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Half Of Today's U.S. Legal Professionals Have Flexible Work Arrangements

Press Release from Special Counsel

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Special Counsel, a leading provider of legal consulting, attorney recruiting, legal talent, legal technology and eDiscovery solutions, today released its 2019 Salary Guide, which includes comprehensive national salary and benefits data and total compensation figures for in-demand legal positions at law firms and companies ranging in size. According to this year's guide, with the unemployment rate at a consistent low, in-house law departments and law firms alike are searching for new ways to attract talent in a highly competitive labor market by way of redefining the types of non-traditional benefits they offer.

The 2019 Salary Guide found that diversifying benefits may be the true key to attracting and retaining talent this year. Offerings like flexible work arrangements are helping law firms and in-house legal departments stand-out. In fact, over 50 percent of respondents from medium and large firms and in-house departments said they offered some kind of flexible schedule or work arrangement to employees in 2018.

"We're seeing employers think outside the box with the types of benefits they offer and it's paying off. Law firms and legal departments who are putting a larger focus on creative packages and non-traditional perks are able to attract strong candidates and differentiate themselves from competitors," said Amanda Ellis, senior vice president, Special Counsel. "Today's top talent are looking at compensation and bonuses as a baseline but are ultimately being swayed by the full experience a company can offer."

Today's law firms and in-house departments offer a diverse collection of non-traditional benefits. According to the data, about 50 percent of all in-house departments (49%) and law firms (46%) offer employees the option to work from home or remotely. Additional findings include:

  • Nearly 50 percent (49.6%) of law firms offer company paid paternity/maternity leave and 35 percent of in-house departments also offer paid leave
  • In addition, 13 percent of law firms offer onsite or emergency childcare to employees
  • 18 percent of in-house legal departments surveyed provide an onsite cafeteria or paid meals to employees
  • Almost 20 percent (19.6%) of in-house legal departments offer paid volunteer time to employees
  • 40 percent of in-house departments offer an onsite gym or wellness benefit

The survey findings also reinforced that salary and cash bonuses continue to be an important part of a competitive offer. In 2018, large law firms offered an average of $130,892 in total compensation and large in-house legal departments offered an average of $104,551 in total compensation.

"It is increasingly obvious to candidates which companies are making the effort to attract and retain top talent and which are lagging behind through the types of compensation plans and benefits they offer. Legal departments and firms must have their finger on the pulse of candidate expectations and continuously evaluate their offerings in order to keep up – it's the new normal," Ellis said.

To see full compensation figures, as well as other unique insights into the legal industry's recruitment landscape, download a copy of the 2019 Salary Guide. For more details on defining salaries and understanding trends in the job market, contact a local Special Counsel representative.

The figures in the 2019 Salary Guide are based on survey results collected first-hand by Special Counsel from over 6,000 respondents in various law firm and in-house legal positions from 68 major cities across the country. Law firm and in-house employees nationwide provided insight into their current base salary and total compensation figures. To further validate the data, each office in the Special Counsel branch network thoroughly reviewed the data to ensure local accuracy. This comprehensive approach results in more regionally accurate data than the public data that is found in other salary guides.

About Special Counsel
At Special Counsel, we are a leading provider of legal consulting, attorney recruiting, legal talent, legal technology and eDiscovery solutions, with a growing international footprint. But there's more to being a leader than having tremendous size and scale. Our strength comes from our ability to partner with clients to create solutions on a case-by-case basis. It comes from our gift for fostering, furthering and promoting the expertise of our people. And it comes from our commitment to doing business with transparency, flexibility and integrity. That's what sets us apart. That's what makes us Special. To learn how we can help you, visit

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