(Part 2) 3 Things You Absolutely Must Do To Get a Raise

1 - Laying the Groundwork

Begin Early
Most law firms have “seasons” of change when it comes to approving raises. You absolutely must know when your specific law firm offers raises. The best place to turn for this information is your Human Resources rep. Don’t go off of what your friends tell you. Go straight to the source! If your firm is small, say fewer than 10 people, you may not have a HR department per se. Go see the person who cuts the checks in that case.

A good lead time is two to three months. 60 to 90 days out is a perfect time for you to lay the groundwork because managers are in budget planning mode. Many law firm managers spend this time deciding on the haves and the have-nots.

This is the crucial time to speak with your manager before they finalize the budget. If you wait until your scheduled review time, the chances are your fate has already been sealed. Most likely your salary will already have been decided upon. So please – if you get nothing else from this blog -- you must talk to your manager before he or she begins to think about how to divide that budget. Otherwise it may be too late!

Just What Is Everybody Else Getting?
How much are your peers at competing law firms making? These days, with the advent and proliferation of the internet, it’s more convenient than ever to get pay comparisons. There are plenty of websites that will help you to find the prevailing industry rate for your position nationally, regionally or locally.

You can find a salary calculator under “Career Advice” at www.monster.com or at www.salary.com. Be prepared to explain to your manager how the salary calculation compares to your job. Even if the exact job title doesn’t match, be prepared to explain how the job duties and responsibilities are similar to what you do for the firm.

…to be continued…

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Todd Olivas

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

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