The recent article published by the New York Times titled; “Welcome to Your First Year as a Lawyer. Your Salary Is $160,000” is an interesting piece detailing the amount of money that attorneys who leave college to work for larger firms make in their first year.
While the article is well written and entertaining it also plays into the the public’s perception of attorneys salaries that at times can be damaging when it comes to how clients view their attorneys. There are still a lot of attorneys working other jobs straight out of law school only because they were greeted to a less than enticing job market upon graduation.
This article is in stark contrast to a far less click bait-y article written in the Huffington Post Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Lawyers which details a far less glamorous reality: 15% of Law School graduates are unemployed. And, the article goes on to point out, that number has been and should continue to increase as time goes on.
So while the NYT chooses to use sensational headlines to drive clicks on social media, lawyers and their clients should not get carried away with the rationale that all (or even most) attorneys are starting jobs that pay $168K straight out of college. That simply is a misleading and unfactual statement.