A recent report published by attorney Robert Half suggests that starting salaries for attorney’s across the board will rise 3.1% in 2014. This is good news for a job market that has been dismal to say the least over the last few years.
Other careers in the legal field will see their salaries rise 2.7% or so according to the same report.
What Does This Mean For Aspiring Attorneys?
Rising salaries indicates one thing: The market is becoming less saturated. Supply and demand dictates that having three qualified lawyers for each available job holds, or drives, salaries down. This has been the case for the last few years, however apparently we are starting to turn that corner.
The normal cycle of any business or industry is as follows:
- Salaries are good, people get involved, jobs are filled
- People see good salaries and well-paying jobs, so more people get involved
- The influx of new people saturates the market, and salaries start to stagnate
- The market is completely saturated, salaries continue to stagnate if not actually decrease (when adjust for inflation)
- No longer looking attractive, less people join the industry and things normalize
- After normal, a shortage starts to appear and people, again, see the opportunity.
This cycle repeats itself over and over again – it is the essence of the free market.
How To Take Advantage In 2014
It’s actually too late to take advantage in 2014. Law school requires around three years of your life and then you have to pass the bar and jump through the rest of the hoops to become an attorney (that whole attorney vs lawyer debate).
The cost of living average over the long-run is around 3%, which means that attorneys are barely beating it. Other jobs in the legal field will actually see their salaries shrink when compared to the average cost of living increase. Currently, inflation is held very low due to a struggling world economy, but at some point that will take off.
Certain positions, such as a paralegal for example, will see their already meager salary slowly shrink or not grow as fast as it should due to the depressed wages we are currently experiencing. Unfortunately, even in positions outside of the legal field, there isn’t much anyone can really do. Wages across the board are flat, making the news that attorneys will see an increase above 3% a welcome site to the law community at large.