Starting Salaries for Legal Jobs Projected to Rise 2.6 Per Cent in 2015
TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Average starting salaries for legal professionals in Canada are projected to increase 2.6 per cent overall in 2015, according to the just-released Robert Half Legal 2015 Salary Guide. Lawyers at midsize and small-to-midsize law firms should see greater-than-average salary gains. Among legal specialists, the largest gains in annual base compensation are expected for compliance analysts and litigation support directors.
Robert Half Legal is a legal staffing firm specializing 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.
"Hiring in the legal field is on the rise, with growth in the litigation and corporate law practice areas driving much of the activity," said John Ohnjec, division director of Robert Half Legal. "Law firms are expanding service offerings to capitalize on emerging business opportunities, and corporate legal departments are handling more matters in-house."
Ohnjec noted that as competition intensifies for legal professionals with experience in high-growth specialties, employers are more willing to increase compensation and enhance benefits programs to attract and retain top talent.
According to Robert Half Legal research, average starting salaries for lawyers at law firms in Canada are expected to increase 3.3 per cent in 2015. Lawyers with 10-plus years' experience at a small-to-midsize law firm (10 to 35 lawyers) will see the greatest gains in compensation. Starting salaries for this position are expected to increase 4.9 per cent from 2014, to the average range of $136,750 to $192,500 annually. At midsize firms (35 to 75 lawyers), lawyers with the same years of experience will see starting salaries rise 4.8 per cent, to the range of $159,000 to $222,750 per year. First-year associates at midsize firms will earn between $66,750 and $83,500, a 2.7 per cent increase from last year's projections.
Corporate lawyers are expected to see average compensation gains of 2.7 per cent over 2014 levels. Starting salaries for in-house counsel with four to nine years' experience at large companies (more than $250 million in revenue) will rise 3.3 per cent, to the range of $144,500 to $238,500 annually.
Legal Support Positions
Law clerks at law firms are expected to see an average salary increase of 1.9 per cent in 2015. At large firms (75-plus lawyers), midlevel law clerks with four to six years' experience should see average starting salaries rise by 3.5 per cent, to the range of $53,500 to $71,250 annually.
Legal assistants at law firms can expect average starting salaries to increase 1.8 per cent in 2015. Legal assistants with three to six years' experience at a small-to-midsize law firm can expect the greatest gains in starting salaries in the range of $40,250 to $51,000 per year, a 2.8 per cent increase from 2014.
Legal Specialist Positions
Starting salaries for legal specialists are predicted to rise 3.3 per cent, on average. Compliance analysts with one to three years' experience should see starting salaries increase by 4.8 per cent, to the range of $58,250 to $72,000.
Other key findings from the Robert Half Legal 2015 Salary Guide include:
- Litigation support directors with 10-plus years' experience will see average base compensation increase 4.6 per cent, to the range of $92,000 to $123,750 annually.
- Contract managers can expect average starting salaries to rise by 4.2 per cent, to the range of $65,750 to $96,000 per year.
- Compensation for lease administrators is projected to increase 3.5 per cent, to the annual range of $52,500 to $73,250.
- Midlevel law clerks with four to six years' experience at a large company are expected to earn $56,750 to $69,750 annually, a 3.1 per cent increase from 2014 levels.
- In-house legal assistants with three to six years' experience at a large company can expect to earn $45,250 to $58,500 per year, a 3.0 per cent increase.
About the Robert Half Legal Salary Guide
The Robert Half Legal 2015 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 nationwide by Robert Half Legal's recruiting and staffing professionals. 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 and consulting services division of Robert Half. A premier legal employment agency, Robert Half Legal provides highly skilled legal professionals for law firms and corporate legal departments on a temporary, project and full-time basis. With North American and global locations, the company offers a full suite of legal staffing and consulting services to help organizations manage constantly changing workloads and access expertise across in-demand legal practice areas. More information, including online job search services, can be found at roberthalflegal.com. For career and management advice, follow our Legal Blog at blog.roberthalflegal.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Your readers can download a copy of the Robert Half Legal 2015 Salary Guide and access our Salary Calculator by visiting roberthalflegal.com/salary-center. Media requests should be directed to Naz Araghian at 416.865.2140.
SOURCE: Robert Half Legal
For further information: Naz Araghian, 416.865.2140, [email protected]