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Old 14.02.2011, 12:30
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Can you believe this? [Pay rates for new graduates, and for foreigners]

Our family friend is a new lawyer in Basel. Graduated with a master of law from the university here. He said he's had his first job -for a few months now- and that his starting salary is 250 chf per hour or 10'000 a week & that at times he works overtime too. 40x12= 480k chf.
Do you know anything about lawyers' salaries in CH? if this is the good i swear i'll learn this german and speak it like never before and go to law school to make that kind of money!!

Secondly, why do Swiss employers low-ball foreigners? I received an offer for a job via a friend (swiss) who also applied for the same exact position. I have 3 yrs of experience with a BSc & he's got a 6 month internship with a Bsc. They told me no German is needed as it is a foreign company so this isn't something they should use to low-ball me ;( he was offered 25k chf more than I...Is this common here??
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Old 14.02.2011, 12:49
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Re: Can you believe this?

How does 10k per week equal 480k? Are there not 52 weeks per year?
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Old 14.02.2011, 12:50
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Our family friend is a new lawyer in Basel. Graduated with a master of law from the university here. He said he's had his first job -for a few months now- and that his starting salary is 250 chf per hour or 10'000 a week & that at times he works overtime too. 40x12= 480k chf.
Do you know anything about lawyers' salaries in CH? if this is the good i swear i'll learn this german and speak it like never before and go to law school to make that kind of money!!

Secondly, why do Swiss employers low-ball foreigners? I received an offer for a job via a friend (swiss) who also applied for the same exact position. I have 3 yrs of experience with a BSc & he's got a 6 month internship with a Bsc. They told me no German is needed as it is a foreign company so this isn't something they should use to low-ball me ;( he was offered 25k chf more than I...Is this common here??
Sounds harsh but...you need to sell yourself well and be confident standing your ground. This is about your sales technique nothing else.

Play the game like anywhere else, stand firm and ask for what you want if you don't get it no deal. You'll be surprised how many companies do play. I made a fair bit recently fighting over their "maximum" which I doubt existed in the first place, then again you need to be holding the right cards which is difficult at the beginning of a career.

Aparantly Germans command higher salaries working in CH against the Swiss, don't know how much truth is in that.

I always work this out what I think the position is worth plus 10%, if they don't play go elsewhere. That 10% probably pushes them to their real maximum.

Then again I'm lucky I have a broad CV in my field which allows me to play hardball.

German or no German they will pay for my experience, and if they can find someone with my CV at my age who's Swiss/local good luck. They will pay double for someone at an older age with the same background. Coming from the UK I have an advantage of experience over most Swiss/Europeans who leave university a lot later.

The game is continued each year by most at salary review time, I'll be back in the managers office in January with evidence to show I'm worth a decent increase. (Always keep a daily log you will need that at the end of the year) Also I will have the market rate in my hand and interviews/offers lined up in Yr 2.

Remember there isn't nothing like money in the bank regardless of what a company says, unfortunately unless you are very lucky companies do everything they can to keep costs down in training/wages/conference trips etc.

So the only tactic at the moment is to play hardball, although I would take training every day over money.
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Old 14.02.2011, 12:50
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How does 10k per week equal 480k? Are there not 52 weeks per year?
Holiday?
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Old 14.02.2011, 12:51
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Holiday?
No paid holidays? I will stick to doing whatever I do just now thank you
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Old 14.02.2011, 12:52
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No paid holidays? I will stick to doing whatever I do just now thank you
Dunno it's a guess. Then again why should you care on 480k a year?
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Old 14.02.2011, 12:55
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Dunno it's a guess. Then again why should you care on 480k a year?
In all honesty I refuse to believe they are paying a new graduate half a million francs per annum.
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Old 14.02.2011, 12:56
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Re: Can you believe this?

IMO - rubbish! I think he means he is billed out at 250chf per hour which sounds reasonable for a Masters Graduate in the most expensive country in the world (a junior associate at a magic circle law firm in london bills at 150 gbp per hr approx). However that same junior associate will probably earn 30k - 40k. The law firm gets most of it, and the lawyer may do a lot of work that isn't billed out.
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Old 14.02.2011, 12:57
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In all honesty I refuse to believe they are paying a new graduate half a million francs per annum.
It's not a graduate it's a "masters" in law, then again you don't know if he already has RL experience and did the masters later on.

I agree probably being liberal with the truth, but 250k's not impossible.
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Old 14.02.2011, 12:57
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Re: Can you believe this?

