Mailbag!

Mailbag!

Q: An employer offered me the job, and then asked what the lowest salary I could take is. How do I respond? A: I have a two-part answer for this. First, I think this is a really unsavory practice that employers will occasionally use. I think most of the time they don’t have nefarious intent, but rather just don’t take the time to understand what they’re saying. When an employer asks this question, it means they either don’t know the market value for your services, or they do know, but aren’t willing to pay it. Either is enough for me to raise at least a yellow flag, and give some more thought to whether this is a job I want to accept or not. Now, assuming you do want to work for this employer, you still need to respond to the question. My suggestion is to say something like, “Mr. Smith, I appreciate the job offer and am excited about the opportunity with your firm. I will give thoughtful consideration to any offer that you make, as I am confident it will be fair and reflective of the current market.” You might have noticed I did not provide a dollar figure. I simply don’t believe you should be the one to make the first salary offer; that is the employer’s role in this scenario, and they need to go first. If you feel pushed into a corner of feeling like you have little choice but to state a number, I refer back to my yellow flag comment and would ask if it has now become red. Assuming it hasn’t, you could use available salary data to share with the employer current market trends, again emphasizing that you would consider any fair offer. My hope would be they would not push you to this point, and instead embrace their role and make the first salary offer. Q: I’m a 1L and I keep hearing about December 1st. What is that date all about? A: December 1st is the first day that the National Association of Law Placement (NALP) permits law firms to consider applications from 1L students for summer clerkships, and permits you as a student at a NALP school to initiate contact with an employer. You can review these policies here, specifically Part V, D, 2. The idea is that 1L students need to be given space to focus exclusively on their studies in this critical portion of the first year, and absent these rules that simply wouldn’t happen. Therefore, you should be preparing your resume (work with Angela on this) right now so that you can submit it to firms on that December 1st date. Recruiters will be slammed with resumes that day, so don’t expect an immediate response, but I do think in some instances it can help you to be among the first students they heard from. Also keep in mind that most of these firms will want to see a copy of your first quarter grades before making any offers, and sometimes even before conducting any interviews. Our office is working right now to put together a list of employers who offer 1L opportunities (or at least have in the recent past), so be on the lookout for that. Got a question for the Mailbag? Send it in! Connect with Daniel at Daniel_Hare@Baylor.edu and/or @BaylorLawDaniel on Twitter. 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: Law Clerk at Ottobock North America(2L/3L, Austin) Log in to Symplicity to view this job and apply. ]]>

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