Legal Marketplace: Make sense as to the what you are worth.
Every successful negotiation is a with more than the sum of its parts. Compensation packages can be structured very simply or tiered with several incentives that get to your number. Your base salary should be a third of the annual billings for a senior associate.
Compensation is then negotiated based upon your book of business and considerations such as health insurance, travel expenses and other intangibles such as how the firm supports your practice with sales and marketing. All these factors can bring your final offering up or down accordingly.
Every proposal takes into account the attorney’s needs, practices and personal preferences. No two offers are alike. That said, all offers take into account several basic factors:
Some firms have formulaic compensation packages that assign weight to the above factors while other practices take a more subjective approach. Many firms are transparent with their compensation structures. That said, there are law firms that do not disclose nor discuss what the senior partners make.
Don’t even consider putting your self on the market until you ask yourself what is your standing in the firm is? What is important to you and what are your strengths?. It’s all about what you bring to the table.
Clearly understand what type of compensation structures best reward you for how you practice law. Don’t start talking with a firm until you’ve worked out what will maximize your bottom line and where you would be leaving money on the table.
Know what you are capable of delivering and what aspects of compensation don’t work well for you. Consider how you are currently compensated and where you can gain advantage when you negotiate your new agreement.
Not all firm’s offer flexible terms, nor is every firm a good fit for you. It’s always about the money, Find a firm that is a good fit for you professionally and offer you the best compensation package.
Before starting a search, quantify what you bring to the table. Work with a strategic advisor or recruiter who can help you pull all the necessary documentation together. Here’s what you need:
Again, be transparent. Any or all of the sensitive issues that are not disclosed upfront can and will undermine efforts to get you the best offer. Work with an advisor to clarify the circumstances and present a sound response to potentially damaging issues.
Not sure you’re ready to make the move? There will never be a better time to take advantage of the current marketplace. Work with a trusted recruiter who will advise you as to whether you should stay put or make that move.