TORONTO, Nov. 1 /CNW/ - Average starting salaries for legal professionals in Canada are projected to rise 2.0 per cent overall in 2013, according to the just-released Robert Half Legal 2013 Salary Guide. The largest increases in base compensation are expected for licensed lawyers and law clerks/paralegals at midsize and small-to-midsize law firms. Litigation support managers also should see greater-than-average salary gains.
Robert Half Legal is a legal staffing firm specialising in lawyers, law clerks, paralegals 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.
"As business conditions improve, demand for senior and midlevel lawyers and law clerks with experience in high-demand practice areas such as corporate law, litigation and intellectual property is strengthening considerably," said John Ohnjec, division director of Robert Half Legal. "While salaries have not yet returned to pre-recession levels, employers in the legal field are offering above-average compensation and bonuses to attract the best candidates and retain top performers."
Ohnjec added that many law firm partners and general counsel are balancing the demands of managing rising case loads with the need to contain costs. "Increasingly, many organisations are hiring legal professionals on a project basis to access specialised expertise that may not be available internally," said Ohnjec.
According to Robert Half Legal research, average starting salaries for law firm associates are expected to increase 1.7 per cent in 2013. The position that will see the biggest rise in compensation is a licensed lawyer with four to nine years of experience at a midsize law firm (35-75 lawyers). Base compensation for this role is expected to rise 3.7 per cent, to the range of $108,000 to $196,500 annually, on average. Lawyers with the same amount of experience at small-to-midsize law firms (10-35 lawyers) will see starting salaries rise 3.2 per cent, to the range of $84,250 to $157,750 per year.
Corporate lawyers will see average compensation gains of 2.8 per cent over 2012. Starting salaries for licensed in-house lawyers with four to nine years of experience will rise 3.2 per cent, to the range of $117,500 to $190,500 annually.
Legal Support Positions
Law clerks/paralegals at law firms are expected to see average starting salaries increase 2.4 per cent in 2013. The position of senior/supervising law clerk with seven or more years of experience at a small-to-midsize law firm should climb by 3.5 per cent, to the range of $51,750 to $68,000 annually.
Legal assistants at law firms can expect average starting salaries of 1.8 per cent in 2013. Senior/executive legal assistants with 12 or more years of experience at large law firms will see the highest starting salaries at the range of $55,000 to $73,000 per year, a 2.8 per cent increase from 2012.
Starting salaries for litigation support managers should increase by 3.2 per cent, to the range of $56,500 to $66,250 annually.
Other key findings from the Robert Half Legal 2013 Salary Guide include: - Compliance managers can expect average starting salaries to grow 2.3 per cent, to the range of $70,500 to $99,750 per year. - Law firm administrators/office managers at a large law firm will see average base compensation increase 2.1 per cent over 2012 projections, to the range of $67,500 to $101,500. - Compensation for contract administrators is projected to increase 2.3 per cent, to the range of $51,000 to $92,250 per year. - In-house legal assistants with three to six years of experience will earn $43,000 to $54,250 annually, a 2.6 per cent increase from 2012.
To listen to a complimentary hiring and compensation trends podcast featuring highlights from the Robert Half Legal 2013 Salary Guide, visit www.roberthalflegal.com/podcasts.
About the Robert Half Legal Salary Guide
The Robert Half Legal 2013 Salary Guide includes projected starting salary ranges for more than 70 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. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported as many 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 International. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, law clerks, 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 www.roberthalflegal.com