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Back to research & insights Published by Alex Gotch - 6 years ago

6 Tips to Negotiate Your Salary Upwards

At most law firms, your salary review will commence a few days or weeks after your performance review. It’s important to be prepared to give yourself the best chance of successfully negotiating the pay rise you’re looking for.

Tip 1
Know the numbers and be able to quote your billings against target. If you’re generating a positive ROI in line with or exceeding your target then you’re in a strong negotiating position.

Tip 2
Bring your performance review for the previous year to your salary review meeting. If you can demonstrate that you have achieved the development points you were set then you’re in a strong position to justify an increase in responsibility and therefore salary.

Tip 3
Be able to reference your value in the market. It’s important to know what competing law firms are paying for your role in the market. You can use the Beacon Legal Salary and Market Report 2018 to find this information. Avoid referencing salaries of colleagues within your firm as this often comes across poorly.

Tip 4
This may sound obvious, but don’t come across as threatening. It may be that you’re prepared to leave your current job if you don’t get more money, but there’s probably no value in telling your boss that and especially at a first discussion. This tactic will likely come across as a threat which won’t be beneficial to you or help achieve the result you want.

Tip 5
If it doesn’t go your way, stay calm.  It’s very easy to feel aggrieved and upset when talking about salary. Instead, try to express your thoughts in a professional manner and ask for some explanation. We recommend that you then go away and think through their reasons before asking for a subsequent discussion. This will give you some time to consider their reasoning and allow you to approach the situation factually rather than emotionally.

Tip 6
Be prepared for  the answer to be ‘No.’ If the Partner turns you down and there is no chance of a raise at this point in time, that doesn’t have to be the end of your discussion. You could ask if they’d be willing to reassess in six months time and try to align this review with you achieving certain targets so you know exactly what you need to do.

If you’d like personal advice to help negotiate your salary or to discuss your market rate, please get in touch with us directly.

Looking for a new job in 2018? Make sure you have read this free ‘Ultimate Guide for Lawyers to get your LinkedIn Profile Job Hunt ready’