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Our Top Three Legal Jobs for the Next Year

What kind of legal talent is in highest demand? These are the top three positions departments and firms will be looking to fill in the coming year.

In our 2022 Compensation & Workforce Trends Survey, we found that, with turnover rates skyrocketing, the main objective for most legal firms and departments in the coming year is to retain skilled legal talent. In this kind of environment, job seekers could have increased negotiating leverage, while employees willing to stay in their roles may explore upskilling and reskilling opportunities to open doors to more responsibility and greater compensation.


So, what kind of legal talent is in highest demand? Based on our knowledge of the national legal job market, these are the top three positions departments and firms will be looking to fill in the coming year:


Legal Assistant

A legal assistant elevates the efficiency of a law firm by providing clerical services and other supportive measures for lawyers. A legal assistant may work with one lawyer or several at a time, depending on the size of a law firm and the number of cases handled.


Job Requirements

  • Associate’s degree or a legal assistant certification
  • Law firms may be willing to work with an experienced assistant with strong clerical skills
  • Strong command of the English language, grammar, and legal vocabulary to create and send professional court documents
  • Excellent communication and organization skills
  • Ability to type 60 to 80 words per minute


Roles & Responsibilities

  • Attend meetings and take notes for lawyers in attendance
  • Transcribe, proofread, and file legal documents before deadlines
  • Manage travel logistics for one or more attorneys
  • Answer phones and take messages
  • Manage schedules
  • Schedule court depositions, hearings, and other meetings and appointments as determined by an attorney
  • Keep and organize court files and documents within an internal law library

Base Salary Average: $44,730, Base Salary Highest 10%: $76,500


Document Review Attorney

In some cases, a document review attorney must examine hundreds or even thousands of documents. While there is software that can aid with this task, the document review attorney must look through the documents and determine what is and isn’t relevant to a case. Document attorney jobs can be full time with larger firms, or they may be taken on an as-needed basis with smaller firms (e.g., when the smaller firms take on a large case). A document review attorney will likely work with other attorneys who will try the case in court.


Job Requirements

  • EDRM (Electronic Discovery Reference Model) skills, which refers to the various stages of the eDiscovery process
  • Strong computer skills, specifically in document review software, are necessary
  • Great communication skills
  • Project management skills to stay organized and move from task to task as asked.
  • The ability to work efficiently to maximize time
  • A positive attitude towards a task that’s time-consuming and sometimes tedious


Roles & Responsibilities

  • Carefully review and inspect all records, documents, and evidence pertaining to a court case (emails, memos, PowerPoint presentations, witness interviews, etc.) during the pre-trial discovery process
  • Provide specific directions to colleagues concerning records and may even provide some training

Base Salary Average: $73,000

The opportunity to earn overtime is high in this position.


Staff Attorney

Staff Attorneys may work for a corporation, government entity, academic institution, or not-for-profit. Given the wide range of potential employers, the day-to-day duties of a Staff Attorney employed by a legislative body, for example, may vary considerably from the responsibilities of a Staff Attorney at a corporation. It all depends on what legal services the organization needs on an ongoing basis.


Job Requirements

  • Juris Doctor degree
  • State Bar admission
  • 3 years of prior associate-level experience in a particular area of expertise
  • Exceptional negotiation and interpersonal communication
  • Meticulous, detail-oriented approach to work matters
  • Up-to-date understanding of the key legal issues germane to an organization
  • Ability to communicate persuasively — in writing, speaking, and via audio-visual technologies


Roles & Responsibilities

  • Develop and conduct in-house presentations for training or professional development
  • Advise executives on the potential legal ramifications of proposed organizational policies and procedures
  • Protect an organization’s rights in its interactions with external parties
  • Research, analyze, and write about complex legal issues

Base Salary by Experience: 0-2 years: $95,011, 3-10 years: $109,326, 10+ years: $152,608


Want additional insights to help you advance your legal career? Download our 2022 Legal Career Guide now.


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