East NotaryLawHow Often Do Lawyers Get Raises?
East NotaryLawHow Often Do Lawyers Get Raises?

How Often Do Lawyers Get Raises?

Last year, New York-based Cravath set an important precedent by increasing starting salaries of its first-year associates significantly – setting an exemplar that many firms are striving to match.

Salaries of lawyers working in government, public interest and judicial positions tend to remain stable during economic upswings while those for business-oriented law firm jobs often fluctuate more radically.

How much do lawyers get paid?

Salary ranges for lawyers can differ significantly, depending on practice area and experience levels. Lawyers specializing in high-value areas like litigation or corporate law may earn higher salaries. Furthermore, reputation can impact an attorney’s earnings potential; for instance a well-known trial lawyer with a proven record in winning high-profile cases might attract more clients and command higher fees than one with lesser recognition.

Size and location also play a role. New York University graduates in its Class of 2021 who worked at large law firms received an average median salary of $160,000 while those who held judicial clerkships or secured government jobs averaged $63,000 in pay.

While many lawyers expect annual raises, law firm profitability often determines whether or not to grant them. For example, in order to raise associate salaries by 2.6 to 4.7 percent the firm must also increase overall firm revenue by at least that amount.

How often do lawyers get raises?

Although law firm employees expect annual raises, it can be challenging for firms to increase associate pay if their revenues and profits do not expand at the same rate. Law firms with fixed expenses like rent and overhead cannot raise these expenses significantly each year; for law firms to give raises equivalent to 2.6-7.7% increases in salary increases per associate, their net income must expand at that same rate or greater.

Furthermore, law firms may already be feeling the effects of having raised associate salaries last year. With lateral hiring down and excess associate capacity akin to Kent Zimmermann of Zeughauser Group consulting law, “there’s only so far you can go.” Furthermore, higher wages for associates could create an atmosphere in the firm more focused on producing billable hours than on creating work-life balance – leading to burnout for associates as a whole; some may leave after receiving multiple pay increases from this strategy.

What is the best time to ask for a raise?

Law firm employees often feel constrained in terms of compensation. But when is the best time for law firm employees to request an increase? As with most career topics, there’s no universal answer, but professional-networking site LinkedIn crunched numbers and found that January, June and July tend to be prime periods for asking for raises since these months usually correspond with when companies reset their budgets for the year.

Since many major firms increased associate salaries last year, it may be wiser to ask for one sooner rather than later if your salary didn’t increase as expected.

No matter the timing, approaching any conversation about performance with confidence requires having all necessary documentation ready. This includes past performance reviews, positive feedback emails, your “greatest hits” portfolio (a list of projects you have completed over time that went beyond your job description), salary data comparisons and any other relevant details.

How do I ask for a raise?

Before approaching your boss, do some preliminary research on average salaries for your position and location using tools like PayScale and Glassdoor to get an accurate assessment. Next, write out an explanation for why you deserve an increase. Rehearse it beforehand with someone and record yourself so you can identify any nervous speech habits (excessive pauses and filler words) which might make you appear less confident during conversation.

Reassure your boss that you are an integral member of the team by showing that you have dedicated yourself to the company, increasing the odds that they grant your request. Furthermore, consider any external factors which could impede timing – for example if layoffs occurred recently or department budgets had to be cut – this might be wise decision.