{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Frustrated with work as we all are. Single mom insurance defense litigation for mid sized NYC based firm. Base salary is 136k nominal bonuses. Struggling to meet work demands (deadlines, billable hours) and then also struggling financially. Just curious if what I am making is going rate, am of counsel after taking 6 years off of practice 10+ years practicing. Thanks!", "post_id": "60d5d57b918177002a89a1ac", "reply_count": 8, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "5dba147dd2d8ac00223b11d9", "bowl_name": "Litigation & Arbitration" }

Frustrated with work as we all are. Single mom insurance defense litigation for mid sized NYC based firm. Base salary is 136k nominal bonuses. Struggling to meet work demands (deadlines, billable hours) and then also struggling financially. Just curious if what I am making is going rate, am of counsel after taking 6 years off of practice 10+ years practicing. Thanks!

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I cannot fathom being a primary or only care giver for a child while also handling insurance defense type volume and pressure to bill 2000-plus real/non fraudulent hours per year. The model just isn’t set up for women who either need to be, or choose to be, moms first. The field is dominated by those who can allocate the most possible hours to it or generate business. That’s really all it’s about, and both of these things are really hard to do unless you’ve got a supportive father/partner, etc. to divide and conquer household tasks/child care. I feel like for 136k a year in nyc with a kid and all those demands for your time is an uphill battle. I think that’s a bit lower than what a high end insurance defense firm pays. Most folks I know who are senior associates or junior partners on the east coast in Good Firms who do ID work are making bases of 145-160 plus bonuses, total comp probably 160-185.

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I appreciate your situation but I have to say this: Move to a lower COL place than New York and lead a lower stress life. You would be so much better off making $80k to $120k plus a pension and free health care in government working six hours a day in a place where you could spend more time with your kids. I don’t mean this to be disrespectful or condescending like you can’t handle it. Clearly you’re way more talented than the rest of us. But 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. court research / career law clerk / other government attorney jobs were made for people like you. I’m exhausted just reading your post!

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That seems low to me given that you’re in NYC, but I also have no idea what the insurance defense market is like. Do you want to stay in NYC? I feel like other markets would offer similar comp but a much lower cost of living.

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Oy. As the son of a single mom who struggled her whole life, this strikes close to home. As counsel you’re pretty bonded to three rules of thumb: (1) the same 33/33/33 calculation applied to associates; (2) the fact that firms pay people the lowest amount they can without losing them and because of that chronically underpay partners and counsel who lack books and therefore lack exit options; and (3) the commoditized nature of ID, which pushes margins way down and therefore depresses pay. You also have a very high cost of living. Are you bound to NY or would relocating be an option?

Yeah I pretty much figured that was the response I would get. I appreciate it nonetheless. As a single parent I need the support of my family and friends to do this. Plus my ex lives here as well and thankfully he’s very involved. I dream of leaving NY (live on Long Island so very expensive) but I would be miserable being away from my family and friends and plus legally I can’t leave the state bc of my ex husband. I hate living in regret but ooh a time machine taking me back to college to consider a different career path would be nice.

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That’s way low for ID in NYC. Whether it’s of counsel or junior/non-equity partner, salary should at least be over $150K. What are billable requirements? I’m saying this as someone who lived and worked in NYC for 20+ years and then moved to TX. Earned more than that while in NYC and even here earn more. If you’re not bound to NY, try to get out. So much better elsewhere.

You're making about what 5th years make at the big NYC insurance defense firms, and you're getting screwed.

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