Marc Tobias - Managing Director, DMJ Recruitment
Are legal salaries too high? If you talk to partners they’d probably say yes, finance directors almost definitely yes, and (whisper it) lawyers might even agree with you too!
Undoubtedly the main topic of conversation we’ve heard over the last 12 months has been around pay, base salaries and bonuses. Pay and rewards have always been important for lawyers, but in my opinion this focus has meant that there has been less importance placed on other key factors that need to be considered to effectively manage your career.
I firmly believe that money is not the most important thing when considering a move and in my experience of supporting lawyers with their career other aspects typically come in to play:
Challenging and interesting work – do you enjoy what you do? Is it developing you as a lawyer and are your clients interesting?
Culture – You spend most of your waking hours working, you need to enjoy the working environment, the support you get and share the values of your team and firm
Career Progression – Is your firm open about your career prospects? Is there a track record of promotion? Do your partners even ask you what you want to achieve with your career.
At any one time any of these factors (including salary) may be your key priority. It all depends on where you are at the point in life. However, it is important to assess this on a regular basis and not just think about the money. The money may be fantastic, but if the other aspects are not being address sooner or letter something will have to give. It is best if you are in control of that.