The results are in: Sellick Partnership's legal professionals' benefit survey

Written by: Sellick Partnership
Published on: 20 Sep 2022

in article job sat


Legal professionals working in private practice have seen a lot of changes over the last few years. The priorities of many candidates have evolved considerably as the marketplace has continued to shift. In many cases, legal professionals are showing a willingness to move roles to get what they want, knowing that their skills will be in high demand in this current candidate-short market. 

To explore these trends, Sellick Partnership has carried out a survey of private practice solicitors, lawyers, legal executives and paralegals based in the South of England, in order to learn more about the key contributors to job satisfaction among these legal professionals, as well as the factors that motivate them when seeking a new role.

The research findings highlight a number of key trends that private sector employers need to be aware of in order to give themselves the best chance of attracting, and more importantly, retaining legal talent.

Key findings:

  • Of those polled, 14% are unhappy in their current role, and 13% are actively looking for a new job.
  • Around one third (33%) of people are unhappy or very unhappy with their current salary level.
  • 80% of respondents said that they regularly work additional overtime, with the average being nine hours per week.
  • 41% are not guaranteed to stay within the legal profession, with 12% sure that they will leave the industry in the next year.

Staff are generally satisfied with their salary - but is there room for improvement?

Overall, our survey respondents did not express strong dissatisfaction with current levels of pay - but the results did indicate that very few of these professionals consider their salaries to be much better than ‘satisfactory’:

  • 39% said they were satisfied with their current pay grade, with 20% saying they were happy and 8% saying they were very happy.
  • By contrast, 24% are unhappy with their pay, and 8% are very unhappy.
  • Of those who do receive a bonus, 42% felt they were being underpaid.

Professionals are regularly working more than their contracted hours

The legal profession has a reputation for heavy workloads, and the findings of our study show this. With the majority of respondents regularly having to work longer than their contracted hours and the highest number of extra hours worked being 38.

With these findings in mind, it is unsurprising that many of those who are looking for new jobs are moving for the promise of better pay, as well as an improved work-life balance:

  • When asked what they would be looking for in a new permanent role, the most common response was an increase in salary (83%).
  • The next most common responses were a better work-life balance (69%), options to work from home (64%) and an increase in benefits (47%).
  • Other popular responses included better career progression (36%) and improved job security (28%).

Most common benefits respondents have in their current roles:

  • Work from home at least once a week – 72%
  • Sick pay above the statutory level – 54%
  • Flexible working patterns - 45%
  • Death in service benefits - 39%
  • A real work-life balance - 32%
  • Free or subsidised parking - 30%
  • Wellbeing support - 29%
  • Private medical schemes - 27%
  • Enhanced maternity/paternity pay - 23%
  • The option to buy and sell holiday allowance - 22%
  • Access to comprehensive training - 22%
  • Christmas off without using holiday time - 21%
  • Bonuses based on personal performance and targets - 19%
  • Discounted legal services - 18%
  • Regular team events - 16%

Benefits candidates are most likely to be looking for:

  • At least one day working from home – 93%
  • A real work-life balance - 69%
  • Pension contributions above the statutory level - 59%
  • Flexible working patterns - 56%
  • A four-day working week, paid at a five-day rate - 47%
  • Private medical schemes - 44%
  • Sick pay above the statutory level - 41%
  • Christmas off without using holiday time - 39%
  • Bonuses based on personal performance and targets - 37%
  • A clear career progression structure - 32%
  • Bonuses based on the firm's performance - 30%
  • Free or subsidised parking - 29%
  • Death in service benefits - 26%
  • Access to comprehensive training - 24%
  • Wellbeing support - 23%
  • Critical illness insurance - 22%
  • The option to buy or sell holiday allowance - 19%
  • Birthday off as an extra day of holiday - 18%
  • Regular team events - 17%


Hopefully, the information in this report can give you a good insight into the wants and needs of candidates but the team at Sellick Partnership are on hand should you need any advice on your current benefit offerings and how small tweaks might be enough to attract the perfect candidate.

To read the full report click here 


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