We are well into the new financial year, with performance and salary reviews now finalised (hopefully!) Even if you have happily accepted a pay-rise, have you ever wondered what you are actually worth and whether you are being remunerated in line with market trends?
While there has been a conservative approach to market salaries in Melbourne of late, there are pockets of strong growth and demand. Generally, salaries are pushing up over time, although there is a general feeling of reluctance amongst firms to respond to this. That said, certain firms are moving quickly, and paying well.
So while an attitude of cost cutting still exists, the reality is that bands are moving upwards. Lawyers in the junior and mid-level space (around 2 to 7 PAE) are enjoying more demand in the last 6 months than previously. For senior lawyers with some level of portable client base there is strong demand. Across the board there are some “hot ticket” areas – the practice groups where lawyers are in demand and there is a shortage of good lawyers to go around. At the moment, these areas are property/construction, corporate/commercial and financial services. In the more niche area of IP law, the uncertainty caused by the listings and mergers of a number of major IP firms is beginning to settle and this is becoming an area to watch.
What determines where you sit on the market salary bandwagon? First, it helps to be in the areas of demand – that is, a junior to mid-level lawyer in the corporate/commercial/property space. But regardless of this, you need to be good at what you do, have commercial acumen, a strong business network (whether that equates to a client base or the ability to produce a client base) and minimal movement on the CV (to show longevity in roles).
So, I hear you thinking, how will I maximise my earning potential? It goes without saying that you should be proactive about asking for a salary increase, whether in your current firm or when you move to a new firm (although there are many ways you can go about this). To best prepare yourself to ensure you are being paid what you are worth, call Paul Burgess (Director of Burgess Paluch Legal Recruitment) on 03 8676 0372.