I am a final year Law Student. I got selected from my College by a Law firm for the position of an Associate (both corporate and litigation work), in the Campus Placement.

They conducted two interviews and a written test. (All general, no legal questions)

They asked in the interviews, if I was willing for doing an Internship with them. I had no option but to say 'Yes' to show my interest to join them, though I would have loved to holiday during that period. They selected me.

Now even the Internship is over, but they have always avoided the Salary question, by saying, you will be a liability for us, as you will learn only when you start working. They say you should not worry about salary.

They did not even give a certificate for internship, nor did they pay any stipend. This is an indicator that they might be giving a low salary. They earn around Rs. 3 crore a year.

They also said that you will be given some commission depending upon the work you do. I am feeling sad for getting placed with them. Now I can not even sit in any other Campus Placement Interview because of our College rules. Its like I have a job but no clue of salary. What should I do?

I feel I should have asked salary before going for internship. I read a very nice article answering various important salary regarding issues. (see)

[I intend to be a judge and till then wanted to do job side by side rather than being unemployed. I have not told them about this.]

Your views will be appreciated. Thanks.... :)

Mark's picture

Are you asking about an internship or a full time position (because you have already finished the internship)?

If you are asking about an internship, I can't say, but it's likely it pays little to nothing.  This isn't unusual.  But I'm guessing you are in India, and I do NOT know the details of legal recruiting and hiring in India.

If you are talking about a full time job as a lawyer after you graduate, it's completely reasonable (and normal) for you to know what salary you are getting.  It's normal for you to know IN ADVANCE.

It sounds to me like they're treating you poorly (telling you not to worry and also saying you'll be a liability - nobody hires an actual liability).  But the solution isn't to blame them, the solution is to ask them.  (I am assuming you believe you have ACCEPTED their offer

Like this:

Would you please detail for me the compensation package you have offered me?  I have decisions to make regarding budgeting, housing, and family obligations. 

I don't completely understand your situation, but right now it smells.  Please tell me more.


studentassociate's picture

Sir, I am asking about a full time position of an advocate/ legal consultant in that Law Firm. I have to join them (in that capacity) when I pass out after 4 months in June 2011.

Probably they wanted to see how much can I contribute to their organization, that's why they pressed on the internship. Meanwhile, they kept on avoiding salary questions by one pretext or the other. After getting selected, I (and 2 other selected candidates) started internship. For Internship our College gives a break of 6 weeks every semester. Now that period is over and classes of last semester have started.

I agree it isn't unusual to not get paid in an internship. But two things are very unusual (in India) in my case:

1. Internship before Job. (Generally people avoid it, if they have been finally selected, by making some excuse.)

2. Non disclosure of package. (EVEN NOW! -> As in, are they not afraid, that we/ I will try for LLM or other jobs out of insecurity, uncertainty, etc.)

Today also, I told my college Placement Officer to ask them about salary.

One more thing, there is no Bond, so we can quit job (or they can fire us) at any time during job....

The Law Firm has not yet given us Appointment Letter Officially, but during internship we were treated like Associates and not like regular interns. I have accepted the offer, of course. But I dont know if I should open my mouth and say, "Sir, I expect (at least this much salary), else I would not be in a position to join you." - which will expose me to the risk of telling low salary, & to lower down my own-self value.

I really liked the lines written by you. I wish to know your opinion as to whether:-

1. I should directly ask them salary again, and/or give an indication that I might not otherwise join them? (In person/email/phone/through college authorities)

2. As I have been patient till now, should I be patient for some more time, and wait for them to reveal package; and till then show that I am of-course going to join them ( And also trying my level best to try for other better opportunities)

3. Is it not my test as a future lawyer to Negotiate on Fees, etc. with clients. I am though not quite good at the same.

Thank you :))

Mark's picture

They expect you to start, and you believe you have accepted their offer (and that affects your ability to do anything else through your school).  So, it's reasonable for you to expect a salary amount.

So, yes.  Ask.

It is possible they see this as a test.  I find that stupid and ineffective, but it does happen.  I am not the person to advise you on that, because we generally recommend against that. If you feel that IS the situation, find out what you THINK is a reasonable offer (talk to your school - they KNOW) and state that.  Think about why you personally might deserve more...and practice what you're going to say just like you were going in front of a judge.

And let us know what happens.  I will have good thoughts that they treat you fairly.


bug_girl's picture

if this was the US, and it was recruiting arranged through a University, they would want to know about it.   There are strict conduct standards for on campus recruiting, and this does not sound like they are following them.

studentassociate's picture

Hi, Thank you so much for your views... !! Now i am in a better position to take a decision! 

Thanku mark ;)


studentassociate's picture

The recruiters decided the amount of salary to be 20,000/mth (which they thought  we deserved!!) ...and decided to take only 2 students out of 3 (sweet surprize!) based on their requirement and overall performance. whateva....

They were 'too smart' recruiters, but students weren't smart any less, lol...!! As now, no one is gonna join them, coz of better options available esp. higher studies in very good colleges...  :)