How does your salary compare?

by Mackenzie McCarty07 Feb 2014
On Wednesday, we looked at legal recruitment projections for 2014. Almost across the board, recruitment firms say they’re expecting an upswing this year – but the outlook for salary improvement remain relatively conservative.

Niche Recruitment director, Kathryn Cross, says oversupply remains an issue and that, at this stage, most firms aren’t feeling the push to offer staff pay rises.

“We don’t project any decreases…slight increases, maybe. There’s still the supply of good quality people and for the most part there’s an over-supply. I think it will be a while before we see any significant increases in this market.”

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment data shows graduate lawyers with a bachelor’s degree in the field of law earned $41,700 one year after their study ended, as of 2013. After five years, income had increased to $54,800.

However, Niche Recruitment’s live data feed shows there’s a vast difference in average base salaries between lawyers working in particular sectors, as the following list shows. As of time of writing, 689 lawyers had completed the online questionnaire and, while it only offers a rough estimate, the results are somewhat surprising. One particular area of note is the ‘name your price’ average – or, the minimum salary increase for which a lawyer would abandon his/her current firm:

Median salaries by specialisation

Partner: $140,000
Median Name Your Price: $75,000 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 29%
 
Banking and Finance Lawyer: $99,750
Median Name Your Price: $13,394 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 30%
 
Construction Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $150,000
Median Name Your Price: $11,500 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 20%
*(It’s worth noting here that only five construction lawyers completed the survey, indicating that this particular statistic may be an anomaly).
 
Corporate/Commercial Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $75,250
Median Name Your Price: $14,112 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 15%
 
Criminal/Civil Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $56,000
Median Name Your Price: $9,217 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 12%
 
Employment Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $78,000
Median Name Your Price: $16,603 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 19%
 
Environment/Planning Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $65,500
Median Name Your Price: $20,125 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 21%
 
Family Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $50,000
Median Name Your Price: $9,471 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 14%
 
Generalist Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $47,000
Median Name Your Price: $9,023 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 8%
 
In-House Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $121,250
Median Name Your Price: $16,937 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 44%
 
Insurance/Superannuation Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $117,250
Median Name Your Price: $23,400 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 25%
 
IP/Trademark Lawyers:
Median Base Salary: $77,500
Median Name Your Price: $7,812 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 10%
 
Litigation/Dispute Resolution Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $70,000
Median Name Your Price: $12,588 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 13%
 
Property Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $60,000
Median Name Your Price: $11,373 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 15%
 
Public Practice/Government Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $76,250
Median Name Your Price: $9,357 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 10%
 
Tax Lawyer:
Median Base Salary: $77,000
Median Name Your Price: $15,668 more
% of people who receive bonuses/commissions: 11%

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