legal consultant salary news 25 December

Hiring a Lawyer for Loan Modification Help
New York Times - Lynnley Browning - ‎Dec 17, 2010‎
All payments by the lawyers to the consultants must be disclosed to and agreed by the client. In Connecticut, lawyers cannot pay referral fees to the ...

Former Suffolk president's severance in jeopardy
Boston Herald - Jessica Van Sack - ‎19 hours ago‎
He is likely to find support from several board members who did not buy into the controversy over his salary, which at $2.8 million including deferred ...

Birth right Dr Diana Smigaj legal battle with Memorial
Yakima Herald-Republic - Erin Snelgrove - ‎Dec 18, 2010‎
Linneweh, 67, said he received a lump sum of "$2 million plus" in deferred compensation in 2008 on top of his regular salary of $475488. ...

CompareLegal Jobs To Find The Right Solicitor Jobs London
Prfire (press release) - Gina Walsh - ‎Dec 23, 2010‎
The career centre allows candidates to check their salary using the legal salary surveys, and to prepare for interviews, psychometric tests and much more. ...

RI Ethics Commission clears Costantino for state post
Providence Journal - Philip Marcelo - ‎Dec 21, 2010‎
The staff noted that the state Code of Ethics specifically bars legislators from accepting state employment — either as an employee or a consultant ...
Pasco Sheriff White sought lawyers' help with budget appeal - Jodie Tillman - ‎Dec 18, 2010‎
Corcoran, a former political consultant who won a state House seat this year, was hired on a contract basis, $150 an hour, up to $90000 a year. ...

DA files felony bribery charges in ME case
Edmond Sun - ‎Dec 22, 2010‎
Based on news reports, Leftwich's annual salary for her Senate seat was $38400. She is entitled to receive $23040 a year in state pension benefits if she ...
Parker taking city pension cuts battle to Legislature
Houston Chronicle - Bradley Olson - ‎Dec 19, 2010‎
"Plans that allow people to retire after 20 or 25 years at the age of 50 or 55 and get 80 percent of your salary for life are just unsustainable in this day ...

Gen-Y and Boomers Well Advised to Embrace One Another
Forbes (blog) - Victoria Pynchon - ‎Dec 20, 2010‎
Two well-known legal bloggers, Dan Hull of What About Clients? and Scott Greenfield of Simple Justice have respectively coined and popularized the term ...

Pa. Law Firms Saw Year of Mergers, Relative Calm
The American Lawyer - ‎Dec 21, 2010‎
Whether The Legal Intelligencer talks to in-house counsel, law firm leaders or consultants, it seems the shift in the law firm business model is happening ...

10 Mistakes That Can Cost You A Legal Job Abroad

While every country has its own quirks when it comes to recruiting for law jobs there are some things that are the same the world over. There are lots of traps to fall into that could prevent you from getting that international law job you have always dreamed of.

CV Lacks Focus - You have to think of your CV like an advert, it's selling you as a candidate to you potential employer abroad so it's important it's got a clear focus. Decide exactly what you would like the reader to come away from your CV thinking. You can then focus every element of your CV towards this aim. Don't include anything unnecessary and keep the document brief.

CV Hides Key Skills - If you are applying for a legal job your relevant qualifications & experience is hugely important. Don't hide them away at the end of your document. It's a sad truth but often recruiters don't read CVs in that much depth and often lose interest before the end. Don't let important information get lost at the end of your CV.

Over Used Template - Nearly everyone uses Microsoft Word and lots of people use Google. So imagine how many people use the templates that are easy to find. In a competitive job market, like law, there can often be a large number of applicants for a position; anything you can do to help your CV stand out can help your prospects of getting a legal job abroad.

Application Not Addressed to Correct Person - It's easy to make a mistake when you are sending out lots of job applications especially if you are planning on relocating to another country. However addressing your CV to the wrong person could instantly ruin your chances. The obvious solution might seem to be to send your applications to a generic "Dear Sir" If they have included a name on the advert such a tactic is likely to seem impolite and suggest you don't have a huge desire to get the job.

