How happy are lawyers with their pay and reward?

How happy are lawyers with their pay and reward?

20 October 2021 By Jerome Doraisamy

New research from Momentum Intelligence sheds light on the levels of satisfaction that legal professionals have with their remuneration packages.

Lawyers Weekly recently published the Top 25 Attraction Firms ranking for 2021, which forms part of the annual Legal Firm of Choice Survey, gauging the most sought-after private legal practices across the country. This year, 892 legal professionals responded to the survey.

As part of that research, conducted by Momentum Intelligence in conjunction with Lawyers Weekly, survey respondents provided insights into how well they think their firms are performing on metrics, including but not limited to culture, communication, quality of leadership, career progression, and support for holistic wellbeing.

When asked how they feel their employers are performing when it comes to pay and reward, more than three in four (77 per cent) of lawyers are satisfied with their remuneration.


Such satisfaction drops among lawyers who intend to leave their current employers (62 per cent), while 82 per cent of those intending to stay are happy with their pay and reward.

It does appear, however, that junior lawyers are slightly less satisfied than their senior counterparts.

When broken down into job titles, 74 per cent of graduates, lawyers/associates, and senior associates were happy with their firm’s performance on pay and reward. Special counsel are slightly happier (76 per cent), while 83 per cent of those at partner/principal level are happy with their remuneration.

Interestingly, paralegals and those in non-descript non-lawyer roles are on happiness levels comparable to partners/principals, at 81 per cent and 79 per cent, respectively.

Satisfaction with one’s pay and reward definitely increases in accordance with how many years one has been in practice.


Three in four lawyers with between one and six years of PQE are happy with their remuneration, while four in five of those with more than seven years of practical experience have comparable happiness.

The outlier is those with less than one year of practice under their belts, with 82 per cent of those practitioners expressing satisfaction with their pay and reward.

Reflecting on the findings, Momentum Intelligence research strategist Oliver Stofka said: “We have seen some really interesting data from the Legal Firm of Choice this year, one of the major revelations has been the idea that pay and reward is the main driver from legal professionals all the way through their career being disproved to an extent.

“We’ve seen that the longer a legal professional is with a firm, the more their attention is swayed towards the intangible attributes surrounding leadership, recognition for individual performance, support for mental wellbeing and the attributes that make them feel more valued and healthy at work,” he added.

Earlier this week, Lawyers Weekly reported on how graduates and younger lawyers feel about their employers’ performance on the aforementioned metrics

How happy are lawyers with their pay and reward?
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