Legal Jobs on the Rise in 2015

Special Counsel Survey Results

Employment opportunities and benefits in the legal industry look positive for the upcoming year, and Special Counsel’s recent survey results support that notion. According to the survey, 34% of CEOs and business owners of small to medium size businesses rank legal as the department they would most likely staff externally. This includes traditional and non-traditional placement opportunities. Legal is distantly followed by IT, with 15% of CEOs looking to outsource. Marketing/communications is at 8%.


Within the legal realm, the most important specialty functions on the minds of survey respondents were ethics and corporate governance (25 percent), labor and employment (24 percent), intellectual property (21 percent) and privacy and data security (18 percent).

Laurie Chamberlin, President of Special Counsel, discussed the survey results in an article in Corporate Counsel. “I think privacy and data security is going to become more about governance,” she said, “because no matter what business you’re in you have private information about your client base or your customer base.” View the article and read Laurie’s thoughts here.

The same areas are necessary for legal departments nationwide. According to the New York Law Journal, U.S. companies lose approximately $250 billion per year to theft of intellectual property, and another $114 billion resulting from cyber crimes.

Hiring a Legal Professional

If you are a company that prefers to hire your own legal team, as opposed to outsourcing, you need to know what top candidates expect. Finding and making an offer to a bright candidate is challenging. A search starts by defining the job description, skills needed and salary requirements, but trends show that today’s most successful companies take a more well-rounded approach to the hiring process. They read market insights, offer career paths and make sure potential new hires are a good cultural fit. Candidates, in turn, should be knowledgeable on what it takes to land a job with a top employer.

Here are a few examples of positions in the aforementioned top four legal areas, along with average compensation and the skills necessary for a candidate to be considered for these roles:

Information Governance Analyst

This position has an average salary of $79,999, with a range of $56,321 to $85,677.

This legal team member analyzes business data requirements and risks to determine safe and efficient data systems, and consults management on data retention and data sharing best practices. This position requires a master’s degree in a related field and demonstrated IT literacy. As a candidate, an ability to quickly learn new platforms, a keen attention to details, and 3-5 years of data industry knowledge are critical.

Records Clerk

This position has an average salary of $36,536, with a range of $28,540 to $44,532.

This position creates, indexes and maintains electronic data records. They answer queries to locate specific files, and process incoming and outgoing correspondence. This position requires a high school diploma or equivalent and 0-2 years of office experience.

Director, Records and Information Management

This position has an average salary of $132,538, with a range of $115,932 to $149,944.

This legal position creates and implements information management policies and procedures that adhere to industry regulations. They research best practices for records maintenance and train internal stakeholders. A strong candidate for this position should have a bachelor’s degree in library and information science, information technology or a related field, along with 3-5 years of management experience and demonstrated problem solving abilities. Depending on the position, this role may require Certification in Records Management (CRM), Electronic Records Management (ERM) and/or Enterprise Content Management (ECM).

Knowledge Manager

This position has an average salary of $99,739, with a range of $71,364 to $128,114.

 This legal team member develops and maintains an organizational knowledge repository and trains internal and external clients on the capabilities of the repository. They also promote knowledge sharing practices across the organization, through business processes and information systems. A qualified candidate for this role should have a bachelor’s degree and 2-4 years of content or knowledge management experience.

As the experts in legal staffing, we offer salary data, job descriptions and market insights that are unparalleled in their accuracy, in order to help law firms and legal departments attract and hire the very best professionals.

Hungry for more industry insights? Our 2015 Legal Salary Guide goes right to the facts to help you find and hire the best talent in your market. Get a better view of what top legal professionals are looking for in their careers. 

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