Typos and Bad Grammar - Probably the most repeated tip when it comes to CVs and covering letters but Typos and Grammar mistakes can be really costly. Double & triple check it. It is always worth getting at least one other person to give it a quick proof read a fresh set of eyes will spot mistakes you never would have seen.

Untailored Cover Letter - There's nothing wrong with sending out a generic CV, there are definite benefits to tailoring the document to each job but it's not essential. On the other hand you must tweak your cover letting for each individual job application you make. Show why you would be the perfect candidate specifically for the job advertised. Use the same phrasing as they have used and you could be on the way to a great international law job.

Talking Too Much - It's always risky in a job interview that you can end up talking too much. Answer the question briefly giving an extended answer can seem like a good idea but it's easy to end up rambling and create a bad impression.

Negative About Previous Jobs - The chances are you are leaving your job you are unhappy there, especially if you are thinking about moving abroad. However it won't help you get a new job by dwelling on the reasons you are leaving your old one. It will make you seem negative person and less attractive as a potential employer.

Asking About Salaries Too Early - Much like a shop wouldn't ask to see your credit card before letting you through the door you shouldn't jump the gun when it comes to salary negotiation. That can wait till they offer you the job, any earlier and you'll just end seeming arrogant hardly an attractive quality in legal professional.

Not Enough Eye Contact - The importance of body language cannot be underestimated many people can get hung up on what they say in an interview when how they are sitting and how they and the tone of their voice. One of the easiest ways to improve your body language is too make more eye contact. It's easily done and can have great positive effects.

If you are thinking of applying for a legal job abroad avoiding these mistakes could make your search for a new career that much easier.

10 Ways Not To Conduct A Market Salary Study

1. Match jobs based on job titles, not job content.

2. Use bad job descriptions.

3. Don't write job descriptions in the first place!

4. Use data sources that aren't matches for your industry & jobs.

5. Don't educate yourself on the basics of job analysis.

6. Use salary data information gathered by your employees about what

other companies are paying their people.

7. Use inconsistent statistical criteria, i.e., median or midpoint, and salary range width.

8. Don't use geographic appropriate data based on the level of the job.

9. Let others persuade you that the data you've produced isn't relevant to your

company because it's unique (i.e., your employees deserve to be paid MORE).

10. Don't get buy-in from key executives on study methodology from the beginning!

What seems from the surface to be a fairly simple exercise turns out to be anything but! There are lots of technicalities involved in producing a quality salary survey of your jobs compared to the marketplace!

Quality surveys match jobs to market based upon job content, not job titles. Your employees who willingly provide the results of their informal market survey to you have made matches based upon job title only. And they don't know what the information they've received reflects. Is the figure they're providing the midpoint, actual salary paid, or the minimum or maximum of the salary range? Yet they've accepted it at face value, especially if it's more than they're currently earning, and they want to know why they are "underpaid."

In order to make matches based upon job content, it becomes critical to have updated and accurate job descriptions in place. At a minimum, the summary and minimum qualifications of each job should be well documented. Job descriptions have many applications in the world of human resource administration:

* Job content evaluation

* Salary survey exchanges

* Assigning employees to appropriate jobs

* Legal defense and compliance (FLSA, ADA)

* Establishing performance standards

* Organizational design

* Recruiting

* Succession planning/establishing career paths

Even though it is a very time consuming and labor intensive process, documenting jobs and maintaining them through conducting an annual review of jobs is critical to the effective administration of human resources in every organization. Information on job content is usually obtained through direct observation, or through the employee's completion of a job analysis questionnaire. This exercise can also serve to resolve any discrepancies between the employee and the supervisor in terms of what should be done on the job on a day-to-day basis.

Once the job descriptions have been written and approved, survey sources can be selected based upon matching of industry and geographic data sources. It is critical to get buy-in at this stage by asking key executives what surveys they want to have included in the project, and then explaining the surveys that you believe should also be included, and why. If others are made a part of the process, it minimizes questions when the results are presented and also provides input that can enrich the final outcomes.

