Max out salary in the first 10 years of a legal career

Posted in Blog on 27 Mar 2017

Last month we revealed that 29% of the legal talent pool was on the move at the beginning of the year and that progression remained the number 1 career motivator in 2017.

We also know that whatever the motivator around 7 in 10 Solicitors, Legal Executives, Paralegals and other legal professionals received a pay rise when they moved legal jobs. There was some variety across regions, in the Midlands it was 8 in 10 and in the North of England 6.5 in 10. 7 in 10 is also a fair representation of the percentage of legal professionals who were awarded a pay rise for staying put although once again a fair bit of variation, for example in the South East and South West nearly 8 in 10 received an increase in salary.

The research we undertook when putting together our 2017 Salary and Benefits Benchmarker has also provided the final ingredient. Although legal professionals such as Solicitors, Legal Executives and Paralegals are staying in a legal job for an average 3 years 10 months that isn't the whole story. Legal professionals with 5 years or less experience are much nimbler, spending an average 12 months less in a legal job.

So what does this mean? We are tempted to conclude that legal professionals can make 3 moves in the first 10 years of their legal careers, maximising their salaries whilst not damaging their personal brand. The first 5 years you should probably squeeze in a couple, looking at the peaks on the chart you would probably max out with a move in years 1 or 2, followed by a 4 and finish with taking another role in year 7.   

If any of the above has resonated, then you could do worse than instruct a multi-award winning legal recruitment specialist to manage your next move. You need choice, a real-time overview of your practice area, a brief on hiring trends and an update on which firms are hot and maybe which ones are not. 36% of the 3,000 legal professionals who responded to our 2017 survey used a recruitment consultant when they last moved jobs. This was the biggest slice by a long margin.

Browse our latest UK private practice and in house legal opportunities or if you are feeling a bit of wanderlust we are also placing Solicitors and Lawyers into roles in the Middle East and Far East. Apply through the job, contact a consultant directly or give one of our offices a call, the phone numbers are at the foot of the newsletter and we will connect you with the legal recruitment expert who is best suited to your requirements.

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