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RupeesAZB & Partners, Trilegal, Wadia Ghandy and legal process outsourcing (LPO) company Pangea3 have hiked their basic starting salary packages to as high as Rs 11.4 lakh per year, which makes AZB as the top-paying legal recruiter in Legally India's new law firm salary table.

AZB's Mumbai office has increased its base remuneration from Rs 10.68 lakh to Rs 11.4 lakh per annum ($24,350) for 2009-10 graduates joining the firm, excluding any additional bonus element, giving AZB joiners the best possible basic starting salary package of any Indian law firm.

AZB's Delhi office, which has a different salary structure from Mumbai, is understood to have also increased base fresher salaries to a competitive Rs 9.8 lakh per year.

Meanwhile, Trilegal has hiked its salaries to make the firm the third-highest paying Indian firm, according to Legally India research and associate survey data.

Trilegal has decided in its compensation review in April 2010 to ratchet up its annual salary to Rs 10.2 lakh from its previous figure of around Rs 9 lakh.

Trilegal's partnership has also decided to increase the package offered to 2011 joiners to Rs 10.8 lakh per year.
2010 Indian legal recruiters' basic starting salary, excl. performance-related pay
Firm Base remuneration (Rs lakh)
AZB & Partners (Mumbai) 11.4
S&R Associates 10.8
Trilegal 10.2 (10.8 for 2011)
AZB & Partners (Delhi) 9.8
Amarchand Mangaldas 9.6
J Sagar Associates (JSA) 9.6
Luthra & Luthra 9 (under review)
ICICI Bank 8.35 - 8.8
Wadia Ghandy 8.4
Talwar Thakore 8.4
Khaitan & Co 7.2 - 8.5
Desai & Diwanji 6 - 8.4
Nishith Desai Associates (NDA) 7.2 (+4.8 retained until third year)
SAIL 6.6 - 6.8
Phoenix Legal 6 - 7.2
IFMR 6 - 6.5 [correction]
Juriscorp 4.8 - 6
Pangea3 4 - 6 (5 - 7 for 2010) (incl. bonus, TBC)
Lakshmikumaran Sridharan 4.8
Crawford Bayley
4.8
Kochhar & Co
4.2 - 4.8
Supreme Court judicial clerkships
1.8 - 2.4 (under review)

All basic Trilegal starting salary packages are eligible to a maximum Rs 2 lakh "performance retainer" bonus element.

Wadia Ghandy too is understood to have significantly increased its basic starting salary package for all joiners to Rs 8.4 lakh per year, up from a more flexible package of between Rs 6 to 8.4 lakh which varied depending on the joiner.

Wadia Ghandy's pay-hike, however, is understood to apply retroactively to all 2010 graduate joiners.

LPO Pangea3 has also decided to increase its salary package to Rs 5 to 7 lakh affecting all future 2010 recruitment, up from its currently offered figure of Rs 4 to 6 lakh. These figures apply only to direct recruitment of "top test performers" from the top 10 campuses and include a performance-related bonus element. [correction - the original article stated that Pangea3 figures were base packages. See comment #69 below for details. -Ed]

Luthra & Luthra too is in the process of revising its starting salary figures, which will be announced in June.

Salary Survey data
Legally India has conducted a survey of salaries across top legal recruiters combining results of last year's Legally India associate satisfaction survey and salary data obtained from a number of top law schools' recruitment committees and interviews with students and associates.

All figures (see table right) have been sent for verification to the law firms or organisations in question although several firms declined to comment or were unavailable for comment.

The top salary paid to freshers, excluding any bonus elements, is AZB Mumbai's newly hiked Rs 11.4 lakh figure, but this is closely followed by five-year old Delhi firm S&R Associates, which pays a basic package of Rs 10.8 lakh per annum to graduates.

Trilegal and AZB Delhi follow next with packages around Rs 10 lakh.

Amarchand and J Sagar Associates both offer a basic salary package of Rs 9.6 lakh per year, excluding bonuses, while Luthra & Luthra freshers will earn Rs 9 lakh per annum.

The in-house sector too pays very competitive salaries, according to our findings, with IFMR and ICICI paying Rs 8.8 lakh and Rs 8.6 lakh to freshers on average.

Law firms Wadia Ghandy, Khaitan & Co, Talwar Thakore, Desai & Diwanji and Nishith Desai Associates pay between Rs 7.2 lakh and Rs 8.5 lakh to fresh graduates.

Khaitan & Co's Mumbai office also operates a bonus scheme whereby fresher's base salaries, which are between Rs 7.2 and 8.5 lakh, can be augmented by performance-based bonuses of an additional 60 per cent at the top end.

