The increase in demand for experienced lawyers can explain a disparity in the range of salaries disclosed in the Canadian lawyer annual salary survey between new calls and those with more experience.
The largest group of new lawyers, 31%, earned $ 40,000 to $ 65,000 working in law firms across the country in 2018, according to the survey, while another 16% made $ 65,000 to $ 80,000 and 22% at $ 80,000 to $ 95,000.
But those with only two years of experience have skipped the pay categories, with 25% having earned from $ 65,000 to $ 80,000 and another 21% with $ 95,000 to $ 110,000. Payment categories increased for calls between 2012 and 2014, with 21% earning $ 80,000 to $ 95,000 and 29% earning $ 110,000 to $ 150,000.
While 26% of those with an experience of seven years or more earned $ 150,000 to $ 200,000, 19% earned $ 110,000 to $ 150,000 and another 19% earned $ 95,000 to $ 110,000.
A similar progression was evident for internal lawyers, although most new calls, 42%, were in the range of $ 60,000 to $ 80,000.
What is noteworthy in the wide range of incomes is the comments among the respondents that the salaries of lawyers, including the only professionals, vary geographically.
At the service of the legal staff, Robert Half Legal, Julia Valladao, director of the division, affirms that there is a great demand for lawyers with experience from three to seven years, particularly in the Toronto area, and suggests law firms to offer competitive compensation packages "I'm interested in attracting the best
More experienced lawyers and a solid business book are also very attractive to businesses, but often difficult to disembark.
"Law firms of all sizes are hiring employees who have three to seven years of experience and can go to the bottom," says Valladao. "Lawyers are, with more than 10 years of experience and extensive contact with customers, sought after by law firms to extend their lucrative practice group.
"With the baby boom retirement that reaches a critical point, companies are also looking for lawyers with experience in tax law, fiduciary and real estate law."
The legal departments, he adds, have extended their internal teams in recent years to manage more internal work, rather than outsource. This fuels the demand not only for commercial law but also for contract administration specialists and legal support professionals.
The result of a tight market means that qualified candidates can end up with more offers, increasing expectations. And the salary is not all they are looking for. Robert's half-legal experience is that full benefits, flexible hours, easy commuting, work-at-home options, a defined career path and professional development opportunities are also attractive to lawyers.
The Canadian lawyer the annual survey has seen a continuous upward trajectory among companies offering benefits, with a peak this year of 60%. This is 40% in 2016.
That question of attorneys of average experience and growing interest in the benefits of work beyond the pecuniary compensation is perceived throughout the country. In Atlantic Canada, companies lose members to government or internal opportunities, says Susan Hayes of Halifax, who oversees the program associated with Stewart McKelvey, as well as her business development and customer service group. Often the movement among young lawyers is motivated by the desire to focus on a niche area of practice for which one company may be known more than one. "The challenge comes when you lose members at a level where it is harder to replace the experience, usually the elusive member for four to six years."
Hayes also discovered, through her years of recruitment work, that younger lawyers are interested in the flexibility of their working arrangement. They want to know, for example, if there are tools available to allow them to work remotely.
Also, they look for technology in their work that aligns with the way their lives live in a very mobile world and that means more tablets, less laptops and never desktops. Therefore, the challenge for law firms is not just maintenance, but also the guarantee that all the related security problems are covered to adapt to different approaches.
The standard now for companies, he adds, is paid parking or a bus pass, coverage of the costs of mobile devices, taxes of the legal company and support for continuing education.
"Believe it or not, I do not think Cadillac's health and wellbeing plans are appreciated by younger lawyers (or support staff), because once they were in a single-income household Our company has recently moved onto a flexible benefit program to enable people to choose the level of coverage that best fits their personal circumstances, "says Hayes.
He also sees more pressure to increase the salaries at the entry or front-end level of a member's career, especially given the debt that many are rented after law school. Some companies provide a structured debt reduction as an extracurricular recruitment initiative.
There is also a general sense of optimism in the market that is reflected in the survey, with only 1 percent of businesses indicating that they intend to reduce the number of lawyers in 2019. More companies, 42 percent, they expect to hire more lawyers while 37% expect to keep the same number. This is consistent with the plans indicated in the 2016 survey, although there is a slight change: in that year more companies, six percent, expected to see some downsizing.
But at the time the survey of this year had been conducted in November 2018, but the uncertainty of the market pressures on the compensation for the associates seemed rather uncertain. Almost half of the companies, 49%, were not sure if there would be increases for members in 2019, while 37% indicated increases and 15% indicated that there would be no increases.
Last year 65% of respondents indicated that there was a chance that compensation would go up. In 2016, 71% of respondents expected an increase in salary for members the following year, which typically varies between 2% and 10%.
In terms of compensatory experience for the partners, the picture appeared quite rosy in 2018 when 61% of the respondents indicated that the partner's earnings have increased compared to the previous year and the largest group, 41%, has indicated an increase of 6% up to 10 percent.
For domestic lawyers, only 47% of the companies interviewed forecast increases in 2019 with an uncertain 23%. Another 30 percent said that there would be no wage increases in 2019.
The results of the survey are consistent with the experience of McLeod Law LLP in Calgary. Although the market seems stagnant in overall compensation, which has not moved much in the last 18 months, managing partner Robin Lokhorst says there are areas of demand, including lawyers with some experience.
"There are small pockets of popularity and demand that are still quite competitive and it's that eight year old … they're still heading for the best dollar," he says. "There is a good amount of company activity that is still happening, despite the sadness and sadness that is happening in the oil and gas industry, and on the general commercial, general business and also on the securities side, it is very hard to find lawyers right now.
"We looked for that call from three to seven years for about a year in Calgary, we expanded the research in Edmonton, we extended it to Vancouver and Saskatchewan, and lately we've only recently hired someone from Saskatchewan for this. the question is there.All national companies are engaged in that general business shopping area like us and surprisingly, even when it comes to safety, things are going well ".
Vancouver Miller's commercial law firm Titerle + Company considers its flexibility and a non-hierarchical approach to the practice of law without offices, similar work spaces for all staff and its removal from the partnership structure a popular feature among new recruits . The remuneration, although competitive, is not the main project of the company, says Jim Titerle, co-founder of the company consisting of seven principals and nine members.
"I think we can attract those candidates a little bit more easily, so we've taken two five-year calls in the last six months because we're offering something slightly different," says Lou Poskitt, a labor and labor lawyer who serves as director of human resources of the company. "Of course, the market is incredibly tight."
The structure of the company allows associates to have equity in the company much earlier than the traditional model of partnership, which in her opinion is a great appeal. The team's approach to files, as opposed to individual ownership, allows for greater accountability for customer relationships and more meaningful work at the outset, he adds.
"We do not focus on money, we're just competitive, that's not the problem, the problem is ownership, the policy of unlimited suspension, flexible work arrangements, parental leave, a lot of support for growth," says Titerle .
At Robert Half Legal, Valladao emphasizes that it is not just about money. Businesses and businesses must offer a work environment, conditions and an attractive approach to their target recruits.
The survey attracted a total of 155 responses, of which 97 in law firms and 35 in corporate legal departments. Many, 43%, worked in a legal or business department with two to nine lawyers and most, 57%, had only one office.