Salary Survey

TotallyLegal 2024 Salary Survey

  • Help Us Define Industry Standards and Find Out if You Are Being Paid Fairly in 2024

    Take Part in Our 2024 TotallyLegal Salary Survey

    TotallyLegal; the UK’s leading specialist legal job site for lawyers and legal professionals, is turning to you, our valued audience, to contribute to our 2024 salary survey.

    Following a year of uncertainty and continued resilience to innumerable economic challenges, TotallyLegal strives to investigate and understand the 2024 legal employment market.

    Building on findings from previous audience insight surveys, we will determine the current trends, challenges and changes facing the legal recruitment landscape.

    TotallyLegal asks for your confidential feedback from across the legal profession including General Counsel, Solicitors, Associates, Partners, Paralegals, and Legal Secretaries working both in-house and in law firms across all practice areas.

    Our 2024 Salary Survey will provide you with the unique opportunity to find out if you're being paid fairly in your current role and help us define industry standards by showing employers and recruiters what sort of environment you want to work in. Click the button below to particiate in the TotallyLegal 2024 Salary Survey today.

    Complete the Salary Survey

  • TotallyLegal 2023 Salary Survey Insights

    Our 2023 Salary Survey of over 900 legal professionals set out to get the latest inside story on salaries, bonuses and job satisfaction. Those surveyed coverered a broad variety of legal roles from Legal PA, to Solicitors, to General Counsel.

    The findings revealed that employers were clearly contending with the candidate-driven recruitment landscape as 58% of our survey respondents received a pay rise whilst nearly half (49%) of our audience also took home a bonus.

    If you interested in finding out more about the past average salaries of legal professionals, read all of our insights in the TotallyLegal 2023 Salary Survey report.

  • Salary Changes by Job Title

    Previously, over half (58%) of our audience received a salary increase over the 12 months, up from 54% in 2022. Senior positions fared best, with a healthy majority of In-House Counsel jobs (67%) and 61% of those in General Counsel and Head of Department jobs enjoying an earnings boost.

    Associates took the pay prize as 75% pocketed a salary uplift for 2023. Rises were also on offer for 55% of respondents working in Paralegal jobs, 62% of Legal Executives and 71% of Legal PAs.

    However, some job roles weren’t so fortunate. The proportion of Legal Secretaries who received a raise fell from 63% in 2022 to less than one-third (31%). And while 60% of Legal HR professionals earned an increase in 2023, the figures were far less than 75% in 2022. Graduate/Trainee jobs experienced a more significant slump, with only 30% receiving extra earnings, compared to 57% in 2022.

  • Peak Payments

    The average salary for many legal jobs grew in 2023, with General Counsel jobs continuing to award the highest salaries in the profession, sitting at an average of £120,240 - a 6% rise on the previous year’s figures. The average salary for Heads of Department came second at £91,776, who also benefitted from the most generous pay increase, jumping 16%. In-House Counsel salaries followed closely in third place, paying £88,423.

    Although In-House Counsel still ranked among our top three earners, salaries remained stagnant from the preceding report with earnings rising less than 1% in 2023. Audience members in Partner jobs experienced a similar slip, with a 3% decline to £82,500.

    Following considerable post-Covid increases, support roles enjoyed further rises as a result of a candidate-led recruitment market. Pay for Practice Manager jobs rose 8% to £64,038, Legal HR roles grew by 9% to £53,000 and Legal PA jobs shifted by 1% to £39,286.

    Peak Payments

  • Job Satisfaction Levels

    The TotallyLegal community covers a wide range of job titles, from Paralegals and Legal Secretaries to Partner and Director jobs. Amongst our audience, 70% of respondents were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with their job.

    Job satisfaction peaked among those earning between £55,000 to £85,000, whereas lower paid employees felt less fulfilled in their working lives. Only 58% of professionals with an average income of £19,999 said they were satisfied with their careers.

    At one end, respondents working in Legal IT jobs reported a 100% satisfaction rate with their role, followed closely by Legal Secretaries (85%) and those in Conveyancer roles (83%). On the other end, Litigators had of the lowest satisfaction ratings at 50%, beaten only by Legal PAs as the least fulfilled in their role, registering satisfaction levels of 43%.

  • Practice Area Popularity and Incomes

    Our audience work in a variety of different practice areas and it was clear to see that there were certainly more popular ones than others. Company and Commercial Law jobs kept the title as the most popular practice area, advancing from 12% to 17% year on year. Banking and Finance retained second position, edging up from 10% to 11% since 2022. Commercial Property continued to hold third place.

    Pay rose across almost every practice area since our 2022 survey. IT/Telecoms became the highest-paying sector, boasting an average salary of £98,667 – an 18% leap from the previous year.

    Increasingly complex legislation and Brexit-related regulatory changes may have driven the sizeable pay uplifts for Regulatory and Compliance jobs. Earnings rose 30% from £60,966 to £87,656. In contrast, changing consumer behaviour and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis may have accounted for dramatic salary drops across the Media and Entertainment law jobs. After skyrocketing by 70% in 2022, average pay sank from £103,929 to £82,500 in 2023.

    Salary by Practice

  • Salary by Company Type

    US law firms outpaced Magic/Silver Circle and In-House employers since our 2022 report. Professionals at US law firms enjoyed a 25% salary spike from £74,405 to £93,125, making them our highest-paid segment. 2022’s leader, Magic and Silver Circle firms moved into second place as a result of an 11% drop in average salaries from £92,984 to £82,656

    With over half (51%) of our audience working as part of internal legal teams – from In-House Counsel to Paralegals and Legal PAs – it was reassuring that average earnings pushed forward year on year, inching up from £75,788 to £78,772.

  • Additional Perks

    When posed the question ‘what’s most important to you in your job’ our audience responded with an almost even split between salary and flexible/hybrid working. The mere 1% difference demonstrated the positive impact hybrid/remote working jobs had on the lives of legal professionals, suggesting salaries and their supplements may not be at the forefront of employees’ priorities.

    2023 saw a surge in hybrid working, with 79% of respondents adopting a hybrid structure, compared to 23% the year before.

    The breakdown of office-to-home days across the TotallyLegal audience showed:

      • 45% of respondents spent 1-2 days in the office.
      • 6% went on site once or twice a month.
      • 10% worked in a fully remote model.

    Professional Priorities

  • Mind the Gap

    The overall gender pay gap dropped from 30% to 13% over the year, fuelled by significant changes within our largest audience segment, In-House Counsel. The salary divide decreased from 29% to 2% year on year, and pay was broadly on par (£87,597 vs £88,984). Industry-wide, the average salary for male respondents was £72,313, compared to £63,903 for females – a difference of £8,410.

    Promisingly, senior roles showed healthy gender representation, with women leading the way in many of the profession’s most lucrative positions. 55% of Heads of Department were female, 62% of Partners and In-House Counsel and 49% of General Counsel.

    However, the gender balance was less positive further down the pay scale. Many of the sector’s lowest-paid jobs were dominated by women. Among our respondents, 100% of Conveyancer, Legal HR roles, Legal PAs and Legal Secretary jobs were filled by females, as well as 80% of Legal Executive positions.