electronic newsletters and blogs for lawyers, is the feature about how much money other lawyers make. This stuff can give you a serious inferiority complex. It is almost guaranteed that reported median salary for in-house counsel, corporate general counsel, partner (or whatever is being reported) will be higher than you make. Until recently, the reported rate for the incoming first year class in some Wall Street firm is probably higher than yours, too. Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that the surveys that create these reports are not very scientific. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of other people out there doing very well.

Then come the stories of the fall of the great and proud. There have been too many of those reports lately. Carolyn Elefant periodically points out in My Shingle, always available in the Blogroll on the right margin of PLBT, that the same blogs that gleefully reported starting salaries now gleefully report layoffs. Its just the other side of the same coin: How much money other people used to make.

The fact is, when we buy into this stuff, we are being manipulated. Are we supposed to feel jealousy, anger, what? Compensation levels for partners or first year associates at Sullivan & Cromwell, or even what the sole practitioner next door makes, is irrelevant to our lives. Reading such drivel is a waste of time.

By the way, you could spend the same amount of time gaining useful knowledge in a post in Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk. Or you could be out making money.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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