August 17, 2009
Negotiating beyond salary once you get an ASP job offer
I wanted to follow up on Rebecca's excellent posting this summer about job hunting in ASP. A number of positions have been posted over the summer. Some of those positions may still be "in the works." There may be a domino effect during the next few weeks as people are selected for those positions and give notice at their current law schools. The domino effect may also bring about postings for positions to start in January.
Rebecca talked about the reality that many schools do not have a great deal of latitude when it comes to salary. I have certainly found that statement to be true. A few thousand dollars may be the maximum room for negotiation. Some schools with budgetary constraints may have zero room to negotiate on salary.
However, you want to consider other items that are not salary exactly but can add up to additional money or other pluses. Each law school differs as to flexibility depending on its status or procedures (public or private, geographic location, size of law school, budget system, and other traits). Even if some of these ideas are not relevant to your negotiations, there may be other creative approaches that would be.
Obviously, you will have the most opportunity to garner additional funding, time,or title resources if you have a strong resume and some experience in ASP. However, if a law school really wants you to become their ASP professional, it will give you more bargaining power in all circumstances. A mentor told me years ago that negotiating power is greatest when you have not yet accepted the postion; after that, you lose a great deal of your clout.
- Explore whether there are additional ways that you can be paid for duties that are related but not currently in the salary:
- Inclusion as a paid faculty member or administrator for a summer program for 1L students who are enrolled in a conditional/unconditional summer law school course required for their admission.
- Bar preparation workshops if none exist at your school.
- Ability to teach a section of a 1L or elective course in your field of expertise as an instructor or adjunct professor in future semesters/summers.
- This request is especially effective if they want you there quickly for the start of a semester or before too many weeks go by in the semester.
- Ask for a larger dollar allowance if a set amount is given and explain why the allowance is inadequate (distance of move, turn around allowing less selection of movers, or other matters).
- Ask for the law school to pay to have your belongings packed by the movers as well as moved so that you can arrive more quickly and begin work sooner.
- Ask the law school to pick up the storage tab in your new city if you will not have time to buy/rent a house and will be in temporary quarters for several months.
- Ask the law school to pick up additional costs that may result from your having to break a lease without sufficient notice.
- Moving expense allowances are sometimes calculated for the young professional without family responsibilities or many belongings. If you own a house full of furniture and/or have family to move, ask for your differing circumstances to be recognized.
You will need to decide which of these negotiation strategies will work in your favor in your particular circumstances. One or two additional items can help financially or improve your workload within the law school or status for future job hunts. (Amy Jarmon)
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