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Secondly, why do Swiss employers low-ball foreigners? I received an offer for a job via a friend (swiss) who also applied for the same exact position. I have 3 yrs of experience with a BSc & he's got a 6 month internship with a Bsc. They told me no German is needed as it is a foreign company so this isn't something they should use to low-ball me ;( he was offered 25k chf more than I...Is this common here??
In Switzerland the age does count in a few areas. So if your friend is older then you that could be a reason.
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Old 14.02.2011, 12:58
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IMO - rubbish! I think he means he is billed out at 250chf per hour which sounds reasonable for a Masters Graduate in the most expensive country in the world (a junior associate at a magic circle law firm in london bills at 150 gbp per hr approx). However that same junior associate will probably earn 30k - 40k. The law firm gets most of it, and the lawyer may do a lot of work that isn't billed out.
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Old 14.02.2011, 12:59
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Re: Can you believe this?

Next thread : Is 480k enough to live in Switzerland?

on topic :

Feck me.. i don't have that much of a degree, so basicly if i manage to find a job, ill get paid crap compared to the swiss one beside me doing the same? wt..
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Old 14.02.2011, 13:00
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Re: Can you believe this?

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IMO - rubbish! I think he means he is billed out at 250chf per hour which sounds reasonable for a Masters Graduate in the most expensive country in the world (a junior associate at a magic circle law firm in london bills at 150 gbp per hr approx). However that same junior associate will probably earn 30k - 40k. The law firm gets most of it, and the lawyer may do a lot of work that isn't billed out.
Similar things happen in accounting. My brother's charge rate was 10 times his hourly salary at a big 4
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Old 14.02.2011, 13:01
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Re: Can you believe this?

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Our family friend is a new lawyer in Basel. Graduated with a master of law from the university here. He said he's had his first job -for a few months now- and that his starting salary is 250 chf per hour or 10'000 a week & that at times he works overtime too. 40x12= 480k chf.
Do you know anything about lawyers' salaries in CH? if this is the good i swear i'll learn this german and speak it like never before and go to law school to make that kind of money!!
Are you positive that this friend of yours was not referring to his hourly rate, i.e what is being billed to his clients ? That is not his salary since a significant chunk of that money would be used to pay for the law firm overhead (office rent, paralegal salaries etc).
Junior lawyers are usually employed at a fixed salary, not any hourly rate. Having said that such salary for a high-flying junior lawyer with top-notch credentials in Frankfurt may exceed 100k EUR, 100k GBP in London.
A freelance lawyer may be paid per hour - however, it it is more common to hire them per day. I have seen daily rates of 250-800 GBP. But then you're not employed for 365 days/yr and need to cover all your social security, insurance etc yourself.
EDIT: economisto beat me to that.
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Old 14.02.2011, 13:02
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It's not a graduate it's a "masters" in law, then again you don't know if he already has RL experience and did the masters later on.

I agree probably being liberal with the truth, but 250k's not impossible.
The OP said it was a new lawyer
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Old 14.02.2011, 13:06
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Similar things happen in accounting. My brother's charge rate was 10 times his hourly salary at a big 4
Yeah but too right - if I need some accounting work I may choose to go to PWC to get it done - if your brother if servicing me then fine, but I surely walked through the door because of the firm's name, not your brother's.

This is why junior lawyers really don't get paid so well - there's so many of them and they're not specialists yet so they can't differentiate themselves.
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Old 14.02.2011, 13:08
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Re: Can you believe this?

what you want to do is be a partner in a law firm. then you can employ graduates for 50chfs an hour and have them earn 250chfs an hour for you and you get to pocket the 200chfs an hour profit.
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Old 14.02.2011, 13:12
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Yeah but too right - if I need some accounting work I may choose to go to PWC to get it done - if your brother if servicing me then fine, but I surely walked through the door because of the firm's name, not your brother's.

This is why junior lawyers really don't get paid so well - there's so many of them and they're not specialists yet so they can't differentiate themselves.
I agree but when they keep a person on for 4 years without even an inflationary pay increase it is ridiculous.

Then constantly citing the recession as reasons for not putting the junior accountants in for their chartered exams when they know fine well that the only reason they don't want them to be chartered is because they have to increase their pay.

They really don't treat their junior staff well
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Old 14.02.2011, 13:14
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Re: Can you believe this?

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what you want to do is be a partner in a law firm. then you can employ graduates for 50chfs an hour and have them earn 250chfs an hour for you and you get to pocket the 200chfs an hour profit.
Yeah, right, because there are no overhead costs.
A few lawfirms in the UK or the US actually went belly-up last year. And some partners had to inject cool hard cash (six-figures GBP) in other ailing firms.
Now, other firms' partners net more than a million quid annually... thus I am not going to start a charity fund.
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Old 14.02.2011, 13:16
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Re: Can you believe this?

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Similar things happen in accounting. My brother's charge rate was 10 times his hourly salary at a big 4
When I was working for a lawfirm, I had approximately the same charge-salary rate. So no, I don't believe he is earning 480K per year.

And if you didn't misunderstand anything and he really believes he will simply pocket all the houlry rate then boy, will he be surprised on his first payday..
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