(Part 7) 3 Things You Absolutely Must Do To Get a Raise

Scope Creep
There is a phenomenon that happens at every law firm I've ever been in. Scope creep! What is scope creep, you ask? Scope creep is when the scope of your job creeps wider and farther than you had originally planned. It's not something ominous, but is a consistent pattern I've seen. You started out doing a certain list of tasks and slowly but surely the scope of those tasks crept ever wider.But this is a good thing!

Tell Your Boss About Your Creeping Scope
Most law firms have a standard pay scale for each position. If you are already maxed out, at the top of your range, you might get smaller raises to keep you within range. So it makes sense to demonstrate to your boss how your position has crept larger over time. In fact, if the scope of your job is creeping away from your original position, perhaps it makes sense for you to be put into a different pay category.

Typical of most law firms, is that the lead secretary has reached the top of her pay level because she's been just so darn good at her job and has acquired a larger skill set. Be sure to talk with your boss about a change in your position which might mean a change in your salary!

Example: If you earn $39,500 as a Calendar Clerk, your pay range might vary between $35,000 and $40,000. With only a two to three percent raise you would be breaking the bank for the Calendar Clerk pay scale. My advice would then be to look at getting a promotion to a higher-paying position within your firm. Perhaps there is a Legal Assistant position that has a higher top level pay. Maybe the range for a Legal Assistant at your firm is $35,000 to $50,000. By shooting for the Legal Assistant promotion, you increase your headroom and you could soon be on your way to that pay raise you deserve without running the risk of going over the pay scale range.

…to be continued…
Friday, May 25, 2007

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

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