Legal Secretary 2015 Salaries by ExperienceIn our analysing of the salary survey this week, we have used the experience and supervision percentage to get a better measurement of the value of the legal secretary.

The experience criterion is rather self-explanatory – it is the number of years’ experience the legal secretary has working in that department at any number of law firms. The supervision percentage field we used to try and determine how well a legal secretary could manage on her own, without the supervision of their boss. As you can imagine, the more a legal secretary can do without referring to the attorney, the more the attorney and the legal secretary can get done in a day and the higher the fees.

In Utopia this information would have been clean and would all follow the same pattern, for example, the longer a person was in a department, the more they would learn, the less they would rely on their boss and the more they would earn. But alas, our graphs which we try to illustrate the information in the simplest terms for better understanding look very much like an aerial picture taken of the illegal power cables in our informal settlements. I am being a little over dramatic, but the message is that it really does not follow the pattern I assumed.

This first graph of the “Collections Secretary with Supervision Percentage” follows the pattern I sort of expected.

  1. How the graph is displayed
    1. On the left is the average Salary in rand
    2. On the right on a separate scale is the number of years’ experience
    3. On the bottom X-axis is the percentage Supervision needed from the boss
  2. In the top left of the graph we see the high average Salary of R10428.57 (illustrated in Maroon)
  3. Also in the top left we have the work experience for these higher earners – 17 years’ experience for this segment of the profession (illustrated in Blue)
  4. We also notice that the Supervision needed from the boss is zero.

collections secretary with supervision percentage

So this graph follows the pattern I would expect – better knowledge, less supervision and more experience means they deserve a higher salary. The only wobble here is that the people coming into the department with very little experience seem to start off with quite high salaries, as on this graph, people with 3 years’ experience earn around R10 000, while relying on 100% supervision.

The reason for the above breakdown of the graph is really just to ensure that everyone understands the layout of the graph as well as how the normal pattern would have displayed.

Let us have a look at the rest of the graphs without so much drivel from me…

Commercial Secretary with Supervision Percentages
This resultant graph takes everything I imagine to be normal and tosses it out the window. It seems the people with 16 years’ experience (even though they require the least amount of supervision) earn more than those who have 18 or more years’ experience, and those with more years under their belt seem to draw more time from the boss! My assumption here is that people who have slightly fewer years in the department seem to rely less on their boss for input and earn higher.

Commercial secretary with supervision percentage

Conveyancing Secretary with Supervision Percentage
In this graph I cannot really say whether people who rely 25% less on the conveyancer are higher paid, or whether the people doing the survey were just more clinical with their response, including the signing of the documents by the conveyancer as being “Supervision” time, while other excluded this time.

conveyancing secretary with supervision percentage

Estates/Trusts Secretary with Supervision Percentage
It seems this department rewards those who work independently. Also this area of the profession was not well supported in the survey.

Estate and trusts secretary with supervision percentage

Litigation Secretary with Supervision Percentage
Those who have more years under the belt and work more independently reap higher rewards.

Litigation secretary with supervision percentage

Other Legal Secretaries with Supervision Percentage
For those that did not fall into the above departments or who were more general legal secretaries, the pattern was as expected.

Other legal secretary with supervision percentage

Remember that the above data was extracted from the national average. Please note that these results have been submitted by respondents in the profession and Tech4Law cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the data, we merely gather the information and report the results back to the profession.

Next week we will have a look with similar data, but try to segment it in smaller areas and cities.

Other related articles:

Legal secretary salaries by city
First results from the 2015 Legal Secretary Salary Survey


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