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Instant Insights / How the Legal Profession Will Change in 2018

Looking Ahead to 2018, sexual harassment suits, law firm mergers and artificial intelligence are catching our eye, to name a few. In this Instant Insights, find out what’s on tap for law firms, in-house counsel, government attorneys and tech pros in the new year.

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In-house legal departments for U.S. companies are in need of lawyers with experience in business growth, executive compensation and labor and employment disputes, according to a new study. And to bring those lawyers in, companies will have to offer competitive salaries and benefits.

“A key part of attracting the best people is paying them well­—at least as much as your competitors are offering,” said the study, which was compiled by legal consultancy Robert Half Legal. The report, titled the “2018 Salary Guide,” is meant to help legal department and law firm managers attract legal talent in 2018. It offers salary estimates for a variety of legal jobs, from general counsel to first-year associate, from e-discovery director to filing clerk. The guide also offers information on what types of benefits are expected in today’s legal workplace. The data is based on a survey of 200 lawyers in the “largest law firms and companies” in the United States.

Robert Half’s guide offers starting salary averages for incoming GCs, associate GCs and in-house counsel with more than 10 years of experience, four to nine years of experience and less than three years of experience. The averages are also broken down by percentiles—the 50th percentile is the middle of the pack, for candidates with average experience and necessary skills to succeed at a job with an average level of complexity. At the top end—the 95th percentile—salaries represent what a company could pay for a candidate with “significant, highly relevant experience” and a “high level of expertise.”

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