What percentage is a realistic expectation for a yearly raise at a small firm with great work life balance and no hour requirement?

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In this situation, as an associate, I received between 7500-10k raise per year but understood that once I hit a salary of about 40% of my annual revenue, my raises would turn into COL raises. Salary would then remain stagnant unless I became partner and started brining in more to the firm.

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0%

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I was half-joking, mainly because it’s impossible to have an expectation here. As someone in a small firm with great balance, I got a raise this year of 0.3% and my owner acted like it was a generous and thoughtful of him. It was slightly more than the Amazon gift card “Christmas bonus” so there’s that! (Cries in blue book format)

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I would at minimum hope for COL adjustments. The rest depends on a bunch of other factors - how much receipts you bring into the firm, what your salary is compared to the other associates, etc.

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3%

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Great work-life balance and no hour requirement, and in a legal market like this, where many states have more lawyers than needed and half of the graduates over the last 20 years have left law within 10 years? I would say about half a COL raise every year, to a COL raise every year would be expected right now, given other overhead costs to small and medium firms with great work-life balance and no hour requirements. And please count yourself lucky for finding such a shop!

At this type of firm, I would expect your salary to correlate closely with what you brought to the firm in terms of receipts and originations. Assuming you are around 30-40% of your receipts, you can track that yourself, and negotiate for a raise on that basis.

Once you hit that point, the raises I would expect would be based on productivity (or an increase in your hourly rate). You should be tracking these numbers yourself, so you can use them in negotiations.

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