Economy Improving? Law Firm Pays Lawyer $10,000

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If the pay package offered at Gilbert & O’Bryan LLP is any indication of the economy, things are not headed in a good direction. The small Boston law firm posted a full-time position for which the employee can expect “to earn $10,000 in compensation in the first year.”

A minimum wage worker in Massachusetts makes about $16,000 a year.

The low compensation raises legal questions.

“In general an employee who is not exempt from wage and hour requirements has to be paid minimum wage for every hour they work,” said Josh Davis, a partner with Boston’s Goulston & Storrs. “If an exemption applies, that may not be true.”

The firm has received 32 applications from law school graduates. The pay may be low; but, according to firm partner Larry O’Bryan, the one hired will get valuable experience.

“What we emphasize is that we do provide the opportunity for new associates to have their own case load right from the start,” he said.

Boston College Law spokesman Nate Kenyon responded to questions raised by Boston Business Journal: “We 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.”

Bryan Nash

Staff writer Bryan Nash has devoted much of his life to searching for the truth behind the lies that the masses never question. He is currently pursuing a Master's of Divinity and is the author of The Messiah's Misfits, Things Unseen and The Backpack Guide to Surviving the University. He has also been a regular contributor to the magazine Biblical Insights.