Moving up the pay scale: How to secure the pay rise you deserve
When looking for a new role, one of the top two reasons for leaving is financially motivated, which is understandable given the high cost of living and the long hours often required in the legal sector.
Added to which, the last few years have been tough for marketing and BD teams in legal, with teams being very lean as a result of the downturn, the impact has been that many people are working longer hours and covering the roles that may have previously been done by two or even three people.
But what is a reasonable salary increase to command?
As a general rule of thumb, you should be aiming for 15 to 20% (although we’re definitely seeing candidates reaching for 20-30%), and this should be achievable but you do need to make sure you demonstrate you’re worth this increase throughout the interview process.
Remember that in a law firm partnership, the partners are spending their own money to invest in marketing and business development, so they have to see that they’ll get a return on that investment.
Selling yourself in the following ways will help make sure you secure the offer you’re looking for:
1. Ensure you demonstrate how YOU as an individual have added value in your current role
Talk about “I” not “we” or “the team”. Give plenty of examples where you have used your sector or practice knowledge to support the partners on growing their client base. Show that you are taking ideas to the business and then leading on that project or campaign. Finish the story off with results i.e.how it helped them engage with clients and targets
2. Instil confidence that you can influence and persuade partners
The challenge in a partnership is that there isn’t there isn’t the same hierarchy as in a large corporate and therefore stakeholder management can be challenging. You need to give examples of times where you have persuaded partners to do new things, or do things differently to achieve results without jeopardising relationships.
Finally, when it comes to offer stage if you do need to negotiate, have good solid reasons as to why you are commanding a higher salary than has initially been offered. “Because I’m worth it” just won’t stick in this scenario!