\par How To Counter \par

How To Counter

Last week I talked about the infamous entry-level salary graph, and some issues surrounding it. I hinted at impli\par ]]>\par
2013 NALP Salary Chart\par First, you really do have to take the $160,000 jobs out of the equation for determining the proper salary for most other types of positions. Certainly that would be the case in our example. When I run a back-of-the-napkin calculation on the mean salary without those outliers, it comes in around $63,000. That is very near the median salary (I come up with $60,000) with or without the $160ks. So it appears the offer is coming in just under both metrics.\par \par Second, you need to consider the location, size and practice type as you evaluate the offer. A Dallas firm would likely trend higher than similar firms in other locations, though keep in mind when comparing using the national numbers as guides they are including employers in even more expensive cities such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Generally speaking Texas as a whole enjoys an overall lower cost of living, and you would expect to see salaries reflect that spread. A practice catering to small businesses could fall along a wide range of sophistication, and therefore demand higher or lower priced attorneys; so this is something you’d need to feel out in the interviews.\par \par Let’s say you’ve objectively studied this and other data, and determined that you’d really like to get at least $63,000 for the position. What do you do? How do you counter? To start, keep in mind that if they’ve made you an offer, they like you. They want you. If you say no then they have to go to their second option, if they even have one. The fact they made the offer means you do have some leverage and ability to negotiate. \par \par Before making your counter offer, however, I believe it’s important to let the employer know how thankful you are they selected you, how excited you are to get on board, and how committed you are to make it work. You want the job and they should know you want the job. Once that foundation is laid, make your counter. You might be tempted to counter at $68,000, thinking that you’ll meet in the middle at your target number. This might work in some circumstances, but there are two problems I see: 1) You should be able to back up why any number you suggest makes sense, and in our hypothetical I haven’t done that, and 2) $10,000 is a large percentage of the original offer, and could offend or shock. A counter like that may work in certain circumstances, but in this market and an employer like I’ve described, I would go a different route.\par \par What about countering at $65,000? This still give you some room to get your number if the employer chooses to counter. It also is a smaller percentage of the original offer, which lessens the opportunity to offend or shock. Also, remember our graph? There were two peaks on the left-hand side: one at $50,000 and one at $65,000. Clearly this employer and position is more in the latter category, and you could use the graph to show where you got the number. You could even break out the actual means of near $80,000 to show you understand the market and that you’re not even asking near what the mean is, and that Dallas is an expensive market. \par \par Maybe they’ll accept your offer, in which case you’re $2,000 better than you needed. Maybe they’ll counter, in which case most employers would at least get to $60,000. If that’s all they are willing to do, perhaps you can talk about performance based raises to get you to the number you need. I do think it would be rare for an employer to stick with their original offer and not negotiate at all, though you should be prepared for that scenario.\par \par Each situation and negotiation is very different, so please don’t look to this as a broad brush which will work in every scenario. I just wanted to use a hypothetical to give you some of the things you ought to be thinking about. If you have specific questions, or even if you are in a negotiation and want our assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact Angela or me.\par \par Connect with Daniel at Daniel_Hare@Baylor.edu and/or @BaylorLawDaniel on Twitter.\par \par Job of the Week: Each week I highlight a job in Symplicity you might be interested in but may have missed. This week's job is: Internship in Clinical Ethics(MD Anderson, Houston, 1L and 2L) Log in to Symplicity to view this job and apply. \par ]]>\par

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