Desai & Diwanji too operates an incentive system for freshers, where in addition to the variable quality-dependent base salary of between Rs 6 and 8.4 lakhs and a performance based bonus, associates can earn an additional 2 per cent of their billings and an additional 10 per cent of billings where they have generated the work themselves.

Nishith Desai Associates (NDA) too operates a different salary structure, where the first year salary is technically Rs 12 lakh, although only 7.2 are paid out on a monthly basis. The remainder will get paid out to associates only if they have stayed with the firm for three years.

However, in the second year of NDA associates' career no salary is separately retained with Rs 12 lakh being taken as the base amount for any second-year increases.

NDA is also one of the few firms where lawyers are employees of the partnership rather than being hired on retainer as independent advocates as is the case at most Indian law firms.

Crawford Bayley has a very flexible starting salary structure. While the basic pay is understood to be around Rs 4.8 lakh per year, this is understood to vary widely between departments and in some cases be up to Rs 10.6 lakh per year.

Graduates with jobs as Supreme Court judicial clerks would currently earn the least out of the surveyed legal recruiters with a base package of between Rs 1.8 and 2.4 lakh per year, although it is understood that these figures are currently under revision.

Correction: IFMR's basic starting salary figure was originally stated to be Rs 8.8 lakh. This figure includes all total cost to the company, including fixed, variable, relocation and non-cash benefits. The fixed annual salary for freshers is Rs 6 lakh to Rs 6.5 lakh. Many thanks to IFMR for pointing out the error. IFMR recruited two students from NUJS Kolkata, and one each from ILS Pune, Nalsar Hyderabad and NLS Bangalore this year.

The starting salary table is a work-in-progress that will be gradually updated with more firms and starting remuneration figures when Legally India can authoritatively confirm such data. No salary data was published without at least two independent and reliable sources confirming the same figure. Nevertheless some of the figures were only reasonable approximations of the data collected.

If you wish to help, please email us confidentially at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via our anonymous contact form to contribute any salary data or if you think there is an error in any of these published figures.


We will also use the above figures as a base to analyse and verify other findings from the associate satisfaction survey, further results of which we aim to publish shortly.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 05:54
Good survey....appears to be quite accurate. But what is the general year on year raise?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2010-06-12 05:59
Many thanks. I believe there are still some gaps in the data but we will work to fill them as soon as possible.

On year-on-year raise it would be hard for us to give accurate figures as this is the first such published survey that we can rely on.

However, we will keep updating the table and now that we have baseline figures in future years we can analyse trends in more detail.

Best regards,
Kian
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 06:03
Interesting-Kian is a survey of salaries accross different levels going to follow?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 06:06
where is Amarchand, dsnt it pay the highest package?
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 kianganz 2010-06-12 06:10
We intend to publish more detailed figures on senior salaries too but what the associate satisfaction and salary research has shown that even at a very junior level there is very little parity between salaries.

Therefore analysis is tough, as salaries can fluctuate widely even at the same seniority level.

However, we will do what we can if possible, without compromising the privacy of individuals.

@4 - The published salaries reflect remuneration that was offered throughout the 2009-10 recruitment season and for Amarchand the figures were consistent at 9.6 lakh (excluding bonus).

We understand that Amarchand may be in the process of revising its salaries although the firm was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

Best regards,
Kian
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 06:16
Kian: The bonus component (what you define as performance related pay) is an important factor. In the first year, almost all associates receive 95%-100% of their bonus entitlement across law firms. So while this can be justifiably excluded for associates with more than one year's experience, in my view it is misleading to exclude this component for freshers. I think most firms tell you upfront what your bonus component is - so it should be quite easy to include this as well in your survey. And the one serious omission from this is Bharucha and Partners. Bharucha is truly the Wachtell Lipton of India when it comes to quality of work, and associate remuneration packages. But you know that! so why not mention them?


So, you should include this component as well while
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 06:17
AZB leads the pack!!!
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2010-06-12 06:23
I completely agree that bonus figures are important.

However, in light of the difficulties with even confirming the basic package with law firms and in the interests of retaining some sort of parity between figures we had to start somewhere.

Once you put bonuses in it, analysis and accurately confirming figures becomes 10 times as difficult. However, as we get more data on this we hope to be able to provide a level of bonus transparency too.

For Bharucha & Partners we did not have enough data points to publish a reliable figure at this stage, but from what we do have the firm's salary figures do not appear to be in the top 10.

However, we aim to confirm more figures and update the table regularly.

