A just-published compensation survey of law firm media professionals offers an inside look not only at what these professionals earn, but also at their firms’ use of social media. The survey was conducted by the organization Law Firm Media Professionals in conjunction with Hellerman Baretz Communications.

Three-quarters of the 116 people who responded work in media and communications positions in law firms. The rest work at private PR firms or as independent consultants. Sixty percent work at AmLaw 100 firms. Before coming to a law firm, 43 worked for PR agencies, 24 worked as journalists and eight practiced law.

On the salary front, the survey found:

  • The average salary overall was $117,530. Salaries ranged from a low of $50,000 to a high of $375,000.
  • Those at the highest job level, chiefs, earned $195,000 on average. Directors made $138,529 on average.
  • Forty-four percent of the media professionals have law degrees. Forty-one percent have master’s degrees.

Interestingly, PR professionals earn slightly more on average if they work at a firm that has a budget for social media.

In terms of social media usage, the survey showed:

  • Forty-two percent said their firm has a blog.
  • Sixteen percent have more than four blogs.
  • Half said their firms have policies regarding social media but only a quarter conducted formal social-media training.
  • Forty percent of firms budget for social media.

Asked to rank which social media sites they considered most important for law firms, they answered:

  1. LinkedIn, 61%.
  2. Martindale-Hubbell Connected, 53%.
  3. Facebook, 49%.
  4. Twitter, 47%.
  5. Legal OnRamp, 19%.

Asked why their firms use social media, 43 percent said the top reason was to raise the firm’s brand and visibility. Next, at 17 percent, was for attorney networking. Asked what keeps firms from using social media, 44 percent cited firm policy and risk management.

The full survey results are available in PDF from the LFMP site.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.