I see a lot of posts out there about huge salaries and whatnot, but I can’t help but think the things I do most days don’t really require a law degree and can competently be done by intelligent business minded folks, such as contract drafting/negotiation and strategy development, and as such I am overpaid. After ten years of doing this work, I struggle to define what special attributes I bring to the process since it all seems so simple. Just wondering if anyone shares the same feelings.

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Yes. A literate and hard working high schooler can do my job; certainly so a college grad with an accounting/finance degree. Corporate lawyers at their core are rent seekers and add very little value imo. It's even worse inside a law firm the level of dumbness.

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A1 - are you out of touch or something? Most humans cant do what senior associates in m&a are required to do…

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I think I add value and I think I’m paid fairly given my contributions and relative to the value I add compared to my business peers.

Some of the lower end contract review we do could be done by our business peers, but not the more sophisticated work.

What I agree with most in your post is that I don’t always feel like a lawyer. I often think that I’m less of a lawyer and more of a consultant in some ways. I’d guess lots of lawyers who, like me, never go to court and rarely look up statutes or cases probably feel the same way.

But no matter how you cut it, I simply view our contracts through a different lens and with different priorities than my business peers. And that added perspective is from where the value comes.

Also, functionaries may be able to do some of the basics that we do, but when things start going sideways, having a lawyer involved from the beginning is going to add a lot of value come time for resolution.

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Our salaries are inflated due to the guild-like nature of the bar. I also find that many business folk sort of turn their brains off and gloss over anything legal-related. "just send it to the lawyer." That said, I find legal issues and matters quite interesting and my business colleagues decidedly do not. They are therefore more than happy and oftentimes grateful that i am able to handle these matters for them. Does that justify my high salary? No, but again, it's the nature of the profession. If it's any consolation, lawyers very rarely share in the upside of businesses (e.g. they get less equity, are conflicted out of many investment vehicles, oftentimes can't serve in board positions, etc) so take your salary and be happy for it.

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Business folks could do what we do if they had the desire to, but they don’t.

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Agree, but . . . So? Take the money and run!

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This is why I like doing IP work in-house. More specialized and I don’t usually have to babysit the business folks making sure they don’t screw up like Product counseling often involves.

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Can you try to take on new responsibilities or seek out a new role? It sounds like maybe the work you’re doing now is not challenging/ has gotten repetitive for you. While there are some things that I do that are low value, I also get things coming across my desk that challenge me intellectually or require creative problem solving. I feel like that keeps the practice interesting for me.

This is true of transactional work, but not litigation.

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