Demand for Canadian legal talent remains high - Report

Robert Half’s Canadian Salary Guide 2023 notes that demand is high for legal professionals who can handle technology-related issues such as cybersecurity and who can use technology tools to cut costs.

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Experienced legal talent is in short supply and increases compensation, but companies willing to hire and train recent graduates and entry-level support staff are best positioned to meet their hiring needs, Robert Half Talent survey finds Solutions published on Tuesday.

Robert Half’s Canadian Salary Guide 2023 also notes that demand is high for legal professionals who can handle technology-related issues such as cybersecurity and who can use technology tools to cut costs.

In the booming talent market for corporate business associates in 2020, Canada’s top law firms have increased associate salaries by up to 20% in the first few years order now C$130,000. While salaries are still on the rise, Robert Half’s regional manager for Toronto, Michelle Dunnill, said increases at all levels of the profession are likely to be more in the 2% range for 2023.

According to report, first-year associate salaries for 2023 in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver will average CA$76,400 to CA$97,000. Salaries for senior associates with four to nine years of experience will be between C$123,000 and C$154,000 in these cities, but some could see their salary as low as C$100,000 depending on experience and company size. .

Robert Half, which places lawyers and staff in firms of all sizes, said its data is “based on the actual compensation of the professionals we have matched with employers across the country. Our projections take into account current and expected demand for each role, talent supply and other market conditions.”

Dunnill said that while Canadian companies are still competing against their American counterparts, one of the most frequent benefits their clients have seen in this “candidate-driven market” over the past year are bonuses. of signing.

“We know that compensation is on the rise, especially in the legal space, when it comes to organizations that need to be even more competitive than ever and understand what kind of benefits they need to come to the table with,” said she declared.

This also applies to other staff and law firm professionals, according to the report, which indicates that flexible and hybrid working arrangements are offered to attract staff to some of the most difficult to fill positions, such as the data entry, clerk and administrator positions.

“It’s not something we anticipated, but it’s something we see in the market,” Dunnill said.

Law firms note that perks are integral to retaining staff and attorneys. Dentons Canada, for example, has introduced a generous company-wide program parental leave policy last December. Diversity and inclusion programs have also become a much larger part of law firm recruitment. Peter Feldberg, Managing Partner of Global 200 Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, said recently that “the war for talent will be won by firms that offer their lawyers and business professionals rewarding and meaningful work, as well as a shared, inclusive and fair workplace”.

A report in May, by Canadian legal recruiter The Counsel Network, the average base salary for a male in-house lawyer in 2022 was CA$193,000, compared to the average CA$169,000 for a female in the same position.

The Robert Half guide also reported that there has been an increase in demand for family law attorneys since the pandemic. Other in-demand practice areas include civil litigation, commercial law, compliance, intellectual property and trademark law, and contract management.