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Is This the World’s Worst Attorney Job?
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Summary: A recent ad in the New York Times called for an immigration attorney who was willing to work for $25/hour during a probationary period of six months. 

It’s no secret that law school is expensive, but the reason that hopefuls pony up anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 is because they hope to get a job afterward that makes the investment worth it. A BigLaw first-year salary of $160,000-$180,000 is the brass ring that most grads are chasing, but for everyone else, the job salary range is wide.

  
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Recently, JD Journal was tipped to a New York Times classified that was up on Thursday but has since been removed. The ad from New York-based immigration law firm, Jeffries & Corigliano, LLP, asked for a “full-time hourly attorney to assist in the preparation of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa petitions.” While that section sounded normal enough, it was the listed pay that shocked us–“$25/hr with a possibility of becoming a salaried employee after the initial probationary period of six months.”

Now, $25/hour is good for some industries, but for a licensed attorney, it’s considered very very low even for an entry-level attorney – which is what the listing seems to be after. For reference of how low this rate is, a staff attorney at the nonprofit, Legal Aid makes on average $68,770, according to Glassdoor. A paralegal on average makes a salary of $45,973, according to Glassdoor. In big markets such as New York, the pay tends to be higher than these averages due to the high cost of living there.

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The listing stated that the job was paid by the hour, so any attorney in this position working 40 hours a week would make $1000/weekly or $52,000/a year. Add student loans and New York rent, and you can only imagine the stressful ramen-eating life that the attorney who took this job might live.

But this is all based on the assumption that the attorney is only working 40 hour weeks. If this job wants to overwork their attorney the way BigLaw firms do, then the job taker could stand to make almost $91,000 yearly, based on calculations of 60 hours a week, 20 hours of which are overtime.



However, it is unclear how many hours the attorney who gets this job will work, and it’s unclear if they will be bestowed any benefits during their probationary period. JD Journal reached out to Jeffries & Corigliano, LLP for answers, but they have not yet responded.

For those bright-eyed do-gooders, you may be wondering if the firm pays low because it is a nonprofit. Based on their website, the answer is no. The boutique focuses on the immigration needs of individuals such as physicians and highly-skilled professionals.

“Jeffries & Corigliano, LLP (formerly Stephen Jeffries & Associates) has developed an international reputation for successfully assisting its clients navigate through some of the most challenging areas of immigration law. With broad experience in O-1s, EB-1s, National Interest Waivers, H-1B visas, E1/2 visas, J-1 waivers and immigration petitions, our USA business immigration lawyers serve the needs of physicians, scientists, and business professionals,” their website states.

What do you think about this job listing? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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