Best regards,
Kian
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 06:31
Considering the amount of work Indian lawyers do the figures should be at least double. If foreign law firms come this will change, and that is the biggest fear among the law firm feudal lords.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 06:47
#6 please tell me you are only joking by comparing B&P with Wachtel. Even though your anology is restricted only to the Indian market, unless B&P pays 100% base salary as bonus it is far from accurate. And my comment is purely on the numbers.

#9 agree with you - just wonder if the feudal lords care about our comments at all.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 06:50
i am working in pangea3 and i dont know from where did u get this news about pangea3. [rest of comment redacted, claiming salary is lower. Please do not write in text message speak if you want to make a point and make sure it is somewhat well argued. -Ed]
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 06:53
This is awesome. What happened to the 14 lac per annum that I heard for Amarchand?
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 07:00
i would like to hear from 1 person from pangea3 who joined it as a fresher and getting 4-6 lakh per annum becoz i know it is not true.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 07:01
Kian, one of your own reports on the early swoop down on NLS by AMSS and Trilegal carried a 12.8 lakh figure. What happened to that?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 LegalPoet 2010-06-12 07:20
Great work LegallyIndia! This is for the first time that I am seeing law firm' salaries being talked about in open.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Engineer 2012-08-25 12:58
I don't understand what's wrong in talking about the law firm's salaries in open ? You take any MBA college/university or any Engineering college, you will find every information about their placements, average package, highest package, lowest package, placement % an everything right on their websites or on some credible source for sure!! Well then why can't the Law universities and Law firms do the same ?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2010-06-12 07:27
I believe that the earlier reported figures for Amarchand also included a certain bonus element and other benefits, which can take the 'package' as a whole to Rs 13 lakh (or perhaps more, according to some sources).

However, we did not include bonus figures for any organisation in the list but stuck with basic fixed salary portions only for now.

Best regards,
Kian
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 07:47
Kian,

Great work on this table. For years, Indian lawyers had to rely on the word-of-mouth campaigning process to gather any meaningful salary information. Now, there is a good starting point and I am fully confident that you will do a great job of updating it.

Now, as some of the commenters have posted already, it will be nice to have a separate post/table/entry with salary statistics on senior lawyers as well. Particularly, it would be interesting to see 4 levels - Salary at Year 3, Salary at Year 5, Salary at Year 8 and Partnership Salary (both equity and non-equity). Collecting information on the fourth category might be difficult, but doable with some persistent contacts and asking for non-identifiable general numbers.

This will help newly-minted lawyers have a fuller picture of a law firm. For instance, are law firms luring graduates with a higher starting salary, but then lag behind other firms in terms of how much compensation they are willing to pay to the senior associates? Are compensation structures more equitable and merit-oriented at some firms versus the others? These are some of the questions that a more detailed and thorough 4-level analysis (plus the initial starting salary level) will bring to the table.

Good luck with all your efforts and congratulations on putting together a wonderful website.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 08:45
kian wat about some corporates that visited NLSIU this time....Airtel, Marico...I heard they offered packages in exess of 10 lakh...also ITC's package is also reportedly slightly above 10 Lakh...also ICICI Bank has reportedly hiked its pay scales too and now for freshers its almost touching 10 lakh...
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 11:14
These are salaries given to freshers, unlike firms which pay a retainer fee. So while the cost to company in ICICI might be higher, the in hand pay is much lower compared to a firm.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 11:16
@10. First learn how to spell Wachtell Lipton, then make comments about the analogy. I am told Bharucha only takes on really elite and high profile arbitration matters (they reject four out of five mandates they get - like Wachtell), pay their associates obscenely high amounts (if you include the bonus components), and are clearly in a different league in terms of the work they do, atleast as far as their dispute resolution practice is concerned.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 11:18
First time such findings are made public, commendable job. Update more on the number of candidates picked and from which specific law school.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 11:27
Sadly, we are many years away from having that kind of transparency. Remuneration packages at higher levels (especially senior associate, principal associate/ managing associate and partner levels)are not uniform and can vary as much as 30%-40% for people from the same batch. But your point is correct: Some firms are luring away graduates by offering them high salaries in years one and two and three - and then when it comes to senior associate salaries and beyond (given that most firms treat secrecy as some kind of virtue), get away by paying much lower than what is "market". You would be aghast if I tell you what some Partners in big Indian law firms make - in that how low the figures actually are!! In my view, before we can have this kind of transparency in pay packages, Indian firms will have to be forced to dislose their revenues, profits per partner, and other such information. Kian: I know I am going into put you in a spot here, but do Indian law firms just categorically refuse to give you such information? :-)
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 14:24
Excellent stuff Kian - breathing some life into the Indian legal community.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 19:23
When five-year old Delhi firm S&R Associates, could pay a basic package of Rs 10.8 lakh per annum to graduates, one wonders as to what ails Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan a firm with 25 years standing that it pays a shameful 4.8 lakh per annum. We believe that even this amount was hiked only two years back consequent to the aborted merger move with Vaish & Associates, when it was found that Vaish & Associates were paying quite higher starting package. Even this 4.8 lakh p.a. is below what Vaish pays.
Associates in L&S are also perturbed that even the annual increment has not been released so far. There has not been a word about annual bonus either! An eerie silence prevails in L&S.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 20:17
@ 22: I think your idea of getting law firms to do some disclosure may just pass the threshold of constitutionality. While such a provision applying to a sole practitioner may be devoid of any backing, a community interest is involved in law firms of a certain size and above being required to do this. Long shot though.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 21:32
Kian, please do a report ranking the Indian firms in order of the size of the total bribes they gave to our politicians and bureaucrats to keep out foreign law firms.

