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Legal Salary Resources

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Whether you're exploring careers, looking for a job or negotiating a pay raise, reliable salary data is important. Researching salaries in the legal industry is not always easy since salaries vary widely depending on location, industry, specialty, experience, education, type of employer, firm size and other factors. Below are a few salary calculators, tools and resources to help you in your salary research.

1. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a good place to begin your salary research. BLS publishes a large amount of information on the salaries, earnings and benefits of workers, including those in the legal industry. This information is broken down by geographic area (national, regional, state, metropolitan area or county data), occupation (such as attorney or paralegal) and industry, and includes detailed information on employment costs, national compensation data, wages by area and occupation, earnings by demographics, employee benefits and other compensation data.

2. Internet Legal Research Group (ILRG)

ILRG provides a breakdown of salaries of legal professionals working in the United States. Job categories include attorneys, paralegals, legal secretaries, legal management, in-house positions, case clerks, legal specialists, contract administrators and general administrative positions. The data is broken down into small, midsize and large law firms and reflects the low to high range of the national averages. You can also calculate differences in salaries as they vary among legal markets.

3. Glassdoor.com

This free site is unique in that it provides salary and bonus information for specific jobs at specific companies. For example, you can learn the salary of legal secretaries at Skadden Arps or lawyers at Milbank Tweed. The data is based on anonymous salaries, company reviews and interview questions and reviews for over 37,000 companies. You must post an anonymous salary for your current or former job to gain access to salaries for all companies. Similarly, you must post an anonymous review of your current or former employer or of a recent interview experience to gain access to all reviews and interviews.

4. Findlaw

This popular legal research site maintains a comprehensive attorney salary database and provides a tool to track of the constant changes in law firm salaries. You can check out individual firm salaries by clicking on their names or get a bird's eye view of how firms in each city stack up against each other by using the "compare" feature. You can also check out the "Other Statistics Charts" based on data reported to by law firms.

5. Altman Weil

Altman Weil is a national consulting leader on compensation in legal organizations. The company conducts custom benchmarking projects for law firms, law departments, legal vendors and law-related associations. The site offers a library of salary-related resources for law firm and law department managers and leaders. You can also sign up for a free e-mail newsletter to receive recent articles authored by expert consultants, updates on the latest trends, and highlights from Altman Weil’s exclusive survey research.

6. Robert Half Legal

This international staffing agency publishes an annual survey of salaries for legal professionals in the United States and Canada. The Robert Half Legal Salary Guide also includes information on hiring and management trends. Salaries are broken down by job category (attorney, paralegal, legal management, etc.) and firm size. You can request a free copy of the Salary Guide by calling (800) 870-8367 or visiting the company's website.

7. The National Association of Legal Professionals (NALP)

NALP, one of the industry’s premier resources for information on legal employment and recruiting, publishes a variety of information relating to legal salaries, including the Employment Report and Salary Survey, the Associate Salary Survey, the NALP Directory of Legal Employers, and others.

8. National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)

NALA, a non-profit professional organization for paralegals and legal assistants, conducts periodic salary surveys of the paralegal profession. The findings are divided into 4 sections: participant background; employers and paralegal duties and responsibilities; billing rates; and compensation levels.

9. Paralegal Today Magazine

Paralegal Today Magazine (formerly known as Legal Assistant Today) publishes an annual paralegal salary survey that details national and regional salary, bonus and pay raise information for paralegals.

10. Salary.com

Salary.com is a provider of on-demand human resources software that help businesses and individuals manage pay and performance. Salary.com provides average salary ranges and pay scales for a wide range of legal positions. To determine the market pay ranges, Salary.com's compensation consultants collected and reviewed data covering more than 29 million individuals working at more than 16,000 companies. The free salary wizard lets you benchmark your current or desired position against similar positions in your target area.

11. Payscale.com

Payscale.com is another salary research site. It includes a salary calculator, cost of living calculator and other free tools. More in-depth data can be obtained for a fee. Payscale also allows you to compare your salary with salaries of comparable positions in your area, and takes into account such factors as legal specialty, primary responsibilities, critical skills, certifications, employment status, the size of the organization and other factors.

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