2023 ALPMA Australian Legal Industry HR Issues & Salary Survey

1 February 2023

2023 ALPMA Australian Legal Industry HR Issues & Salary Survey | 1 February 2023

The 2023 ALPMA Australian Legal Industry HR Issues & Salary Survey has launched (1 February 2023) and ALPMA is inviting all Australian Law Firms to take part. Participation is free and all participating firms will receive a complimentary copy of the final report containing over 120 pages of legal industry insights, and worth $2,200.

This survey is the most comprehensive study offered within the Australian Legal industry and attracts approximately 300 law firms across Australia to participate year-on-year. Given this survey asks law firm management staff to supply actual Salary data, the report provides the most accurate indicator of salaries paid for over 70 positions within the legal industry. The survey should be completed by Practice Managers, General Managers, CEO/CFOs, HR or Finance departments.

What makes participating in this survey so attractive is the quality of the salary data provided within the final report. Salary data is segmented in various ways, allowing firms to consider the salaries they are offering employees based on actual market data and other relevant criteria.  In a candidate short market with retention of top talent high on the agenda this survey allows firms to benchmark themselves against the entire industry, as well as firms with similar characteristics. Salary data segmentation includes:

Overall salary data for each position

  • This includes the number of salaries entered for each position, salary range from high to low, and salary mean and median.

Salary data by Firm Size

  • Firm sizes are grouped by total employees and represented as small (1–24 staff), medium (25–74), medium-large (75–150), and large (150+).
  • For all firm sizes the median and salary range are provided.

Salary data by State

  • For all states (ACT, NSW, VIC, WA, SA, QLD) the median, and salary range are provided.

Salary data by Location (Capital cities vs Regional)

  • Data is compared by firms based in capital cities versus regional firms (greater than 100kms outside of a capital city), and shows the percentage of median regional salaries as a proportion of median capital cities salaries for each role.
  • For each location the median and salary range are also provided.

Salary Data by Firm Size and State (Fee Earners only)

  • Reports are itemised, with median and salary range s for firm size (small, medium, medium-large, large) by state (NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, WA).

Salary Data by Practice Areas (Fee Earners only)

  • Participants are asked to segment their salary data for fee earners by practice areas.
  • For each practice area the salary range from high to low, and salary mean and median are provided.
  • In 2022 the practice areas where data was collected included:
    • Business & Commercial
    • Government & Planning
    • Personal Injury
    • Litigation, Mediation and Dispute Resolution
    • Family Law
    • Taxation Law
    • Criminal Law
    • M&A / Corporate Advisory
    • Wills & Estates
    • Insolvency & Restructuring
    • Banking & Finance
    • Property & Construction
    • Intellectual Property*
    • Employment, Industrial & OH&S
    • Other

As ALPMA has conducted this report for over 10 years we are also able to provide insights into the Salary Movements within the market over time. The report also includes:

  • Salary movements for key position groups over the past 12 months;
  • Movements in the average salary by position group, over the past three years; and
  • The average salary data for all positions over the past three years, including a percentage change indicator over the past 12 months (+/- %)

Additionally, as salaries are only one part of the equation the report also have a detailed section dedicated to bonuses, benefits and incentives on offer for a range of roles. Firms will also be able to benchmark themselves on their additional benefits and employment conditions offered to staff, such as:

  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Flexible working hours
  • Parental leave entitlements
  • Additional annual leave
  • Company paid training (e.g. CPD)
  • Career development training
  • Employee assistance programs (EAPs)
  • Mobility allowances (mobile/internet)
  • Insurance subsidies
  • And 15+ more areas

HR Issues

This comprehensive report provides insights into the HR issues and challenges facing Australian law firms and how firms are responding. In 2022, firms indicated they are prioritising:

  • Employee retention and prioritising talent management;
  • Providing (or putting in place) mentoring and coaching programs;
  • Focusing on talent attraction strategies;
  • Ensuring effective feedback and communication cycles were implemented; and
  • Managing employee well-being, resilience and mental health.

The 2023 ALPMA Australian Legal Industry HR Issues & Salary Survey is open for participation until 8:00pm AEDT Friday, 24 February 2023. All participants who have submitted their data by the closing time will be provided with a complimentary copy of the report.

The report can be purchased by non-participating firms for $550 (ALPMA Member discounted rate) or $2,200 for non-ALPMA member firms.

Stay up-to-date about this research at our website or follow us on LinkedIn.

ALPMA Salary Research Reports

ALPMA also conduct two other similar salary surveys every year:

  1. The New Zealand Legal Industry HR Issues & Salary Survey which has attracted over 150 firms participating in 2023. This survey was free to participate in and all participants will receive a complimentary copy of the final report when released in early March 2023; and
  2. A separate, dedicated Intellectual Property (IP), Trade Mark & Patent Firms Salary Survey for Australasian Firms. In 2022 this survey was specifically designed and conducted for 11 specialty IP firms, and ALPMA looking to grow participation in 2023 by welcoming all specialist firms operating in the IP, Trade Mark and Patent areas to take part in the IP salary survey. Law firms that practice in these areas are encouraged to complete this survey along with the Legal Industry survey, as they will cover separate topics and positions. The IP salary survey is open and free to all firms to participate in; however, the final report must be purchased and is only available to purchase by those who participated in the survey. This survey launches on 6 February 2023 and interested Firms should contact Jillian Hays (j.hays@alpma.com.au) for more information.


The Australasian Legal Practice Management Association, (ALPMA), is the peak body representing law firm and legal department leaders and managers. ALPMA provides an authoritative voice on issues relevant to legal practice management.  Members of ALPMA provide professional management services to legal practices in areas of financial management, strategic management, technology, human resources, facilities and operational management, marketing and information services and technology.

For more information about ALPMA, visit www.alpma.com.au

Media Contact

Emma Elliott

Chief Executive Officer
Australasian Legal Practice Management Association
M 0402 471 659
E e.elliott@alpma.com.au

W www.alpma.com.au

Contact Information

Emma Elliott
Emma Elliott
Chief Executive Officer at ALPMA