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Solicitor's Apprentice Wages

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  • 27-09-2009 3:11pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 8


    Hey,

    Everybody keeps talking about how difficult it is to get an apprenticeship right now. If you do manage to secure one what type of package could you expect from a medium to large sized firm?

    Confused FE1-er!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,769 ✭✭✭nuac


    The Law Society have or did have a scale for apprentices.

    However the hard reality is that many offices have staff on three day weeks etc so there are abvious difficulties re salaries on training contracts/


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,168 ✭✭✭dats_right


    The law society minimum was aprox €395 p/w gross (20,500p/a) post ppc1 and aprox €470p/w (24,500p/a) gross post ppc2. Most medium and large firms had in recent years paid well above these rates, however many trainees in these firms have been brought back down to earth having had their pay slashed to these minimum levels as a result of cost cutting measures. To further compound the situation for trainees the law society recently abolished these rather modest minimum pay levels and now merely require that all future trainees be paid €8.65 p/h (i.e. statutory minimum wage) at all stages of their training, which equates to a pathetic €337.35 gross p/w (17,542.20 gross p/a). One would expect the top 5 to pay well above that, but outside those firms I wouldn't be so sure...

    Have you considered McDonalds as a career? Better prospects and pay...


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,660 ✭✭✭maidhc


    dats_right wrote: »
    One would expect the top 5 to pay well above that, but outside those firms I wouldn't be so sure...

    A lot of prospective trainees are OFFERING on their covering letters to "accept any terms on offer".


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15 Mrs.QC


    Hardly to the big 5?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8 bjc_dublin


    thanks for that all.... It seems as if outside of the top 5 things are tough... to be honest, I've already got my FE1's was considering a career change but this has really stopped me in my tracks!


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  • Legal Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 4,338 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tom Young


    Yeah - The market dynamics are not ideal for entering the profession at the moment. My advice (for what its worth) is to evaluate your long term aims, if qualification and practice is what you want, then ignore the salary aspect and proceed. Otherwise, reboot, reevaluate and reload!

    I know it's hard to hear, but due to the overstaffing in the conveyancing side of law work in recent years, many firms have taken the regrettable step of making qualified solicitors redundant and also failed to review trends in other areas: e.g., debt collection and disputes. Other larger firms have changed their recruitment terms and intake policies.

    My own view is that if more firms were run like businesses there might have been a less myopic view of cuts taken. Then again, fiscal probity was required, even in the top 5.

    Tom


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,769 ✭✭✭nuac


    Tom Young - you speak of replacing conveyancing income by review of othere areas i.e. debt collection, disputes and suggest that by some management changes improvements can be made .

    It ain't that easy.

    E.g. re debt collection the part most barristers see most of i.e getting out the pleadings and getting judgement is the easy part. It can be a long hard road converting that judgement into cash. Creditors understandably reluctant to pay fees until they see some money at the end of the tunnel.

    As for disputes - have spent a lot of the weekend working on some High Court matters. It will be many moons before fees can be invoiced, and for various reasons on realistic reckoning the fees recovered will not cover the time put in and responsibility taken.

    It is possible to be very busy - but sadly the business involved often does not produce reasonable fees within a reasonable time.

    It's hard graft, and getting harder.........and in case I be accused of myopia that is my considered opinion after 30++ years practice as a self-employed solicitor.


  • Legal Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 4,338 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tom Young


    nuac wrote: »
    Tom Young - you speak of replacing conveyancing income by review of othere areas i.e. debt collection, disputes and suggest that by some management changes improvements can be made.

    I do, perhaps I had some firms in mind where there are awful backlogs etc. ;) PI, debt collection, judgments etc.
    nuac wrote: »
    It ain't that easy.

    I know.
    nuac wrote: »
    As for disputes - have spent a lot of the weekend working on some High Court matters. It will be many moons before fees can be invoiced, and for various reasons on realistic reckoning the fees recovered will not cover the time put in and responsibility taken.

    Am at the Bar myself and totally get this.
    nuac wrote: »
    It is possible to be very busy - but sadly the business involved often does not produce reasonable fees within a reasonable time.

    Per last remark.
    nuac wrote: »
    It's hard graft, and getting harder.........and in case I be accused of myopia that is my considered opinion after 30++ years practice as a self-employed solicitor.

    Yes, I can imagine it is for you. The smaller firms are pinched too. I guess my view is derived from picking up work of late which would normally be the work of trainees or conveyancers who have been let go. For which a premium rate has been paid.

    Structurally, I do take issue with partnerships making decisions and cuts within silos. That's the premise for my remark. Perhaps that is more evident in larger firms.

    Tom


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,769 ✭✭✭nuac


    Tom Young

    Thanks for your comments. Don't understand the reference to silos. Know of the various law factories up in Dublin. Do their HR departments now use silos to separate the wheat from the chaff, or to reduce the moisturre content of the intake?


  • Legal Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 4,338 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tom Young


    Possibly not, given that some pretty good solicitors to my mind were chopped! ;)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,769 ✭✭✭nuac


    Yes - know of some.

    Same applies in some other areas i.e. architecture. I know some young architects who chose lhe larger firms in the boom in 2006 thinking there would be better job security when the "soft landing" came. Not so, sadly.


  • Legal Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 4,338 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tom Young


    Yep - The key things for professionals like this (once qualified) is not to lose sight of the value they can bring whether working alone or as a collective, or indeed a contractor. Recessionary times and bad planning can have a serious effect on a persons mojo, stamina and confidence.

    I've been very conservative with offering opinions on entering the profession (either side) at the moment, basically due to the financial issues.

    Tom


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