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The Bridge - November 12, 2018 Print

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December 13, 2018
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

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Article

Robert Half Legal

November 2018

The Top 5 Legal Hiring and Salary Trends to Know for 2019 

In today’s candidate-driven job market, legal managers often find themselves at the negotiating table with talented applicants who know their skills are in demand. They aren’t just looking for the best salary — they’re scrutinizing the entire deal: bonuses, workplace perks, career advancement opportunities and an organizational culture that fits their values and personality.  

When it comes to staffing your firm or department, it’s important to understand current employment and salary trends. The latest information can be found in the 2019 Robert Half Legal Salary Guide, which leverages data from our network of specialized legal recruiters. Here’s a high-level overview of this all-in-one resource. 

Wanted: specialized experience 

The demand for all talent is high, but employers should expect even higher competition when seeking specialists. From legal support staff to senior-level attorneys, law firms and corporate counsel offices need candidates with expertise in litigation and commercial law, financial services, technology, real estate, and healthcare. Hiring managers are also eager to bring in professionals with experience in taxes and trusts to aid baby boomers with retirement and estate planning.

In anticipation of increased regulations, companies are also looking for lawyers who specialize in data privacy and compliance administration. 

High demand for tech-savvy support staff 

Emerging technology is transforming the legal field, from research and case management to document review and data security. To help navigate this rapidly evolving landscape, companies and firms rely on paralegals and other support personnel who are adept in eDiscovery, databases, specialized legal platforms and process automation.  

The demand for paralegals and legal assistants is expected to grow 15 percent over the next decade, faster than the legal services market, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This suggests employers will need to boost salary and benefits to attract the tech-savvy legal specialists they need to compete in the law office of tomorrow

Less outsourcing, more flexibility 

Although general counsel offices still use legal process outsourcing (LPO) providers, they’re bringing more projects back in-house. This means employers need to add staff — commercial law specialists, contract administrators and litigation support personnel, in particular — to take on the extra work.

Flexible staffing is proving to be a boon as a way of handling cyclical and seasonal demands, and legal consultants are assets on occasional projects like workplace investigations and compliance training. Bringing in specialists on a project or consulting basis is also a good way to find full-time employees, as legal managers are able to evaluate these legal professionals’ skills and their fit with the organization’s workplace culture over several weeks or months before extending a job offer. 

Hot practice areas 

Litigation will offer the greatest number of job opportunities over the next two years, said 59 percent of the lawyers polled for a survey published in the 2019 Salary Guide. Experienced litigators and support personnel are in high demand due to an increased caseload of insurance and corporate matters. Their salaries are commensurately high as well: The midpoint starting salary* for a litigation support/eDiscovery director with 10-plus years of experience is expected to be $128,250. 

General business/commercial law will be the second most in-demand practice area, largely due to an uptick in mergers and acquisitions and new product development. To meet that need, employers are eager to hire — and willing to pay well for — legal professionals with experience in compliance and contract administration. For example, companies should prepare to offer a compliance manager with seven to nine years of experience a salary midpoint of $93,750, while a contract administrator with one to three years of experience is expected to earn a median of $60,000. 

*A midpoint starting salary refers to compensation for a candidate with average experience and the necessary skills to get the job done. The role will likely be of average complexity or in a market where the competition for talent is moderate. 

The compensation package job seekers want 

In addition to competitive pay and healthcare benefits, candidates look for employers who can offer the following perks and incentives: 

  • Flexible schedules
  • Alternative work arrangements (e.g., a compressed workweek, option to telecommute)
  • Annual or biannual bonuses
  • Profit-sharing plan
  • Sign-on bonus

 

To attract and retain legal talent, get to know the employment and salary trends for 2019. Download the Salary Guide for an even more detailed look at what you can expect in the coming year.  

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Job Bank

 

Legal Secretary

Beveridge & Diamond PC

Job Posting
Nov. 11, 2018

 

Operations Manager

Weaver Schlenger LLP

Job Posting
Nov. 11, 2018

 

Operations Manager

Weaver Schlenger LLP

Job Posting
Nov. 11, 2018

 

Estates & Trusts Paralegal

Donahue Fitzgerald, LLP

Job Posting
Oct. 30, 2018

 

Paralegal

Vedder Price

Job Posting
Oct. 30, 2018

 

Job Posting
Oct. 30, 2018

 

Legal Assistant/Paralegal

Nichols Kaster, PLLP

Job Posting
Oct. 30, 2018

 

Job Posting
Oct. 24, 2018

 

Executive Director

Murphy Pearson Bradley & Feeney

Job Posting
Oct. 9, 2018

 

Reference Librarian

Farella Braun + Martel LLP

Job Posting
Oct. 9, 2018

 

Practice Assistant Manager

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Job Posting
Oct. 1, 2018

 

IT Desktop & Systems Support Specialist - SF & WC

Manning Gross + Massenburg LLP

Job Posting
Sep. 21, 2018

 

Receptionist

Nielsen Merksamer

Job Posting
Sep. 21, 2018

 

Securities Corporate Paralegal

Fenwick & West LLP

Job Posting
Sep. 21, 2018

 

HR Manager - California

Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP

Job Posting
Sep. 19, 2018

 

Office Administrator

AbstoneLalley, Inc.