e.g Firm X gave 2 lakhs cash + 3 gold necklaces, Firm Y paid 1 lakh + 2 gold necklaces etc
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 21:41
Kian, Only freshers from NLU/NLSIU are paid good packages at these law firms? Where a person with three year degree course (LL.B) with CS as additional qualification and two years work exp in a corporate law firm stands?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 22:06
Is 4.8-6 Lakh the revised salary figure? Because a few people I know who graduated in 2009-10 were offered 3.6 (excluding bonus) when they were hired.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-12 23:15
Kian, I think the outcome of the survey is not captured in the manner it was supposed to be. You should have set out the details firm-wise on the many questions that were part of your questionnaire. The data may not be reliable, but why don't you just collate the data as entered without taking responsibility for accuracy? You'll anyway have the server records to back any claims of incorrectness in your reporting.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-13 01:55
Dear #24, it seems that you are a new entrant (one or two years old) in L&S. Those in the firm for donkey’s year know how much improvement has taken place in the firm. You should know that it is only from 2002-03 onwards that L&S was hiring Law Graduates / Company Secretaries and Chartered Accountants into the Firm. Earlier, it was manned by persons from the Central Excise Department. Departmental persons were satisfied with whatever was given by L&S as compensation, since that compensation proved to be definitely twice than what they got as salary in the Department! But, unfortunately, over the years while L&S earned good revenue, the major portion was it was pocketed by the Founding Partners to the astonishment, bewilderment and agony of the attorneys who toiled and sweat! What was started as a residence cum office in Safdarjung Enclave 25 years ago is now operating in its own premises in all the six cities i.e. New Delhi, Mumbai, Banglore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, each property valuing into several crores! In Delhi alone L&S has 3 official premises in Safdarjung Enclave Area itself. Now, L&S has acquired a huge property in Jangpura for around Rs. 30 crores and construction is on. You should also realize that not even a single attorney who is with the firm right from the beginning and have rendered more than 23-24 years of service has been made a equity partner! If somebody becomes too greedy and self-aggraindisement is the order of the day, you cannot expect to get good compensation. Now lot of attrition is taking place on one pretext or the other – though the main reason is being inadequate compensation. During 2009-10 itself more than 14 attorneys left L&S and have landed in Law Firms offering twice the compensation. One hopes sooner or later L&S will come to know the real market trend and address the issue in a reasonable way.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-13 02:27
makes me rethink getting into litigation :-)
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-13 04:54
I agree with the rest on L&S. Even as an outsider, I have not been hearing great things about the firm, especially about individual dominance in some of the offices.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-13 04:56
@ 31: Very true. A successful litigator probably makes twice or thrice as much as an associate in a law firm does. The top ten senior counsels put together would likely make as much as the top five law firms in the country.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-13 05:45
In addition to Bharucha, the other firm that is missing from this list is Platinum Partners. Don't they pay really high packages too?

And Kian, I would certainly be interested in your response to Number 22's question to you!!
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Recommend! +2 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-13 10:23
AZB FRESHER WILL DRAW THE SAME SALARY AS THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA DRAW
AWESOME
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-13 11:29
"Some firms are luring away graduates by offering them high salaries in years one and two and three - and then when it comes to senior associate salaries and beyond (given that most firms treat secrecy as some kind of virtue), get away by paying much lower than what is "market""

Who is it? Trilegal?

