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Law Firm's Ad for $10,000 a Year Attorney Job Nets 32 Applicants

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on June 05, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Boston law firm's ad for a full-time associate is raising eyebrows because of two numbers: the salary (just $10,000/year) and the number of people who've applied (32 in the first week alone).

Gilbert & O'Bryan LLP posted the ad on the Boston College Law School's career website. "Compensation is mainly based on a percentage of work billed and collected," the ad states, according to the Boston Business Journal. "We expect an associate to earn ten thousand dollars in compensation in the first year."

Though the firm says dozens have applied, some job seekers and labor lawyers are questioning whether such a low salary is legal for a full-time job.

With the federal minimum wage now at $7.25/hour, a full-time worker should get paid almost $14,000/year, the Boston Business Journal estimates. Under Massachusetts' $8/hour minimum wage, a worker should earn more than $15,000/year.

By contrast, Gilbert & O'Bryan's $10,000/year job, assuming a 40-hour work week and no vacations, breaks down to $4.81/hour, according to one disgruntled Boston College Law grad's calculations. "For a school that pays cafeteria workers a 'living wage,' I find it astonishing that BC Law permits a listing for such an unconscionably low salary," the alumnus wrote, according to the Business Journal.

A Boston College Law School spokesman told the Business Journal the school "wouldn't necessarily endorse a full-time job that pays $10,000 a year, but there may be graduates who feel that the experience combined with health and retirement benefits are worth it."

Still, a Boston labor lawyer opined that such a low salary for a full-time lawyer may violate wage and hour laws.

But in a tough legal job market, Gilbert & O'Bryan's $10,000/year job offer may be better than volunteer work, or nothing at all. If the job sounds like appealing, you have until June 29 to apply.

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