When analyzing market data, be consistent in terms of the statistics gathered from multiple sources. Typically, I use the 25th percentile, midpoint, and 75th percentiles of their salary ranges, and the median. The median tends to be a better determinant of market rates than the midpoint because it's not skewed as much as the midpoint. Weighted averages are sometimes useful too; it depends on the development of the data as you work through the project.

Once you've determined what market rates are for a job, then a comparison to your company's actual pay rates should be conducted. When this work has been completed for all jobs, your company's overall compensation position in relation to the market can be easily determined. And you can cost out the amount of money it would take to bring certain employees up to market rates. Strategies can be established on how to handle people who are currently paid below or above market rates.

Certainly when an individual's pay is being decided in relation to market rates, there are many other variables to consider. These include:

* Your company's compensation philosophy (how you want to pay in relation to the market)

* Individual performance rating and review history

* Total compensation (base & incentive/bonus pay)

* Individual contributions to the company

* Length of time in job (can be a consideration)

* Salary history

* Internal equity

An annual review of all jobs should be conducted to ensure parity of pay based upon objective criteria to ensure non-discriminatory pay policies in your organization. Minorities and women in the same salary range and job as men with commensurate work experience and job history need to be paid at very similar rates of pay. Your company needs to be able to explain why certain pay decisions were made for specific individuals based upon objective criteria.

Most organizations do not reduce pay when they realize that they are overpaying for certain jobs. Usually they "red-circle" the job, meaning that it is not eligible for merit increases until the market catches up with the current pay. The employee can still be eligible for a lump sum payout for recognition of performance and accomplishments, but the lump sum bonus is not built into the base pay, which contains merit budget costs.

Many employees are discouraged when they learn that they are not eligible for merit pay increases. But it doesn't have to be a negative message; they have the benefit of receiving extra dollars until the market catches up with them! And if they multiply the approximate number of years that they have received a higher level of pay, they should consider themselves to be lucky, especially in these difficult economic times when the job market is tight.

In this article, the basics of a market study and salary administration have been explored. What appears to be a simple process is in fact, not so! There is a methodology to working through this type of project and further enhancements such as designing salary ranges and slotting jobs into those ranges can also be done.

The benefits of a more structured salary administration program are many, with the primary one being cost containment of your salary dollar expense, the largest expense in any organization. The goal is to implement enough structure to protect the company from litigation and ensure consistent salary administration practices while still retaining the ability to make good business decisions.

© 2007 Regan HR, Inc.

Becky Regan, M.A., CCP began her own consulting practice in 1995, Regan HR, Inc. to provide human resources consulting services to businesses in California. She has been successful in growing her business through reputation and client referrals. Her work as a consultant includes the full spectrum of HR technical expertise, including C-level recruitment, compensation studies (design, market and executive pay studies, sales compensation plans), training & teaching, interim assignments as a HR Director for organizations, and employee relations, including workplace investigations and written responses to formal complaints.

Legal Studies Online Courses

If you are one of those individuals who have a passion for law but do not necessarily want to "practice" the profession, then a career in legal studies may be apt for you.

A wide array of legal studies programs and courses are available spanning Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate degrees along side diplomas and certifications. Interestingly, these courses usually lead up to careers as paralegals and legal assistants. Though a formal qualification is not necessary, yet employers generally prefer formal education. Additionally, those who are interested in practicing law may also want to go through these programs since it helps them to connect better with their practice and the administrative work involved in it.

Professionals in legal studies essentially are the backbone of any successful practice in law. They are specialists in their chosen field and several times may overwhelm even the most experienced attorneys with their knowledge and court procedures. They offer the administrative support in terms of doing legal research, writing reports, taking care of paper work, filing necessary petitions in Courts, maintaining records system, scheduling appointments with clients and handling calls, to name a few. They provide low cost legal support in many offices that include corporates. An important distinction between an attorney and legal studies professional is the latter can't practice in a Court of Law. Course work for these programs usually includes, among others, writing, drafting, legal documentation, legal processes, legal history and computer training.