whoever is 22... pls give some firm names
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-13 11:44
I think that S&R and Trilegal are paying amazing numbers considering that these firms are really new ones too. The professionalism of these firms is also great... hopefully the professionalism and quality of these firms will be the norm in others too!
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-13 19:27
Why does everyone seem so conscious about how much money they get in hand? I mean has this generation become only focussed on money as opposed to developing a career? Its sad, quite frankly..
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Recommend! +2 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-13 21:11
@ 38: Super crap! Are you a partner in one of the low paying firms, squandering everything and throwing pittances at your associates? Or are you a senior counsel making 6 digit fees for a hearing who generously pays 4 figure salaries to your 'juniors'? People like you are the real scourge of the system!
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-13 23:12
#5:
"AZB FRESHER WILL DRAW THE SAME SALARY AS THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA DRAW
AWESOME"


moron. the president of india gets more perks than the US prez. She is also a [...] and a crackpot ([alleged] bank scam worth crores, shielding brother from murder charges ,supporting forcible sterilisation of disabled , seeing ghosts etc, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratibha_Patil
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-14 03:24
any idea about the salaries in AZB Bangalore? Are they significantly lower than the ones in Mumbai and Delhi?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-14 04:45
Brilliant effort!! I hope you continue developing this table, and can even get details of bonus, perks etc. Applicants should know what they can expect when applying to a law firm.

Now if only you could post the same for litigating lawyers, in the hope that it shames them into paying even quarter decent retainers.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-14 09:03
Kian, please find information about the following firms:
1. DSK Legal
2. Dua
3. Platinum Partners
4. ELP
5. ALMT Legal
6. Majmudar
7. ARA
8. Hemant Sahai

by the way- Awesome work LI- Way to go!
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-14 09:32
Er no, just an Associate and making a salary which is certainly not fancy (and I AM ALSO VERY MUCH PART OF THIS GENERATION MIND YOU).. Its just a bit odd that everyone is soo money centric and if you are so insecure about your pay and unable to find a worthwhile suggestion to make maybe you really shouldnt be commenting...

I am guessing you one of those sorts who sits and does statistical surveys on what paychecks others so get seriously GET A LIFE!!!!!
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-14 10:18
Kian, are the salaries mentioned here the same for ALL offices of amarchand? what i heard was that salaries in bbay are considerably higher than other offices. any info on this?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-14 18:45
@ 44: There are already two 'suggestions' here to get better paying jobs. One is to open up the market and the other is to get some of the bigger firms to lower the opaqueness of their financials and I, much like many others, hope either is worthwhile.

On the stats of others' paychecks, unless you did that, all you'll do is to hold on to your present not-so-fancy paying job. I am not as saintly as you are to get a life by not being bothered how much I make.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-14 21:57
great work kian! hope we can get more info from you on other firms,as well as salaries at higher levels - 2nd, 3rd, 4th yrs and partner remunaration info. i know its asking for a lot, but do let us know whatever u can find out!
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-14 22:44
What about P&A Law Offices? They are supposed to be paying almost the double of what the top law firms offer to their freshers! Their numbers r critical for this survey!
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-14 23:33
@45 : No what you heard is not right. Starting salaries for B'bay, Delhi, Cal and Bangalore offices are the same at Amarchand. Salary in Hyderabad is lower by about 10%.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-15 00:12
Kochhar & Co. at the second last position in the table! – Is this the reason that they can afford to operate 3 offices outside India?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-15 01:27
Kian, Only freshers from NLU/NLSIU are paid good packages at these law firms? Where a person with three year degree course (LL.B) with CS as additional qualification and two years work exp in a corporate law firm stands?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-15 01:27
The opaqueness of the pay that is given to Associates in firms is one that exists everywhere you go, even in the best of British and American firms. While you do certainly have a point that big Indian firms should be open about their stating pays and increments, it is eventually a never-ending circle which many young lawyers find themselves in and with no worthwhile conclusion. Money is important, yes, but it cannot be the sole deciding factor. And while Li has done a great job in collating the above data, something that would have added even more value would be a survey or rating of firms that give Associates the best exposure.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-15 02:49
Legally India's efforts in researching, collating and presenting information on associate pay across law firms is appreciated. However, there is a necessity to say that all law firms cannot be considered on same level. Associate pay may vary depending upon the law firm size, profile of clients, city etc. It is seen from the comments that many associates have a feeling that they have been deprived of better payments and have questioned "opaqueness" on part of these law firms. It is crucial that associates inform themselves before joining a firm. Whereas work volume and quality may be more or less across firms, the firm's ability to pay their associates may not e the same. For example, if a firm caters primarily to Indian domestic clients and the Government Sector it may not be able to generate revenues to pay its fresher associates at say 10LPA. This in no way means that the firm does not appreciate the associates' contributions. However, a client catering to predominantly foreign firms may be able to pay well despite limited volumes of work. It is for the associates to choose while they join and not to crib endlessly about their "poor" pay or say that foreign firms, when they come in, will pay better. Law firms have to endlessly struggle to keep up to the competition and to source work - every bit of it requires continued sincerity and endeavour of the management. Hope the associates appreciate such position while expressing their views on existing pay structures.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-15 03:52
@ 53: Partner at?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-15 05:39
Kian, please find information about the following firms:
1. DSK Legal
2. Dua
3. Platinum Partners
4. ELP
5. ALMT Legal
6. Majmudar
7. ARA
8. Hemant Sahai

