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Friday, January 11, 2008

Making sense of the dollars

Pay is always a topic that garners a lot of interest. Federal trial judges make $165K; the local U.S. attorney makes $149K; state court trial judges in Minnesota make $129K; the governor of Minnesota makes $120K; and the Minnesota Attorney General makes $114K.

These figures, of course, compare abysmally to what lawyers make in the largest law firms. For example, the Legal Times recently reported that the DC-based firm of Williams & Connelly has raised the starting salary of its new associates to $180K. Not a bad payday for a newly minted 25-year-old lawyer right of law school. And on the Minnesota Greedy Associates board there is a lot of speculation about whether the failure of local big firms to keep pace with national big firms in the salary wars is hurting recruitment and leading to associate attrition.

On the other hand, there are plenty of lawyers working in Legal Aid Offices, Public Defenders’ Offices, line prosecutors and sole practitioners who wouldn’t mind cracking six figures.

I am not sure what any of this says about what we value as a society, but it does make for some interesting contemplation.

3 comments:

MN Lawyer said...

Thanks, Mark, for updating the public on this comparison of salaries. There was an interesting piece in the Pioneer Press about a particular public servant's salary today. Obviously, that public servant took a significant pay cut to go into government ... as do some others who come from high-paying private sector jobs, to the benefit of our society.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of salaries... can anyone tell me how much a veteran FBI agent working from the Minneapolis office makes?

You would think this information would be public record, but I have found it extremely difficult to find out for sure how much FBI agents-- and similar level federal agents such as DEA, Treasury, etc.-- earn. The information released usually disguises the actually salary by only offering a ridiculously wide range, say, from 40K for a trainee to 120K for the director in Washington, DC.

So can anyone tell me about what these folks earn?

Anonymous said...

Salaries depend upon the government service level of the job. The higher the level, the higher teh range.