A differential between lawyer earnings in Auckland and Wellington has been shown in a survey conducted by a law firm recruiter, with the capital city eclipsing salaries at the earlier stages of their legal careers but with partner earnings in Auckland substantially exceeding those in the Capital.
The survey, published by LawJob1 and conducted by recruiter Nicholas Scott Global also reflects the major move by lawyers to in-house legal roles, a trend that has continued in New Zealand for several years with a significant proportion of the New Zealand legal profession working in-house, being both private, public and in NGOs and other organisations.
The survey confirms figures conducted by other recruiters in New Zealand, a 2020-2021 survey showing that top tier law firm salaries ranged from $70,000 – $75,000 up to $145,000 – $160,000 for senior associates at the top firms.
The same survey indicated that mid tier legal salaries ran from $65,000 – $70,000 up to $135,000 – $140,000 for senior associates.
The legal scene has also seen a strong demand for candidates continue, as seen with LawFuel’s law jobs network job listings. The development post-pandemic that has been significant too has been the move towards increasing work flexibility for lawyers, along with such key benefits as mental wellness programmes, maternity leave and paternity pay benefits, extended leave benefits, fitness and health benefits, travel allowances, sign-on bonuses and part-time working opportunities.
It is also significant that many firms are offering benefits and conditions tailored towards individual lawyers rather than having blanket benefit provisions.
The major change in recent years has been the growth in in-house law roles, both in commercial organisations and in Government and other roles.
The relatively high pay, benefits, work-life balance opportunities and other benefits have made in-house legal roles more attractive and several law firm opportunities have also diminished in the medium- and smaller firm areas, further accelerating the move towards in-house law roles.
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