by the way- Awesome work LI- Way to go!
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-15 22:38
B&P is no WL. Please.
All big firms refuse mandates. And Barucha isn't exactly large in terms of headcount, and the partners are very well-regarded. SO they will have more work than they can take on. Salary, including bonus, can only be compared to WL if they pay 15 lakhs in base pay (and 20 lakhs after bonus). WL paid 300k after bonus when other firms were paying 160k base and 200k after bonus in the peak days of 2007.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-15 22:42
Kian, I follow LI regularly and find it a good source of info and gossip. And I am a fan.

If a Pangea insider is disputing the salary (which I also find hard to believe, having seen Pangea's PPTs in my 4th yr of college) then at least present what info he "claims" to be the reality. SMS speak may be deleted, but no one needs to make a reasoned point when commenting on this website. And when an insider is giving us a scoop, at least let us know what the dude was trying to say. Pangea is not paying 6 lakhs Kian; 4 lakhs is more like it. I know as I attended their PPT (not to get a job there, but to see what the deal is).
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2010-06-15 23:06
Many thanks for all your comment and feedback.

The immediate priority will be to confirm starting salaries across a majority of law firms and corporates.

Thanks to the ones who have emailed us already with tips. If your firm is not included in the above list or you know the figures of firms, please do email us anonymously.

We did have figures for many more firms and corporates but were unable to publish these as for some we only had one law school source.

In order to respect privacy and get an accurate number we will aim for at least two different sources from different colleges.

@57 - Re: Pangea3 insider

We do generally post up comments questioning the facts of the stories. However, in this case the comment had terrible grammar, was written in text message speak, made unbacked claims about how they were treated at Pangea3 and gave a very very very low salary figure.

We are all for debate but in this case the post had all the hallmarks of a disgruntled (ex?)employer or a rival.

Honestly, you did not miss very much with our redaction.

Best regards,
Kian
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-15 23:30
This entire this is NLS centric..Kian some information for freshers from othre schools such as ILS/GLC would help...specially for people intending to practise in Mumbai
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-16 00:37
Agree with #59. This article is generalising what probably applies only to NLS & NALSAR students. At most firms, NUJS, NLIU and the rest will be paid a shade lower and my guess is the non-NLUites' are paid a significantly lower figure by 20-25%.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-16 00:52
#60 funny....ha ha....NUJS, NLIU and other law schools a shade lower!!! good one...
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-16 00:55
Thanks for the prompt feedback Kian. I see where you are coming from, and I agree with your take.

Just one point, which may not be relevant in the present context ... many people rely on LI for data. And Pangea salary is def. not 6 lakhs. Just wondering if they offer variable packages, or keep 2 lakhs as a discretionary component.

Cheers.
#57
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-16 01:58
@60 : Its best not to make such "guesses" because you are way off the mark. I work in one of India's top firms and let me assure you at least in my firm all freshers are paid the same salary when they join, irrespective of whether they are from NLS or NUJS or NALSAR or NLUJ. Why make such statements when you have no authority to back it? When you make it to a top firm, it is on the basis of your merit, not on the basis of the college you went to. So firms DO NOT pay different salaries to students from diff. law schools.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-16 02:25
.. and some firms DO.

I worked for the recruitment committee in my non-national but well regarded university. NLS NUJS NALSAR (and maybe NLU J not sure) were given a slightly higher salary than us! In our time (not so long ago) it did make a lot of difference where you graduated from.

I joined a firm which did not differentiate much, but it did most of its hiring from a handful of NLUs.. Kian, will mail you the details shortly, will find out about other offices as well.. request others to do the same
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-16 02:31
@63 : U ust be kidding when u make such statements as "When you make it to a top firm, it is on the basis of your merit, not on the basis of the college you went to".
Generally most students who study at these "other law schools" have already tried and failed to get through the Nationals (I am from one amongst them) and the ones who got through, do deserve to be there(though there are exceptions- Quota, Reserved seats etc.)and them getting higher paying jobs through campus placements(not the other ways)is a very genuine thing and they deserve appreciation for there hardwork.

However equally exists a bias in the mind of recruiters that all the Law is taught only in the National Law Schools which is well known and denying that is like keeping your eyes close to the world thinking that they cant see you.One who is at such advantageous position should show his sense of responsibility by refraining himself from making such statements.

