While pay certainly isn’t everything, Realm Recruit’s 2023 state-of-the-market research revealed that for legal professionals looking for a new role, it’s a top priority.
If you’re unhappy with your current salary, you may be able to achieve a raise without leaving your firm. No matter what role you are in, as a support professional in a law firm, your role is valued in the market, so it’s only fair that you are reasonably rewarded for your hard work and commitment.
Having a constructive conversation with your line manager, whether that be in an ad hob meeting, annual appraisal or performance review, might help you to achieve an increase. If you plan on approaching your employer about a salary increase, here are four things you should do in preparation for the conversation.
1. Assess your value
Determine your worth by considering factors such as your job title, the value you bring to fee-earners, years of experience, specific skill set, and any professional qualifications you hold (e.g. a MOS certificate). Additionally, take into account the type of firm you’re at, as national and international firms tend to offer slightly higher salaries compared to high street practices.
At Realm, our consultative legal support recruiters can help you to work this out, using our specialist market knowledge. Or it might be beneficial for you to check out the latest edition of our Salary Guide.
2. Pick the right timing
Timing is crucial, so strategically plan when to discuss your pay raise. According to a study on judges, people tend to be more open and positive during the first few meetings in the morning or shortly after lunch. Consider scheduling the conversation with your line manager during these optimal time frames to increase your chances of getting the outcome you’re looking for.
3. Come prepared
To support your request for a pay increase, gather all necessary evidence and present your case convincingly. Be prepared to:
- Understand the market rate (as mentioned earlier, we can assist you with that!)
- Provide a detailed breakdown of your professional growth over the past 12 months (or since your last pay raise)
- Compile a document outlining your daily responsibilities, emphasizing any tasks that go beyond your standard job description
4. Be realistic
While you may have an ideal figure in mind, it’s important to be realistic when requesting a pay raise. Typically, firms increase salaries annually in line with the inflation rate. Significant raises are usually accompanied by a change in role or increased responsibilities. As a general guideline, a sensible increase ranges from £1,000 to £3,000, while £4,000+ is considered very attractive.
Are you looking for more advice?
We hope you find the above guidance helpful. If factors beyond salary are affecting your job satisfaction, it may be worthwhile to explore the opportunities available across the North West
For more information, reach out to Jenny Vickerstaff, our specialist in legal support recruitment, to find out more about the opportunities currently on offer across the North West.