Job Posting

Check out ALA's Career Center for more information on job postings, hiring and career resources.  

Mike Salinas
Phone: (415) 268-1106

 

ICS

Amy Kosey
Ph:  (415) 800-0662
Ted Glutz
Ph: (512) 744-6913

 

 
 
 
 
 
Sue Hammer
Ph: (415) 720-6229
Lucy Huete
Ph: (415) 913-0196
 

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Member Spotlight

Marily Vazquez

Director of Administration
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

 

  • Place of Birth/Family/Hobbies

I was born in Cuba, moved to Miami when I was 12 years old and lived there until two years ago when I relocated to San Francisco for work.  I absolutely love it here.  I have one daughter living in Boston who recently received her Master’s Degree in Interior Architecture.  I'm a very proud Momma!

                                  

I recently starting running, love hiking, and checking out all the newest restaurants, but my passion is travel.  I love exploring new places and different cultures.  

  • What are some causes you care about?

                                                                                    

 

  • If you could buy any type of food what would you buy?

Rice.  Whenever someone asks me what one food item I’d want if I were stranded on an island, and the answer is always “rice!”

  • How do you think your colleagues would describe you?

They would say that I have a very strong work ethic.  That I am fair and kind, witty (at least I think so!), empathetic, reliable, and that I lead by example.  Detail-oriented — always focused on providing excellent client service.

  • What is your favorite winter activity?

I would say going to New York city to visit Rockefeller Center.  The tree, lights and holiday decorations are so beautiful. 

  • If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

It would be Val d’Orcia, Italy.  I absolutely love Tuscany. The countryside is breathtaking, the people are warm and friendly, and amazing food.

  • If you could be any flavor of ice cream what ice cream flavor would you be and why?

Well my favorite to eat is definitely pistachio gelatto, but If I had to be a flavor it would be salted caramel.  Delicious flavor, but with a little kick!

  • What is your favorite thing about someone in your family?

How loving, kind and caring my daughter is. 

  • Who have you met that you wish you hadn’t?

I don’t think there has been such a person in my life.  I believe everyone comes into our lives for a purpose.

  • What is your favorite movie quote?

My favorite movie quote is from Pretty Woman.  “People's reaction to opera the first time they hear it is extreme. They either love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don't, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul.”  By the way, I appreciate Opera, but it’s defiantly not part of my soul! 

                                                 

  • What is your life-long dream?

My life-long dream is to own a home in Tuscany and use it as a base to travel the world.

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Meeting/Event Information

SMALL FIRM ADMINISTRATORS ROUNDTABLE

November 14, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
560 Mission Street, 27th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
http://www.mto.com

Please come and join your fellow Small Firm Administrators for a discussion on the challenges and solutions in running a small law firm.

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QUARTERLY LARGE FIRM ADMINISTRATOR ROUNDTABLE (LUNCH PROVIDED)

November 27, 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
4 Embarcader Center, 17th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
http://www.sheppardmullin.com

Please come and join your fellow Large Firm Administrators for an egaging, collaborative discussion on challenges and opportunities large lawfirms are facing and how they are managing these challenges. Please come with a challenge or opportunity that you

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS/CHAPTER LEADERSHIP MEETING

December 06, 2018
11:45 AM - 1:15 PM

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
4 Embarcader Center, 17th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
http://www.sheppardmullin.com

Board Meeting

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HOLIDAY LUNCHEON-ALA GOLDEN GATE CHAPTER

December 13, 2018
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Omni San Francisco
500 California Street 
San Francisco, CA 94104

PLEASE JOIN US FOR THE 2018 HOLIDAY LUNCHEON AT THE OMNI- DECEMBER 13TH!

READ MORE

REGISTER NOW

Scott Reis
Phone: (650) 270-3958

 

 

 

 

John Dorning
Phone:  (415) 397-6800

Ezra Mann
Ph: (213) 407-0148
Lyn Bartlett
Ph: (415) 813-3758

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ALA Value in Partnership (VIP)SM Savings

Discounts, Coverage Enhancements and More

Your membership gives you access to exclusive services and discounts from nationally known companies in solutions categories like security, technology consulting, office products and video conferencing. Savings can be up to 70 percent — enough to potentially cover your annual membership dues!

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