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Survey helps legal firms benchmark their salaries against like firms and understand employment & salary trends for 2012/13

The Australian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) today released the results of its annual Australian Legal Industry Salary Survey, proudly sponsored by Legal People. The survey is the largest and most comprehensive independent survey of salaries across most roles for legal firms in Australia. This year, close to 200 firms of all sizes from across the country completed the on-line survey.

”At a time when attracting and retaining quality staff is the number one HR priority for the legal industry, ALPMA’s Australian Legal Industry Salary Survey provides critical insight for leaders at law firms that will help them formulate the right HR strategies for their business ,” ALPMA President Warrick McLean said.

“The survey helps our members benchmark their salaries against “like” firms, sharpen their compensation strategy for 2012/13 and understand remuneration and employment trends across the industry.”

ALPMA’s Australian Legal Industry Salary Survey provides a detailed review of salaries paid for 57 roles within legal firms, showing the highest and lowest salary paid for each position, as well as calculating an “average” salary paid for each role.

This information is further broken down by size of firm and by state, allowing companies to benchmark their remuneration strategy with similar firms.

Other information collected by the survey for the first time this year included anticipated salary movements, recruitment plans, employment benefits and staff employment arrangements.

Most employees in the legal industry can expect to negotiate a pay rise in excess of CPI increases, despite the challenging business environment, with 53% of firms indicating that this is their intent for the next twelve months. A further 37% of firms indicated a pay rise in line with CPI increases.

“This news is tempered by the fact that 10% of all respondents are planning to implement a wage freeze – with 83% of those anticipating a wage freeze employing less than 25 people,” he said.

Most firms (82%) expect to recruit legal professionals next financial year, with 66% expecting to recruit secretarial staff and a further 39% recruiting paralegals and 37% administrative staff.

“On the other hand, Executive and senior management at law firms looks to be very stable, with only 3% of firms expecting to recruit new business leaders,” he said.

The move towards flexible working arrangements continues to sweep inexorably across the industry, with close to 70% of all respondents indicating they offer this to employees, he said. At the same time, part-time, contract and casual roles make up a large part of the Australian legal industry workforce, with casual staff more frequently employed by firms with less than 75 employees.

“While nearly all firms with more than 75 staff offer flexible working conditions as a benefit for employees, adoption has not been as widespread in smaller firms, perhaps indicating the challenges of managing workload while accommodating flexibility for firms where there are less staff to share the work,” he said.

A wide range of other employment benefits is offered within the industry, with the most common being professional association membership (75%), flexible working hours (70%), company paid training (66%) and mobile phone or mobile phone allowance (61%).

The complete Australian Legal Industry Salary Survey Report, which contains the detailed breakdown of salaries paid across 57 roles can be purchased from the ALPMA website from 5 June. (www.alpma.com.au/salary-survey) for $550 (ALPMA members) or $2,200 (non-members





The Australian Legal Practice Management Association, (ALPMA), is the peak Australian body representing managers and lawyers with a legal practice management role. ALPMA provides an authoritative voice on issues relevant to legal practice management. Members of ALPMA provide professional management services to legal practices in areas of financial management, strategic management, technology, human resources, facilities and operational management, marketing and information services and technology.



Legal People is a leading and highly reputable, specialist legal recruitment consultancy successfully operating in Melbourne for nearly 40 years. Legal People recruits high calibre people for the legal profession at all levels and areas of law including lawyers (up to Managing Partner level), legal/executive/personal assistants, law clerks/paralegals, human resources, marketing, IT, office services and practice managers.Legal People’s client base is broad ranging and well established including law firms of all sizes, corporate organisations and government departments.