Regarding Salaries, though I agree that most firms pay all freshers the same salary, but this cant be generalised it goes on case to case basis depending on student as well as firm..
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2010-06-16 02:38
I will respond to the Pangea3 points in due course - you are right and it does appear more complex than first stated. There is more variance in starting salaries and some may earn less than Rs 4 lakh. The figures quoted were for the top 10 law schools and include some performance element. Will clarify soon, I think it was a mix-up on our side.

In response to #64 and 65, yes, we are aware that some firms do pay variable salaries depending on where recruits join from.

Currently our research unfortunately focused mostly on national law school recruitment, so yes, the data sets are limited.

Please do send us any information you have and we will definitely try to incorporate it, however!

Best,
Kian
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-16 05:56
@ 63: You fail to realise two very fundamental things about mankind in general. If you are not from the best, you would still want to be where the best land up and that is the fodder for non-NLUites taking jobs at salaries that may be (however) lower than their peers' from THE law schools. And secondly, when a recruiter knows you can't go to a magic circle if you decline their offer, they'll make one that augurs better for them. They will sweeten their offers to the max to lure those who can still consider magic circle and those are THE dudes from the law school. This is market economics and if you tell me that doesn't work, there is something seriously wrong in the theory of demand and supply economics.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-16 15:59
60 - Oh, please do tell us how you categorize NLS and NALSAR in one bracket and NUJS and NLUJ in another. This should be entertaining.

NUJS has had some of the best recruitments EVERY year (barring the recession hit years, where it still managed to fare amongst the top few law schools for recruitments, it's been a 100% track record with the top-most recruiters in terms of industry repute and/or salaries offered) and on occasion perhaps even better than NALSAR! In any case, that discussion is moot because the packages offered to students at NLS, NUJS and NALSAR are identical.

If you yourself are so ignorant about the facts, then why preach? Whatever did you base your assumption on anyway? That NALSAR came 1st in the MPL and NUJS 3rd? IF that, then two things. First, as many have pointed out throughout the year, the MPL needs a revamp in its scoring parameters. Its undeniable that NUJS had amongst the biggest wins in the country this year. Despite having participated in such fewer moots and having dealt with internal administrative obstacles, the teams performed phenomenally well. Second, this was just the 1st season.

If not that, then I just don't know on what basis you've relegated NUJS to a tier 2 university!
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 kianganz 2010-06-16 16:08
Apologies for the late reply.

I now realise that we may have oversimplified the Pangea3 salaries somewhat, which is entirely our fault.

Our survey figures pointed to a figure for Pangea3 from top national law schools of around Rs 4.5 lakh

Below the statement from Pangea3, which we did not parse correctly and therefore erroneously included a bonus element rather than just the base package.

"Our salaries for Freshers in 2009-10 from top 10 on campus recruiting programs was 4 to 6 lacs with the range relating to variable based incentive compensation separate from other benefits that some companies include as "CTC". This means that our top performers earned just under 6 lacs in base salary and bonus. In 2010-11 this will increase to 5 to 7 lacs.

All of our campus and off-campus fresher and non-fresher recruiting and offers are based on skills assessment tests both spoken and written. We reserve our on campus offers to top test performers and interview stand-outs.

We hire Freshers who test below that level at a lower compensation but at the Associate level typically in the 3 to 5 lac range including merit based incentive compensation. For those who require more training and testing to determine if they will qualify for these Associate positions, we hire them as Interns/Apprentices at a lower salary level."

I regret the error - we should have made this clearer in the original write-up and will clarify the absolute figures and correct appropriately as soon as possible.

Best regards,
Kian
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-16 23:12
@65 and 67 : Point taken. Let me simplify. There is no denying that students from NLS/NUJS/NALSAR have gotten thru a tough competitive exam and hence are obviously valued by recruiters much more than say someone from ILS/DU/Symbiosis. Which is why the big recruiters hire in LARGE NUMBERS from the top law schools and in very small numbers (usually the better students) from the tier 2 law colleges.
However, once you have entered a top firm, you will be treated on par - your STARTING SALARY will be the same whether you are from a NLS or a non-NLS. HOWEVER, salaries may vary over the years and usually the national law school kids tend to end up on the higher end of the salary brackets since their performance is better than the non - NLSs people.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-17 00:07
Law firms should not recruit non-NLS/NLU students. The difference is stark and the NLS/NLU guys are better of in law firms than the others. Firms have to train the non-NLS/NLU candidates and have to spend considerable time in the process.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-17 03:25
clearly a post to antangonize the non-NLS students. Dismal.
As per my observations at my various internships where i've worked alongside several of these i'm-a-NLU-genius fellows, their skills are not always above ours. Infact, several of them are quite...dumb. I agree, the cream of NLU's are better than non-NLUs'...however..on an average, we're fairly equal, and at times better. College's like symbiosis and ILS are much older than NALSAR and NUJS, and have more of legacy, so to speak, in the legal fraternity.
It is sad to have such a bias towards NLS grads, but I guess the elimination has to be somewhere and somehow.
Next they'll want disclosure of college when deciding whether a lawyers arguments are good or bad.
Dismal. Truly.
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-17 04:18
@71 that is rubbish...I am an NLS graduate and I work in a big firm...we have several people here who are from non-NLUs and they are smart...and please also realise, most partners in law firms are from non-NLS backgrounds, from whom we learn the ropes...your comments stinks and you totally don't have any idea of what you are saying
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-17 06:59
@ # 24 and 30: You dont have to spend one or two years to realize what L&S is about. They claim to be number 1 :-). The people running the organisation (atleast the Delhi branch) suffer from Megalomania.

