Are you a lawyer, paralegal or other legal professional wondering if you’re earning a fair wage? Or perhaps you’re considering the possibility of a change in jobs and want to ensure you’re offered an appropriate salary. Benchmarking your legal salary is a great way to gauge your worth in the legal market. This blog will provide an overview of the benchmarking process and tips on researching and evaluating the market and negotiating a salary that reflects your experience, value, and contributions.
Benchmarking your legal compensation is the process of researching and comparing salaries offered for similar positions to better understand the salary range in your market. There are several steps for benchmarking a salary, from exploring the market, evaluating your contributions, and negotiating. In addition to the basic skills and qualifications you bring to an employer, understanding your value in the market is critical to creating a reasonable salary structure.
Researching Your Market
The first step in benchmarking your salary is to research the relevant legal market. Knowing what professionals in similar positions in your geographical area are typically paid is key to helping you gauge your own worth.
The best place to start is to review public sources of salary surveys. Look for websites that provide reliable salary reports and data from online sources, such as PayScale, Glassdoor, and SalaryExpert. You can also look to industry publications like journal articles and professional magazines, as well as trade organisations like NALP which offer breakdowns of what lawyers make in various practice areas and geographical locations.
Additionally, it’s essential to consider the local employment market. Take into account economic factors such as the health of the legal industry in your area and the cost of living. A local market can be better or worse than a national average, so it’s important to be aware of these differences.
Evaluating Your Worth
After researching the legal market in your area, it’s important to assess your own value and contributions. To get a good idea of your worth, consider your experience, the type of legal work you do, and any specialisations and professional development courses you’ve taken. When looking at job responsibilities, think about your workload and any other tasks you have taken on that have contributed positively to your organisation. Another way to gauge your worth is to look at client feedback, awards and other accolades you’ve received.
Negotiating Your Salary
Now that you have an idea of what a reasonable salary should be, you can prepare for negotiations. It’s important to determine your bottom line when discussing compensation and have a good understanding of the employer’s budget. Make sure to practice your pitch in order to explain your value in the legal market and how it would benefit the organisation. It can be helpful to identify sources of leverage, such as outside offers and compare this to the employer’s current offering.
Be prepared for counteroffers from the employer, and use your benchmarking research to inform your decision. Accessing reliable sources to back up your negotiation is necessary for securing a fair salary.
Benchmarking your legal salary is a great way to gauge your worth compared to other legal professionals in the market. Being proactive in understanding your value and gaining the knowledge necessary to negotiate your salary is vital to ensuring you are paid fairly.