Part 1: Know What You’re Worth: Keep Current with Legal Salaries

Salary Evaluation

Does your employer think you’re worth your weight in gold? Probably very few of us can answer "yes" to that question, with gold selling for more than $1,200 per ounce these days! But as a legal professional, you want to know your worth and stay current with the compensation levels that legal jobs are commanding. It's also helpful to understand legal hiring trends and the going salary rates to make informed decisions about your legal career. For employers, it’s equally essential to periodically benchmark legal salaries to ensure your organization is offering competitive compensation to attract and retain the legal profession's top talent. 


A myriad of components are factored into determining legal salaries -- experience, job duties, supervisory responsibilities, size of a law firm or company, geographic location -- and the list goes on. But there are a number of resources available to determine if your current salary is on target, based on specific norms. The U.S. Department of Labor publishes The Occupational Outlook Handbook that includes median pay and other job-focused information. Many industry and professional associations, such as the Association of Corporate Counsel and Association of Legal Administrators, offer salary surveys, compensation guidelines and related reports.

Robert Half Legal also publishes an annual Salary Guide that features compensation ranges for more than 100 legal positions throughout North America. Our 2014 guide, based on extensive research of local and national employment data, offers local variances so you can calculate salary ranges for particular markets in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to compensation information, the guide discusses key hiring trends within the legal profession, such as which practice areas are in demand and the specific skills employers are looking for in paralegals and legal support professionals.   

To learn more about current legal compensation and hiring trends for 2014, download a complimentary copy of the Robert Half Legal 2014 Salary Guide.

Check back later this week for Part 2 of "Know What You're Worth" for more on the topic of legal compensation.