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Laterals or Law Grads? Being Cheaper and More Enthusiastic Has Its Benefits

Posted Jul 28, 2011 11:13 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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In Nevada, as in other states, law graduates are competing for jobs with more experienced lawyers.

Many firms are seeking lawyers who can hit the ground running, but that doesn’t mean new grads will necessarily be overlooked, according to Ryan Works, a Las Vegas lawyer who helped prepare a State Bar of Nevada survey on the job market for younger attorneys. He spoke to the Las Vegas Sun about the survey results (salaries are down) and offered some words of encouragement to new lawyers.

“There is something to be said about hiring someone fresh out of law school who is going to probably come in at a lower salary level than a lateral transfer,” he said. “To be frank, there’s a lot of things that a first- or second-year lawyer will do that a lateral attorney won’t do or doesn’t want to do, like legal research and original drafting.”

The bar survey found that salaries are down for younger members of the State Bar of Nevada who have practiced less than five years. The most common base salary ranged from $80,001 to $85,000, compared with $90,001 to $95,000 in 2007, according to the Sun.

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog noted the story.

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