Bar News - February 9, 2007
Base Salaries for Legal Professionals Projected to Rise
Average starting salaries for legal professionals in the United States are projected to rise 4.7 percent in 2007, according to the Robert Half Legal 2007 Salary Guide. Larger increases in base compensation are expected for attorneys with one to three years of experience at small to mid-size law firms, first-year associates and several legal support positions.
Research from the Salary Guide indicates that the hiring outlook is positive. Across the nation, corporate governance, litigation, intellectual property and real estate practice areas are generating casework and providing fresh sources of revenue.
Robert Half Legal is an international staffing agency specializing in placing attorneys, paralegals and other skilled legal professionals. The annual guide is based on research data gathered from its offices throughout the United States and Canada.
According to the company’s research, average starting salaries for in-demand positions are expected to rise 4.6 percent in 2007.
The position that will see the greatest gain in compensation is that of first-year associate at a mid-size law firm (35-75 attorneys). Base compensation for this position is expected to rise 7.9 percent, to the range of $68,250 to $95,750. First-year associates at small to mid-size law firms (10-35 attorneys) should earn $53,750 to $78,750—a 7.3 percent increase over 2006 projections.
Attorneys with one to three years of experience at small firms (up to 10 attorneys) will see starting salaries rise 7.4 percent, to the range of $51,000 to $80,000.
Paralegals can expect average starting salaries to rise 6.1 percent in 2007. The position of senior/supervising paralegal at a large law firm is expected to increase 7.6 percent, to the range of $55,750 to $78,250.
Average starting salaries for legal administrators and office managers in small law firms are expected to increase 6.3 percent, to the range of $46,000 to $60,000.
Corporate attorneys will see gains on average compensation of 4.6 percent over 2006. Salaries for first-year associates will rise 5.9 percent, to the range of $60,000 to $87,500. Corporate attorneys with one to three years of experience will see base compensation rise 5.4 percent to between $70,500 and $109,000.
For a free copy of the Guide, go to http://www.roberthalflegal.com/ or call 800-870-8367.