Robert Half Legal Releases Annual Legal Salary Guide

Starting Salaries for Legal Jobs Projected to Rise 2.2 Per Cent in 2014

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TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Average starting salaries for legal professionals in Canada are projected to increase 2.2 per cent overall in 2014, according to the just-released Robert Half Legal 2014 Salary Guide. The largest gains in annual base compensation are anticipated for lawyers, law clerks and legal assistants at law firms.

Robert Half Legal is a legal staffing firm specialising in lawyers, law clerks and other highly skilled legal professionals. The company's annual Salary Guide is based on extensive research, as well as local and national employment data gathered from Robert Half Legal offices throughout North America.

"With a continued uptick in business activity and corresponding need for legal services, the market is tightening for lawyers and legal support professionals with expertise in litigation, corporate law and other high-demand practice areas," said Billie Watkins, district director with Robert Half Legal. "To attract and retain top talent, more employers in the legal field are adjusting compensation ranges and offering attractive bonus plans."

Watkins added that corporate legal departments and law firms are often competing for top talent as they focus on enhancing service offerings. "General counsel are expanding internal teams to manage rising workloads related to business growth while law firms are hiring experienced associates to expand active practice groups," said Watkins.

Lawyer Positions
According to Robert Half Legal research, average starting salaries for lawyers at law firms are expected to increase 3.3 per cent in 2014. Lawyers with 10-plus years' experience at a small-to-midsize law firm (10-35 lawyers) will see the greatest gains in compensation. This position is expected to increase 4.3 per cent, to the average annual range of $128,500 to $185,500. Lawyers with four to nine years' experience at midsize law firms (35-75 lawyers) will see starting salaries rise 4.2 per cent, to the range of $115,000 to $202,250 per year. First-year associates at midsize law firms will earn between $66,500 and $79,750, a 2.3 per cent increase from 2013 projections.

Legal Support Positions
Law firms are expected to see law clerk salaries increase by 3.0 per cent in 2014. Senior/supervising law clerks with seven-plus years' experience at a small-to-midsize law firm should see average starting salaries rise by 4.0 per cent, to the annual range of $53,250 to $71,250.

Legal assistants at law firms can expect average starting salaries to increase 2.2 per cent in 2014. Senior/executive legal secretaries with 12-plus years' experience at large law firms will see the highest starting salaries in the range of $56,750 to $75,250 per year, a 3.1 per cent increase from 2013.

Other key findings from the Robert Half Legal 2014 Salary Guide include:

  • Compensation for litigation support directors with 10-plus years' experience is projected to increase 3.5 per cent, to the range of $89,750 to $116,500 annually.
  • Compliance managers with seven to nine years' experience can expect average starting salaries to rise by 2.9 per cent, to the range of $141,250 to $183,750 per year.
  • Law clerks with four to six years' experience at a midsize company ($25 million to $250 million in revenue) are expected to earn $53,000 to $63,250, a 2.9 per cent increase from 2013.
  • Senior/executive legal assistants with seven-plus years' experience at a large company (more than $250 million in revenue) will earn $54,500 to $66,250 per year, on average, a 2.3 per cent increase.

About the Robert Half Legal Salary Guide
The Robert Half Legal 2014 Salary Guide includes projected starting salary ranges for more than 100 legal positions. This information is derived from the thousands of full-time and project placements handled by Robert Half Legal's recruiting and staffing professionals in North America. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported as a number of factors, such as service time and work ethic, make ongoing pay difficult to measure. Bonuses, incentives and other forms of compensation, including benefits and retirement packages, also are not taken into account.

Robert Half Legal's annual Salary Guide is used extensively by law firms and corporate legal departments to determine appropriate compensation levels for employees. In addition, job seekers, academic institutions, legal associations and government agencies rely on the guide for current data on salaries and trends in the legal field.

About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing division of Robert Half. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel, on a project and full-time basis. With North American and global locations, Robert Half Legal also offers managed review and e-discovery services. More information, including online job search services, can be found at

SOURCE: Robert Half Legal

For further information:

Media contact: Kellie Shadle
(720) 488-2794

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