These programs are available through campus and online modes. The Bachelor's degree usually spans around 4 years with Associate's, Master's and Doctorate degrees lasting 2 years. Diplomas and certifications are of even short duration sometimes. Legal studies is assuming more and more importance with employers and companies looking to bring down their legal expenditure. As a result, many of the jobs that were originally done by solicitors are now being performed by paralegals. For greater acceptance, credibility and improvement of salary and career prospects, several graduates in legal studies also go through the accreditation process to get certified. Examples of such certifications are Certified Legal Assistants [CLA] or Advanced Paralegals [AP] through National Association of Legal Assistants [NALA]. There are also other specializations available in legal studies such as civil litigation, real estate law, torts, family law and estates.

The career outlook is very positive for the legal studies discipline. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that job growth in this field is expected to be faster than average of all occupations. In fact, growth in employment in the paralegals field is pegged at 27% over the next 5 years as per Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries can be lucrative and are dependent on education, experience, location and employer. Specializations also make a difference. In 2007, paralegals and legal assistants earned median annual incomes of $47,600. Additional fringe benefits may include bonuses and reimbursement of tuition frees from employers. Employment avenues in legal studies may span paralegals, legal assistants and court reporters, no name a few.

Find more information about top legal distance learning programs and best distance learning universities of USA at Choose the best legal distance learning college in you prefer locations and earn online degree in legal studies from your home.

The Future Is Bright

One of most common ways to become a legal assistant or paralegal is through a community college program that leads to an associate's degree. Another common route; primarily for those who already have a college degree, is through a program that leads to a certification in paralegal studies.

Many legal assistants and paralegals have associate degrees in paralegal studies or a bachelor's degree paired with a certificate in paralegal studies. Currently, a small number of schools offer bachelors' or masters' degrees in paralegal studies. A few employers train paralegals on the job, hiring college graduates with no legal experience or promoting experienced legal secretaries. Others have gained experience in a technical field useful to law firms, like tax preparation for tax and estate planning, criminal justice, nursing or health administration for personal injury practice.

With 250+ paralegal programs approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and an estimated 1,000 colleges and universities, law schools and proprietary schools offering formal paralegal training programs - the field is highly represented. Although many programs don't require ABA approval, graduating from an ABA-approved program can enhance one's employment opportunities - it's a credibility thing for some employers.

Program admission requirements vary greatly - from a few college credits or courses to a bachelor's degree for others, to high school graduates, those with legal experience, passing a standardized test, to simply having a favorable personal interview.

Many legal assistant and paralegal programs include 2-year associate degree programs, 4-year bachelor degree programs and certificate programs that can take as little as a few months to complete. Most certificate programs provide intensive and specialized paralegal training for individuals who already hold college degrees. On the other hand, associate and bachelor degree programs usually combine paralegal training with courses in other academic subjects.

Obviously, the quality of paralegal training programs can vary with the higher quality programs usually including job placement services.

Courses range from introducing students to the legal applications of computers, including how to perform legal research on the Internet to more and more paralegal training programs offering internships to assist students in gaining practical experience by working for several months in the real world. Internships could be with a private law firm, the office of a public defender or attorney general, a bank, a corporate legal department, a legal aid organization or a government agency. Clearly, the experience gained is an asset when one is seeking a job after graduation and for many can lead to a job with the company they interned with.

Most employers don't require certification but earning a voluntary certificate from a professional society does have its advantages when it comes to finding a job. The National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) has established standards for certification that requires various combinations of education and experience. Paralegals who meet their standards are eligible to take a 2-day examination, offered three times a year at one of several regional testing centers. Those who pass can then use the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) designation. NALA also offers an advanced paralegal certification for those who want to specialize in specific areas of the law.

The Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam offers professional recognition to legal assistants and paralegals that have earned a bachelor's degree and have at least 2 years of experience. Once they pass this test they can use the Registered Paralegal (RP) designation.