As far as your point about equity partners are concerned, you'll be happy to know that fresh talent (albeit from the the next generation of the same lineage) will rightfully claim equity partnership sooner than later. In such a case, why bother about those
folks who have been slogging their asses for the last 25 years.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-17 12:37
Kian, thanks for the clarification regarding Pangea3. Better a late realisation. The media seem to blindly tom-tom the tall claims made by P3. You can be forgiven for they have a well-oiled publicity/PR machine and are adept at planting stories.

I work in an LPO and we have people from P3 scurrying to us the moment they come to know we are hiring - and our starting rates for newly-minted law school grads are nowhere near what you have ascribed to P3 (but definitely more than what they pay).

Last week I saw one of these wild 'planted' stories in LI which said P3 is going to invest 48 crores for their Delhi office. Well, that's something to chew on....!! Maybe they can start using some of that dosh by actually paying the guys they hire (half of whom are temps - "apprentices" acco. to your note above).
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-18 03:39
With the No. 1 law firm of the country standing at 4th place....doesn't really look nice. AMSS GO FOR THE KILL....
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-19 00:02
IL, this is a very interesting article. Can you publish the details (in terms of statistics and obviously not actual names) of persons sampled and also which the top 10 law schools that you sampled are?

Separately, like many other have commented, it would be great to know the salaries at higher levels in these as well as other law firms.
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Recommend! +1 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-22 11:01
LI: Please seriously consider doing something similar for juniors practicing with Senior Counsel in the Supreme Court. If it makes things simpler, just focus on how much juniors from the national schools get paid.
Something has to shame these senior counsel into paying their bright juniors more. It is really sickening - so much so, that graduates from the national universities have little choice but to accept corporate law firm jobs even if they actually want to litigate. There was a great blog on this as well - Due diligence and Dreaming Beyond it. Legally India could do the entire legal profession a world of good if it takes this up - interview these damn senior counsel and put them in a spot by asking them about junior's salaries.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-06-23 00:12
Legally India": For the sake of rightness, why do you refer whatever the law firms pay to lawyers as "salary"? It ought to be "retainer"; money paid for retaining the services of a professional.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-07-03 13:04
AMSS's retainer's 10.4L not 9.6L (base excl bonus)
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-07-09 04:57
I guess the new revised retainer base is 10.8 (excld bonus)
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-07-23 10:56
Pangea is paying 25000 in hand for frshers I have friends who joined this year. But it is an extremely good LPO and definitely one of the few LPOs worth working after one passes out from a NLU. Nevertheless we all prefer high paying jobs at top law firms or companoes bcoz at the end of the month after putting in hughe amount of hard work we want to see moeny not only for ourselves but for our parents as well. I mean why shoudnt we look for high paying jobs if those are available to us in India. Long live AMSS, AZB, JSA, P & A, Marico, Airtel etc.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-09-02 07:32
Can anyone please tell me approximately how much does Bharucha pay?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2010-11-11 08:09
Kian can plz let me know how much does bharucha, platinum & Majumdar pay??

i heard platinum pay much higher, is it true???

I m planning to apply for internship at above mentioned places

can u plz plz plz let me know at the ealiest

thanks Kian !!
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2011-01-01 03:02
Pls Can you give details about non-nlu law schools..like GLC,ILS,SYMBI esp GLC...I have heard they now posses a better placement committee and proximity to mumbai which is the hub of all legal activities in india. And also could you also consider giving details about PSU recruitments, procedures and packages.
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Anonymous guest 2011-03-22 03:21
how much link legal pays to new recruit?
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Recommend! +0 Objection! -0 Shivdas 2012-01-22 10:02
I would like to know the average starting salary and mid level salary for lawyers in India.

Thanks,
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