find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
Cashed up new lawyers face the daily grind

Cashed up new lawyers face the daily grind

The minimum starting salary in a large national or international firm in Australia has reached $55,000, compared to $35,000 in smaller local firms. And, with the cash comes more work.

THE minimum starting salary in a large national or international firm in Australia has reached $55,000, compared to $35,000 in smaller local firms. 

Pay may be better, but those same lawyers also work an additional 10 hours a week, doing 50-hour weeks. 

The new survey, released by global recruitment website, reveals lawyers with one year PQE in Australian can expect to earn between $35,000 and $80,000, with the average salary being about $45,000. 

Those new lawyers working in national firms earn an additional $10,000 to those in local firms. 

New lawyers can expect no more than 20 days holiday a year, and are unlikely to get a bonus, the survey shows. 

"However if you are fortunate enough to work for a generous firm that gives you a bonus, then it won't be more than 10 per cent of your salary," the writers reveal in the survey. 

Only Government lawyers receive benefits, but most firms offer good career development, networking and training opportunities in their first year in. 

Lawyers with two year PQE will earn anything from $45,000 to $105,000. The income is affected by age, the size of the firm, and whether the firm is local, national or international, the survey reports. 

"Naturally, a large national firm with 1000 to 10,000 employees or more, or any sized international firm, is going to be paying more than a local firm," the survey says. 

"We didn't see any significant trends by city and the average working week for all responses (with 2 year PQE) was around 35-45 hours."

At this level, about 40 per cent of lawyers receive a bonus that is usually less than 10 per cent of their salary. An international firm will pay up to 50 per cent bonuses at this level. 

Income and hours both pick up for lawyers with three PQE, the survey reveals. A lawyer at this level can expect to earn $75,000 to $120,000, but will be working 60 to 70 hours a week, and up to 80 in some firms. 

Most lawyers at this level receive a bonus of about 10 per cent of their salary, but this can reach 30 per cent in some firms. Lawyers at this level are still getting about 20 days holidays, will start getting involved in pro bono work, and will start receiving better career opportunities and training. 

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Cashed up new lawyers face the daily grind
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Human body, illegal organ trafficking, ALHR
Sep 22 2017
Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR
The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights are calling for changes to the law so that organ trafficking...
Online service, barristers, BarristerSELECT, Stephen Foley
Sep 22 2017
New online service leverages barristers’ clerks to aid briefing
A new online tool has been launched to help NSW solicitors find the most suitable barristers for the...
NSW District Court judge, Tim Gartelmann SC, next appointment,
Sep 22 2017
Silk replaces outgoing NSW District Court judge
A barrister has been named as the next appointment to the NSW District Court, following the retireme...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...