Why it pays to pay well

Posted on 8/12/2021 by Edward Sorrell

We all know the phrase “money talks”, and there’s a reason why. As part of our research, we asked lawyers what would be their top priorities when looking for a new job. The results seemed to support the idea that money does indeed talk, with 81% of the respondents feeling a pay rise was an important aspect to moving jobs. 

But of course, everyone wants more money! So why does it pay to pay well? 

Attracting Talent 

There are two clear winners in our survey to lawyers' priorities when moving jobs. Our survey revealed, by a clear margin, that flexibility and pay are the things most valued by lawyers in a new job. Flexibility has become so integral to the life of a lawyer that it has become a necessity. As a result, paying well is the main way law firms can acquire a competitive advantage. And looking deeper into the statistics, this seems clear.  

Only 20% of lawyers are actively looking for a new job at the moment so even from the get-go it is extremely hard to attract talent. When you combine the 81% of the job market who deem a pay rise an important aspect of moving jobs, it shows there is only a select few who would be willing to move without one. 

Retaining Talent 

Quite simply, the flipside of attracting talent. If your competition is willing to pay more, your employees might have a hard time saying no. One of the key findings in our research was half of lawyers felt they were underpaid and in a highly competitive market, making sure that your pay your existing staff properly is crucial. 

Engaging Talent 

When asked about their engagement levels at work, 42% of the lawyers said they felt disengaged or actively disengaged in their jobs*. So why is that and how can we change it. 

Well, let’s look at the stats: over 80% of lawyers think flexible working and pay rises are an important aspect when looking for a new job. 82% of law firms offer work from home availability however 51% of lawyers feel they are not paid fairly. What we can see here is lawyers value flexibility and pay. Flexibility is being offered, pay less so much and those who aren’t being paid well are more likely to be disengaged.  


Check out our in-depth salaries reviews for each specialism to understand the market rates for lawyers to see how your salaries compare to current market rates.  

Also, if you missed our annual report, The Great Talent Shortage it is available to download here.  

If you have any questions or want to find out more, please get in touch by calling 03300 245 606 



*Disengaged - getting on with my work but without necessarily putting passion into my work or feeling a connection to my company 
Actively disengaged - unhappy at work and thinking about looking for a new role 

Why it pays to pay well


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