Top law firms in the United States couldn't fill all their lawyer positions on time without legal recruiters. Legal recruiters obtain the fall hiring schedules of law firms, search for top law graduates through advertisements and placement offices, review their resumes and schedule interviews with employers. Some work for independent search firms while others are actually employed by law firms. If you want to become a legal recruiter, you will need experience in the recruiting industry. Expect to earn an average annual salary slightly above $60,000.
Salary and Qualifications
Legal recruiters earned average annual salaries of $61,000 as of 2013, according to the job website SimplyHired.com. Those who work for independent recruiting companies likely earn most of their incomes from commissions, which is fairly standard in the recruiting industry. Most employers in this field prefer that you have strong background working for recruiting agencies. Some might also accept your law degree and sales experience in lieu of recruiting industry experience. Larger and more prestigious firms sometimes prefer hiring experienced lawyers for their legal recruiter jobs. Other key qualifications include attention to detail and strong communication, decision-making and negotiating skills.
Salary by State or District
Average salaries for legal recruiters can vary significantly by district or state. They earned the highest annual salaries of $96,000 in the District of Columbia as of 2013, according to SimplyHired.com. If you worked in Massachusetts, New York or California, you would also earn a relatively high salary in this profession -- $74,000, $72,000 or $69,000 per year, respectively. Legal recruiters earned salaries closer to the industry average in Illinois at $64,000 annually; those in Texas, Florida and Iowa made somewhat less at $57,000, $56,000 and $52,000, respectively.
Legal recruiters usually earn more as they gain experience in their field. Annual performance increases can add thousands of dollars per year to their salaries. Moreover, you might get better job opportunities with premier law firms as you become more effective at selecting the best law graduates. Legal recruiters who work for recruiting firms can earn more through repeat business, as clients might hire them in succeeding years -- and beyond. Larger firms also tend to pay more to attract the best candidates, and because they have the finances to support the higher salaries.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't report job opportunities for legal recruiters but it does for lawyers and human resources specialists, which are expected to increase 10 and 21 percent, respectively, in the next decade. Your number of job opportunities in law firms should reflect the somewhat average growth-rate for lawyer jobs. If you want to work for a recruiting firm, job opportunities should be more plentiful because you will likely help multiple law firms fill jobs.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Lawyers: Job Outlook
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Human Resources Specialists: Job Outlook
- The Association for Legal Career Professionals: Sample Legal Recruiting Job Description
- Glassdoor: Legal Recruiter
- Bright: Mestel & Company: Legal Recruiter – Partner / Group Placement and Law Firm M&A
- Simply Hired: Average Legal Recruiter Salaries
- Simply Hired: Average Legal Recruiter Salaries in DC, MA and NY
- Simply Hired: Average Legal Recruiter Salaries in TX, CA and IL
- Simply Hired: Average Legal Recruiter Salaries in FL and IA
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