Legal assistants and paralegals must have the ability to document and present their findings and opinions to their supervising attorneys. They also need to understand legal terminology, have good research and investigative skills and be able to do legal research using a computer and the internet. They also need to stay abreast of new developments in the laws that affect their area of expertise. The most common way many legal assistants and paralegals expand their knowledge is by participating in continuing legal education seminars.

Because legal assistants and paralegals deal with the public on an ongoing basis they need to be "shining examples" of ethical standards for the legal profession. The National Association of Legal Assistants, the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and a few States have established ethical guidelines for them to follow.

Employment Outlook

Legal assistants and paralegals held about 224,000 jobs in 2004 with about 70% being employed by private law firms; most of the remainder worked for corporate legal departments and various levels of government. Within the Federal Government, the U.S. Department of Justice is the largest employer, followed by the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. A small number of paralegals own their own businesses and work as freelance legal assistants, contracting their services to attorneys or corporate legal departments.

As a whole, employment in this field is projected to grow much faster than average. The current trend of employers trying to reduce costs by hiring paralegals to perform duties formerly carried out by lawyers is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. As a result, employment opportunities are projected to grow much faster than average for the next 10 years or so.

As in all fields, compensation varies greatly due to the high number of variables but in general, salaries depend on education, training, experience, the type and size of employer and the geographic location of the job. As a whole, legal assistants and paralegals who work for large law firms or in large metropolitan areas earn more than those who work for smaller firms or in less populated regions. In addition to salary, many also receive bonuses. In mid 2004, the average salary for all legal assistants or paralegal was a tad over $39,000 per year.

This article may be reproduced only in its entirety.

Kevin Erickson is an entrepreneur and writer. For other articles he's written visit: Paralegal Schools | Travel Nursing | Medical Transcription

Legal Job Salaries

It has always been the common perception that lawyers and solicitors have the best paid jobs in the land, but how are legal jobs performing salary wise in this day and age. Certainly in 2005 it seemed to be the case with it being reported a select few of solicitors would be pocketing around the £1.3m mark for the year.

Just over 10 years on from 1997, it seems salaries are still in a strong position. At the beginning of the 21st Century, the downturn in the economy affected the legal profession, making the market considerably quieter. However, in 2005, it was also shown that the top 100 firms in the country netted a collective profit of almost £3bn, more than double what it was in 1997, which no doubt will be reflected in the salaries for legal jobs.

Over the last couple of years there has been a sustained period of growth and profits, with the market seeming incredibly buoyant. Legal jobs and their salaries obviously are very dependant on the areas of the UK and the various economic climates there.

For instance, despite growth in the northwest in terms of law, the area of Sheffield will typically offer Newly Qualified (NQ) solicitors around 29,000, where as in the Thames Valley, London, NQ's will be offered around £37,000, although the top rate in the North West, for NQ's, has risen to £38,000.

You may think this perception is stating the obvious, but many average salaries have been cut in the area of London, due to the credit crunch. Other signs the credit crunch hasn't affected solicitor jobs is that there are plenty of legal jobs available in East Anglia and London, especially in the areas of corporate and commercial property.

The abundance of corporate law jobs is partly due to difficulties recruiting for them at the moment and due to this, they tend to be in the top end of salary bands. This isn't just an issue in the South East and is reflected throughout the country, with firms having to pay a premium for these lawyers from rival firms.

Another noted trend, which has been happening more and more over the last 2 years is the gap between the high fliers and other solicitors. This can be attributed toward the top-tier firms fighting to acquire the best lawyers, meaning firstly these firms will have the highest paid solicitors and the smaller firms will have some of the lowest. The second reason is because these firms want the best lawyers, meaning they are willing to pay over the odds for them, creating a bigger gap between the best and the rest.

Legal jobs are currently on the up, moving from strength to strength in terms of opportunities and salaries, but with talks of a recession on the horizon, circumstance can change. However, all in all, it is fair to say if you are a talented debater, have a passion for law, want a fast car and large house; a legal job might be the profession for you.