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Ann Israel is the legal profession’s Dear Abby. A New York legal recruiter since 1979, Ann is a past president of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants. Advice for the Lawlorn is updated every week.


Q: I graduated last year with dual degrees. I am licensed to practice in New York, but I also want to use my other degree. The problem is that public interest work pays poorly, and I have a family and massive loans.

How can I find out how much a prospective employer is willing to pay? I do not want to waste time going to interviews where I cannot possibly take the job and make ends meet. If I do go to an interview blindly, how can I delicately ask about salary?

Dear Delicate: Over the years I have noticed a common trait among lawyers — they are filled with bravado. That’s why they make great litigators and why the transactional attorneys make such great deals. And it’s what I love about lawyers, among many things.

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