Articles From the Team
Job title vs salary
Recently, I was approached by a client who asked for my opinion regarding the introduction of the title ‘Senior Associate’ at their firm. The suggestion received a mixed response amongst the lawyers at this firm hence why I was approached for an objective yet informed view of whether it was necessary.
Given we live in a society identified by titles; Miss, Mr, Mrs, Dr, Professor, even so far as the royal family have their own titles of HRH etc. Is a title more important that money let’s say?!
I work in legal recruitment placing solicitors from newly qualified solicitors to partners in various insurance roles across the Midlands, London and South West. Now, between an NQ and partner there are various solicitor levels that firms have in their hierarchy structure including NQ, junior solicitor, senior solicitor, associate, senior associate, legal director, then finally partner.
The structure varies from firm to firm but usually when you have achieved certain amount of years of PQE and/or have contributed to the firm’s progress, developed client relations etc.; you are recognised for that and so then promoted to associate, senior associate etc. Some view this as an accolade and reward for their hard work and rightly so!
Naturally, with certain titles comes great responsibility! Being a solicitor with a title is no different let me assure you. In my experience what I have noticed is, this actually on more occasions is more important to a lawyer than salary.
Solicitors, who attain Senior Associate title, will have achieved great success on the basis that they have proved themselves as specialists in their field, have contributed significantly to the team and firm’s profit and maintained and strengthened client relations. They are now in touching distance of partnership.
On this very basis, I have personally witnessed Senior Associates when making a career move at this level they tend to move not for money but more for career progression, where perhaps it’s not possible to go any further in their current firm. Furthermore, some have gone as far as to say they will forego pay so long as they can keep their title and can be offered a genuine path for further progression.
I too am recognised as an Associate Director in my work place and for me this personally is recognition of my hard work and contribution to the business and the values that I must work to and uphold that have been instilled by my directors.